Make Your Home Office Healthier and More Productive

With one or two exceptions, almost all my solopreneur friends work from home. Some of them are location independent, carrying their office with them in a laptop bag, but pretty much all of them have some kind of home office setup, even if it’s a moveable one, and how healthy your home office environment is can definitely have an impact on productivity.

Working at home has a lot of advantages, but there can also be far more distractions. Family, kids, neighbors, the TV, the laundry, other chores, and many other things can end up competing for the limited attention that we should be focusing on work.

Many of us simply don’t have a great working environment at home. The desk is covered with bills or we’re using the spare dining room chair. Some home offices are just unhealthy, but there are a few very simple things you can do to make your home office healthier and more productive.

Make Your Home Office Healthier and More Productive

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Invest in ergonomic furniture

Yes, it’s great that we can work from our kitchen table, a coffee shop, or with our four-year-old on our lap. That doesn’t mean we should. Your back will thank you for investing in a proper ergonomic office chair. And so will your productivity. It’s actually possible to work longer and work more efficiently, when we’re comfortable.

Consider working while standing

There’s a reason many employers are moving to standing workstations. Numerous studies have shown that sitting all day is a leading contributor to all kinds of health problems, and even early death. There are specially designed standing desks and even work stations incorporated into treadmills, but they may not be necessary.

You can probably find a level surface somewhere in your house that will let you experiment with standing up to work. You can even purchase a small table to place on top of your existing desk. If you’re not used to standing for extended periods, your feet might be sore for a few days, but your health will improve. Surprisingly some people find they can concentrate better while standing. So give it a try even if you don’t think it’s really for you.

Clean off your desk

It’s easy for a home desk to become a storage location for everything that can wait until another day. Bills, junk mail, briefcases, purses, hats, gloves, and magazines are just a few of the things that find their way onto your desk area.

Not only does this make it hard to find what you’re looking for, but working in all that clutter is distracting, and can disturb your flow, even if you don’t realise it. It reminds you of all the other things you need to get done, and damages your focus and productivity. Clearing off your desk really can help you get the physical and mental space you need to be at your best.

Consider getting an air purifier

An inexpensive air filter can help remove pollutants and allergens from the air. This can be especially important in a home office, which tends to be smaller than the average office space. Plus we tend to stay in there for extended periods with the door closed. This one is currently less than $40.

Check your lighting

Lighting in the home is frequently chosen to be attractive rather than functional. It’s highly likely you could do with more light than you’re currently working with in your home office. Dim lighting can make you feel sluggish and less productive, so you might need to consider an additional lamp or some brighter bulbs.

Minimize noise

How much sound you can tolerate while working is highly individual. Know your limits and try and keep background noise to a level that allows you to stay productive. If you’re not able to minimize the sounds in your work environment, consider getting some noise cancelling headphones (I find these useful anyway for the times I have to work in public, which is why they’re on my list of essential tech tools for digital nomads).

You may prefer to put on headphones and listen to music or nature sounds while you work, but you may find it’s best to avoid music with lyricsLogically enough, most people find that thinking one thing while hearing another isn’t the most effective way to work.

Block the blue light

I’ve recently invested in a pair of non-prescription blue blocker glasses. They help protect your eyes from the blue light given off by all the screens we surround ourselves with: the light that many sleep experts claim is damaging our ability to switch off and get a decent night’s sleep. This is particularly important if, like many work at home solopreneurs, you tend to work irregular hours that sometimes involve working into the night, or at least way too close to bedtime.

Keep the things you need to be healthy close at hand

Here are some of the things that have lived in my home office over the years:

  • A mini-trampoline/rebounder – Great for a quick burst of core-strengthening, aerobic exercise when you need a break from work. This one is a great heavy duty rebounder, but I also like this one, if you’re on a budget and will only need it for fairly light use.
  • My yoga mat and blocks – I’m a huge yoga fan and often break from work for a ten minute yoga session.
  • An essential oil diffuser – So much better than a burner. And you can use different essential oils for energy, de-stressing, clearing a stuffy nose and even balancing your hormones.
  • A Himalayan salt lamp – Fans of salt lamps claim they can clean the air in your home, soothe allergies, boost your mood and help you sleep. Plus they’re just so pretty!
  • A jug of filtered water – many of us are dehydrated most of the time. Keeping a jug of water in your home office area with you will help you remember to keep drinking throughout the day.

You can see all my health and wellness recommendations, along with my home office essentials in my Amazon Influencer store. Working from home can be better and more productive than working from a more conventional office setting, if you just take the time to optimize your workspace for both your health and your productivity.

You probably already have some good ideas on how you can apply these tips to your home office space. Let today be the day you start implementing them! Feel free to take a pic of your new healthy home office space, share it, and tag me on Facebook or Instagram, so I can take a look too.


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Featured photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

22 thoughts on “Make Your Home Office Healthier and More Productive

  1. Cool tips! I always like to keep my desk clean — both at home and while I’m working in a coworking space near me. It makes it easier for me to work around when my desk is clean and the air purifier is so amazing. It changes the vibes of my home office and I love it. I would definitely consider the essential oil diffuser. Thank you for sharing this great post!

  2. Thank you for the handy tips. I have bought a standing desk a few months ago and alternating between sitting and standing every so often has helped my knee joints to not stiffen up. Good read!

  3. I love the idea of content. very essential tips and tricks. I also want to do my own office in the middle of the next year 2020. your informative article helps me a lot.
    This article has given me a fresh perspective.
    keep sharing dear! Thanks…

  4. A home office is that the preference for comfort over productivity. Tons of home offices don’t get used and switch bent be a waste of cash. Lighting is that the best aspect of designing for such spaces, as there’re tons of scope for experimenting, for one or few individuals. Lighting for more people find yourself being either too bright or too dark. People should take full advantage of this fact and choose something that doesn’t give them headaches.

  5. Hi Karen, thanks for this amazing post! I definitely take note of some of the tips. I also would like to highlight the importance of ergonomic workstation. For example, recently I purchased a u-shape seat cushion (thanks to this guide and now I forget about my lower back pain. So guys think about your health and your body will thank you.
    Anna Dotsnko recently posted…3 Hip Mobility Exercises That You Will Ever NeedMy Profile

  6. These are some amazing tips. I keep an essential oil diffuser in my home office. As mentioned above it keeps me fresh and motivated the whole day. The most important part for me is a high performance laptop which doesn’t get stuck while I am working. I have listed down some multitasking laptops which are great for office work on my website. Thank you for sharing this post and helping me keep my office more manageable and clean.

  7. Great Post! Your article is really helpful. I will follow this tips for my new office. I am glad to read this awesome post. Thanks for sharing such a helpful post. Keep Posting!!

  8. Very nice tips! I have been working from home for the past 12 years and my working space and practices have evolved over time. Initially, I was faced with all the distractions that you have mentioned and I have managed to overcome them, over the years, without changing much, just a bit change in the attitude of my family and some willpower on my part with some strict self-imposed discipline.
    Donna Branton recently posted…Hello world!My Profile

  9. I’m glad that you talked about how a cluttered desk can be really distracting whenever a person is working. I’m still writing my thesis but I can’t write my paper properly if my room is in disarray. To encourage their employees to work better, I think that companies should really hire cleaning services, especially for common areas.

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