7 straight forward and economical practical tips so you can achieve high level wellness in your home office
By Bridget Puszka, BP Architects
As a home based business you spend a lot of your time in your home office and working environment. You want your home office to be conducive towards working in your business. Without any distractions. At the same time you want your home office to have a high level of wellness. So it can be your own personal haven while you work.
1. The benefits of being Green
A room with a view into a garden space can add a sense of harmony to our working day. If this is not possible then consider bringing the garden into your work space. For example, indoor plants are easy to add to your home office and add a sense of wellness.
As well as providing that connection to your environment. Some plants will actually absorb indoor air chemicals. In other words, these plants will help clean your indoor air.
NASA clean air study held in the 1980’s investigated which plants removed what chemicals1. Specifically plants such as mother-in-law tongue and peace lily will actually filter the air for benzene and formaldehyde. Both of these chemicals are carcinogens. So it is well worth considering including these plants in your healthy office space.
Besides the health benefits of including air filtering plants. Good indoor air quality will actually increase your productivity. Studies on indoor air quality, from Harvard and Syracuse Universities. Found that along with good ventilation and low levels of carbon dioxide and emissions. Workers performed 61% better on cognitive tasks. When you doubled the ventilation in a green condition environment, they found that cognitive performance increased by 100%.
This will carry over to your general health. As you will most likely have fewer headaches and colds and could find that you sleep better at night2.
In addition to these health benefits, a green environment is perceived to have good air quality. A green environment creates the back ground for your general sense of relaxation and provides you with stress relief.
2. Comfortable indoor air temperatures
If you are feeling hot or cold this may unconsciously affect your judgement. John Bargh, a psychologist at Yale, has been researching the influence of temperature as an unconscious factor that influence the way we think and act3.
Bargh states that “Physical warmth can make us see others as warmer people, but also cause us to be warmer — more generous and trusting — as well.”
The practical advice Bargh takes away from his study is that important decisions are best taken with a cold drink in hand. Because the part of the brain that triggers caution in economic and trust decisions is stimulated by cold sensation.
3. Time management
Implementing a time management system will add volumes to your sense of wellness.
Kanban was developed by Toyota motor company to improve a never-ending task. Sound familiar? It is a scheduling system for lean manufacturing and just-in-time manufacturing that only does what is required4.
Having a personal kanban board is one way of managing your tasks. The principles of Kanban are practical and logical and include the following:
- visualize workflow
- limit the number of tasks under “in progress”
- pull work from column to column
- monitor, adapt, improve
The simplest Kanban board consists of three columns: “to-do”, “doing” and “done”. The above image from wikipedia illustrates this method. You limit your work tasks in progress located in the “doing” column to 3 to 5 tasks. Once completed, the tasks identified on the sticky notes are moved to the “done” column, with a sense of satisfaction.
There are many other time management systems available. The Kanban is a simple method of identifying the numerous tasks a home business or small business person may have to undertake5. In particular it recognizes the limitations of completing more than 3 to 5 tasks at any one time. It works for me.
4. Dedicated work space area
Dedicate a part of your home as your home office. Ideally this will be a separate room that has been set aside and setup just for your home based business activities only.
Some people find that even the act of entering this dedicated room or space from an external door will help them be in the right frame of mind for business activities. It gives them the sense that they are leaving their home behind and are starting their business day.
5. Establish a functional working environment
Functional aspects of setting up your own personal workspace including making sure you have sufficient desk space for your working environment. Such as allocating specific areas for your computer and printers. In other words every item of other office equipment has its own space.
Once you identify all the functioning aspects of your business and allocate the required area within your office environment you are ready to go.
6. Clear office of clutter
Ideally, your office should be set up for productivity and business activities. Other than this, if you can remove all other items this will help to keep a clear work space. Allowing you to stay on topic and work through each of your allocated work tasks.
7. Set working hours
As busy business owners we all tend to spend long hours in our businesses. If you can set your working hours say from 9 to 5 or 8 to 6 then you can concentrate your business activities during these time frames.
You will then dedicated and concentrate your business activities during business hours.
These 7 straightforward and economical practical tips can help you to achieve a high level of wellness in your home office. Your home office can be your own wellness haven.
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