In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, most workers with jobs that can be done from home have opted to work from home – at least until the coronavirus outbreak is over.
And with coporates coming around to remote work, many experts now accept working from home is the future of modern day agile work arrangements, bringing such benefits as reduced attrition, improved employee satisfaction, and increased productivity.
According to recent studies published earlier this year by Pew Research Center, the impetus for working from home has shifted considerably since 2020. Roughly six-in-ten U.S. workers (59%) are working from home all or most of the time, with more workers (76% now vs. 60% in 2020) saying they are working from home by choice (a preference) rather than necessity.
Working from home has become common and the most preferred working arrangement.
Working from Home Now Preferred Worldwide
In the UK, it was projected that half (50%) of the workforce would work remotely by 2020, with almost 1.5 million employees currently ditching the office for their dining table.
New research from British retail chain Harveys Furniture reveals that London has the highest number of remote employees in the UK, with 408,000 people using the home as their main office, and 250,000 people working from home every day of the week.
Flexible scheduling plays a major role in people’s decision to seek work-from-home opportunities and more opting to work remotely for longer periods. Improved internet connectivity worldwide is also helping increase the demand for more flexible work environments.
From the position of your chair to the music you listen to, there are several factors that affect how productively you work from home.
Strategies to Improve Work-at-Home Productivity
A nice place to work is central to enhanced productivity at home. Harveys’ experts reveal how to create the perfect setting for working from home.
Use these hacks to improve your work-at-home productivity this year and beyond.
1. Feng Shui
Feng Shui is the art of placement, teaching us how to position objects in the space around us to balance energy and create harmony. It has had a huge impact on the aesthetics of interior design and plays a huge role when creating a productive work space.
To follow the art of Feng Shui, you should separate your working and living space to encourage a good ‘work and home life’ balance.
Feng Shui expert, Priya Sher, shares how to position your furniture to create the most productive work space. She said: “Avoid the sofa, as this provides a space that can energetically separate your living and working life. Position your desk so that the back of your chair has the support of a solid wall.
“It’s also a good idea to avoid sitting with your back to the window or open shelves. According to Feng Shui, open shelves act as arrows in your back and a window in your back can make you feel unsupported.”
Other things to consider include the amount of clutter around you. “Avoid placing work files and paperwork on the floor as it signifies a deterioration of your business/career.”
“Also, avoid working from the bedroom,” Priya said, “If you have a choice of rooms, the East and South- East rooms are great for working.”
Color Psychologist, Angela Wright, states there are four primary psychological colors: red, blue, yellow and green. Whether you work indoors or outside, surrounding yourself with certain colors can help boost productivity.
She states: “If you’re in a physically demanding job, red is a great productivity booster. Workers that require a lot of physical exertion such as tradespeople, personal trainers, and tree surgeons may respond well to red.”
“Use blue for a productivity boost in if you’re an office worker, it’s brilliant for completing administrative tasks or projects that require maximum focus. Add a splash of orange if you need extra inspiration.”
“For innovators and entrepreneurs, yellow will help if you have a little brain fatigue. It’s great for a productivity boost and will get your juices flowing.”
“Finally, if you thrive in a calm environment, green is the colour for you. It’s great for people who practice yoga or meditation.”
Like listening to music whilst working? Turns out it could be making you more productive.
The connection between listening to music you like at work and an improved mood is strong, says Teresa Lesiuk, Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Miami.
Her research shows that listening to that music often produces “mild, positive moods” and being in that frame of mind can be helpful when attempting to get work done.
It turns out it’s not just classical music that stimulates productivity – however we’d avoid anything too heavy.
Teresa Lesiuk states that personal choice is important, especially in those who are moderately skilled in their jobs. Those who listen to music they enjoy often complete tasks more quickly because the music improved their mood.
Songs which include sounds of nature can enhance cognitive functioning and improve levels of concentration.
If your work requires you to be more upbeat, you could try listening to music that matches this tempo. Baroque is a good choice if you have a lot of work to get done.
Keep it cool - literally.
If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ll know how difficult it is to get the temperature right and keep everybody happy.
Working from home means this is one less thing to worry about – as you are in full control of the thermostat.
Previous studies suggest that the perfect temperature to maximize productivity should be between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius. However, as our bodies are all different, keeping the room at a temperature that’s comfortable for you should do the trick.