Not many would have imagined working from home while maintaining productivity and efficiency even a few years back. So, you might ask why is it important to have a work space?
Picture yourself sitting on a couch, typing on a laptop, with everything around you cluttered. Or, you are working on an important project on a kitchen table. That’s an awful sight, isn’t it?
Many people are no longer differentiating between their personal and work lives these days, which can affect both their personal and professional lives in the longer run.
Without a proper workspace, you’ll find yourself unable to concentrate and struggling to meet deadlines. Hence, establishing a dedicated workspace with a proper home office desk and chair has become even more important now that we have been forced into the new setting.
And in this guide, we will help you figure out if it is better to have a home office? And if yes, how to find the best solution for yourself. Do check out our article on claiming home offices on taxes, to know how to maintain a home office with friendlier costs. Without further ado, let’s dig in!
What Is The Psychology Of Physical Spaces?
Table of Contents
- What Is The Psychology Of Physical Spaces?
- What Are The Benefits Of Having A Home Workspace?
- What Are The Different Ways To Design A Home Workstation?
- Benefits Of A Physical Workspace For Employees And Employers
- Why Is It Important To Have A Work Space Final Words
While most of us might not pay attention to it, we tend to develop cognitive biases around the physical spaces we find ourselves in every day. It allows us to maintain a sense of order and purpose involving that particular space.
Every space, whether it’s a kitchen, a bedroom, or a balcony, is defined by the reason it exists. You don’t cook in a bedroom, nor sleep in your kitchen. Each space is assigned a specific purpose and is designed accordingly. As a result, the appearance and layout of a space remind you to use it for a specific purpose every time you enter it.
But when you start working in a kitchen or a bedroom, the purpose of all the spaces gets blurred out. Your mind gets perplexed thinking about whether you’re there to cook food or work. So, whenever you’re asking your mind to work in a space allocated for cooking or eating, it could easily get distracted in that scenario.
And this is the reason office spaces are designed with the sole purpose of workers to focus on effectively completing their allocated task.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Home Workspace?
A. Minimizes Distractions
As discussed above, working in a space designed for sleeping or cooking could distract your mind, and you’ll get less productive over time. An office is an infrastructure designed especially for employees to focus on work and not anything else.
Similarly, when you’re working from home, having a dedicated office space helps detach from your personal life. It gives a similar feeling to working in an office space by delivering a sense of legitimacy to the working environment. You are not tempted to do anything else unrelated to the work.
Besides, there’s less urge to take an impromptu snack break or take a walk in the kitchen, as you remain focused on your tasks. And gradually, you can contribute more towards the overall productivity of the workplace.
B. Brings A Sense Of Discipline
Whether you’re working in a physical workspace or have developed a dedicated home workstation, it encourages you to become more disciplined. As the distractions are kept to a bare minimum, you can easily complete your tasks within the stipulated deadline.
When working in a dedicated workspace, you instinctively set boundaries and deadlines so that you can get back to a relaxing personal or social life after work.
C. Maintains Health
The absence of a dedicated workspace can harm more than just your productivity- it may have a significant impact on your physical and mental well-being.
People working from a bean bag, couch, bed, or dining table don’t focus on maintaining their posture. If you’re sitting too long with an improper posture, you can experience leg and hand cramps, neck and back pains, and headaches sooner rather than later.
This is primarily because bean bags or couches may not provide the right support when you need to sit upright for longer hours. But the design, height, and structure of an office desk and chair are meant to help you sit comfortably and maintain a correct posture throughout the day.
A survey conducted by a professor at the University of Cincinnati revealed that 75% of people working from home prefer working on their laptops.But the neck or back movements you tend to make while working on a laptop adds about 10 pounds of additional pressure on your spine, which isn’t good news.
D. Helps Maintain A Work-life Balance
Establishing a dedicated office space at home disconnects you from your family members and personal lives. Imagine your toddler playing cheerfully in the room when you’re preparing that all-important sales report. There’s every chance that you may work on it for longer than planned.
Likewise, employees can overwork themselves when functioning from a living room or bedroom, which can, in turn, lead to burnout and reduced overall productivity. This is because there’s no proper disconnect between your personal and work life.
However, a dedicated workspace setup allows easy switching back to your personal life, as you can completely ignore the former post-office hours. And returning to it the following day gives you the feeling of walking into an office space.
What Are The Different Ways To Design A Home Workstation?
A. Use A Separate Room
Your home workspace must be kept separated from other rooms, like living rooms and bedrooms. If possible, design a separate office room on a different floor or a secluded corner of the house altogether. At the same time, the room should just be big enough to accommodate at least one chair and a table.
In case you don’t have a spare room for the purpose, you can transform a corner of a room into a workspace, provided it’s not very close to the bed or couch. Also, make sure you have adequate access to power outlets and can accommodate your work resources comfortably.
B. Keep The Bare Minimum
This is probably the most crucial step in establishing a home workstation. We’d strongly recommend doing away with anything that’s not work related. Furthermore, we’d advise storing all the important documents and stationeries far from the reach of the children or pets.
C. View And Air Circulation
Another essential thing to have in your home workstation is proper air circulation. Select a room that has enough openings and ventilation, and you can install an air conditioner if required..
Besides, try to place your work table near a window that offers a relaxing view throughout the day. This can keep your mind relaxed to improve your productivity and focus.
Lighting is just as important to your personalized workstation as all other aspects. Hence, choose light fixtures that don’t put too much strain on your eyes. Moreover, lights that are too bright can make your eyes tired, and the extremely dim ones can replicate the ambiance of a bedroom!
If you’re using a computer for work, use white light instead of yellow light, as the latter may tire your eyes, especially when staring at the computer screen for too long.
As you’ll be spending a lot of time in your workspace, it’s essential to select the right furniture. In this regard, always opt for chairs that support your back, and the softness or rigidity of the cushions will depend on personal preference.
Similarly, the height of the table should be such that you can easily reach its surface without bending your neck or stretching it upwards. Furthermore, too many cabinets under the table can prevent you from keeping your legs comfortably.
Benefits Of A Physical Workspace For Employees And Employers
A. Facilitates Better Collaboration
When employees share the same space and work together, it naturally facilitates collaboration. Although many companies have resorted to “virtual” workspaces through Zoom, Google Meet, etc., there’s nothing that beats in-person social interaction. Moreover, such platforms are often plagued by technical issues and slow connection that can lead to loss of time, communication, and promote confusion.
Not only that but employees also tend to understand the emotions of their colleagues better by bonding with them, in a shared physical workspace, which is imperative for organizational success. For instance, an employee who is struggling to focus on a task can be assisted by a coworker to cope with the pressure and get back on track.
Collaboration within a team keeps employees performing at their highest potential and delivers a sense of accountability. Employees don’t ignore their responsibilities intentionally when their tasks are being monitored continuously by their colleagues.
Apart from that, in-person communication is more efficient and simpler. When the same group of people is working closely every day, it automatically helps build relationships between them and promotes the exchange of thoughts and ideas.
So, opt for an office design that projects clear communications and transparency. This is essential in taking any business forward.
B. Company Culture
The things an employee experiences daily largely affect the reputation of an organization and can help in retaining talent. Features like hot desking, informal meeting rooms, free lunches, etc. run synonymous with the office culture and can influence both productivity and talent retention. They may also play a significant role in winning clients.
Without a proper and adequate co-working space and interaction between employees, it becomes difficult for companies to establish a particular culture that supports the business and ensures their employees’ well-being.
Another benefit of having a physical office is that every worker is provided with a similar working condition. Apart from the management and owners who have their own space that’s different from the rest, most employees have similar setups and resources.
However, this scenario can widely vary across employees of one team when they’re working from home. For instance, some employees may not have the access to a stable internet connection, leading to significant disruptions in the overall productivity of the team.
C. Promotes Professional Development
In a traditional office environment, an employee is exposed to several situations, both personal and professional, which are vital to their personal and professional development.
There’s no doubt that several online courses are available for employees to enhance their knowledge base. Still, the practical experiences in physical co-working spaces remain unmatchable.
For example, observing other experienced employees successfully deal with critical situations is a valuable experience for freshers. Plus, having senior employees to guide you through every step of your journey delivers a whole new learning experience.
Not only does this benefit the employees in terms of boosting their knowledge, but it also benefits the overall productivity. However, this is not the case when working from home, even if you establish a separate workstation.
Although it is possible to contact your coworkers and seniors in case of any problem, you may not receive the same assistance as in an office space.
D. Security Risks For Employees Working From Home
Employees working in a homely setting are mostly exposed to numerous security risks, especially in terms of data protection. People working from home mostly use their personal laptops to perform their allocated tasks. These systems don’t have the same security protocols or firewalls in place as it’s on an office computer.
Some employees may also need to receive several confidential calls as a part of their job role. And this privacy is best maintained in an office, which is designed just for work. Furthermore, as employees leave for home, offices are locked off and are guarded, so can ensure that the company assets are safe and is the exclusive responsibility of the organization.
However, you can’t guarantee the same with your personal laptops or the office laptop brought home. There remains a greater risk of data theft when you’re working from home, which will then be your responsibility.
Why Is It Important To Have A Work Space Final Words
That’s us explaining why it is important to have a workspace. Hopefully, the designing tips have helped you understand why having a physical space is more important than ever.
If you further want to boost the performance of your employees, then design the work environment so that they enjoy working there. A calm and relaxed mind can bring innovative ideas to the table, which will be beneficial for the organization in the longer term.
Or, if your employees are working from home, make sure to maintain clear and transparent communication with them, so they won’t feel left out. Also, ensure that they have access to all standard equipment to prevent workflow disruption.
With that, we will now wrap up. Take care and goodbye!