The Work From Anywhere Essentials You Need To Boost Your Productivity

Home office equipment like a printer, office chair or filing cabinet can often be overlooked, but it isn’t until one becomes necessary that we recognize them as the reliable must-haves they truly are. By investing in the right tools and taking the time to create a productive environment, the end result can motivate, inspire and lower stress levels.

Find your work-from-home productivity tools

Do you prefer a whiteboard for taking notes during Zoom breakout meetings? Do you find yourself needing to pivot easily from your chair to other areas of the room? (A floor mat creates an ideal, smooth surface and saves your floors.) Need to print out documents from your dining room table? Having the necessary tools on hand can save valuable time and energy. “When you have these foundations in place you feel more organized, which allows for peace of mind,” says Clare Kumar, a productivity coach and author. “There’s a comfort there because you can maximize your at-home production.”

Make the commitment

A printer, extra monitor or an ergonomic office chair may be big-ticket purchases but the benefits are instrumental. “You can have micro-moments of joy when your equipment is supporting you — like a printer that doesn’t require frequent ink changes,” says Kumar. In some cases, your equipment can even protect you from long-term injury. For example, the right ergonomic chair can prevent back pain and working on two monitors at the right height can reduce eye fatigue and neck strain. “You want to avoid putting pressure on the muscles supporting you,” she says. “Having the right equipment that promotes body alignment will only bring benefits.”

Create happy pauses

Kumar suggests embedding a sense of happiness or fun into getting things done. Something as simple as a pretty notebook or a sleek electronic gadget can make you feel good. “It can be any item that will help you engage in the task at hand,” she says. Kumar uses a special fountain pen that reminds her of her childhood. “You want to glance up and spot that object and feel good about the space you’re working in.”

Globe and Mail design columnist and former Editor-in-Chief of House and Home Beth Hitchcock agrees that not everything in a home office needs to be functional. “Don’t try to bring the design convention of your office building to a home office. Instead, let it be an extension of your décor style.” She recommends bringing in plants, upgrading your desk lamp, applying an energizing colour to the walls, even incorporating a pretty area rug that won’t catch on your chair. “You want it to be a place where you don’t mind spending eight hours of the day,” says Hitchcock. “Use colourful bowls or a woven tray to corral all your loose office stuff. Think of it as nesting for your office and lean into making the space comfortable and inspirational.”

Introduce mobility to your office

Not everyone’s home has a designated room for an office, so creating a productive space that relies on portable tools you can take anywhere is key. Thankfully there are budget-friendly portable lamps, power banks, even printers designed to shift from room to room to on-the-go so your productivity stays on track.

Easy integration

If your office equipment is proving to be an eyesore, try tucking it out of sight. “If you’re not using it all the time, items like a shredder don’t need to sit on your desk. Put it on a bookshelf or in a closed cabinet,” says Hitchcock. She also advises decorating around it. “Minimize its presence by stacking beautiful books beside it, place a plant on top or hang a personal photo or print behind it, anything to divert attention.” While Hitchcock usually favours form over function, her one exception is the desk chair. “The priority is ergonomics and comfort over style. An occasional chair or dining room chair isn’t meant to be sat in for hours and just won’t cut it, so invest in a chair that is going to be nice to your body.”

By Staples Canada

April 30, 2021