5 Easy Ways to Make Working From Home Healthier & More Productive!

As 2021 winds down, we have seen some aspects of pre-pandemic life return. But for many, working from home (WFH) or remotely has endured, and even thrived as we approach the holiday season. Advisory and research firm Gartner defines a remote worker as a person who works at least one full day a week outside their traditional workspace or those who work fully from home. The firm estimates that remote workers will comprise 32% of all employees globally by the end of the year. The United States leads the way with an estimated 53% of all US workers working remotely in 2022.

WFH is great in many ways; it saves time commuting, allows more time for family, and some have even reported higher levels of productivity. Wfhresearch.com, a dedicated website for WFH statistics, has reported that almost 6 out of 10 workers indicated that they are more productive while working from home, in contrast with 14 percent who said they accomplished less. On average, participants said their productivity at home was 7 percent higher than they had expected.

If there was a downside to working from home, is that it’s your home; A place to relax and live, not necessarily work. Most traditional offices have features that can be easy to overlook, and these seemingly basic items help work get done more efficiently and ergonomically. Many work-from-homers have not yet acquired some essentials in what are now their work/live spaces. In this blog, we will outline five affordable, baseline items that can turn any house or apartment into an office that supports productivity, well-being, and happiness!

1. Laptop Stand

Many offices have large, desktop monitors that are usually suited to varying heights and are adjustable to a degree. Many WFH set ups usually consist of a laptop sitting on the users’ knees, or placed on a kitchen countertop, requiring a hunched over position. Laptop stands are an economical solution to the problem. They are easily adjusted up and down, can be tilted, and can rotate 360 degrees. Many can be found on websites like Amazon, are priced from $20-$50, and are made of aluminum for light weight and corrosion resistance. The elevated position also helps keep desks more organized and maximizes space.

2. Adjustable Height Desk

Stand-up desks have been gaining popularity in the last decade for their many benefits over traditional sitting desks. But standing all day can be detrimental as well; standing for long periods can cause joint pain, swelling, and added fatigue. Luckily, adjustable height desks, which usually have an electric motor, have seen an increase in quality and a drop in price. They can be used for sitting and standing and usually rises to about 48-50 inches and can accommodate users of most heights. These desks can range from $200 to thousands for very sophisticated versions. Stores like Costco and Staples have reasonably priced, sharp-looking offerings for around $300.

3. Anti-Fatigue Mat

Anti-fatigue mats are no longer only the domain of professionals who spend long hours on their feet in industrial or retail settings. For those who prefer stand-up or adjustable height desks, an anti-fatigue mat is a must. Anti-fatigue mats promote slight movements while standing which increases circulation and reduces muscle contraction. It also minimizes contact pressure with the floor, creating a more comfortable workday and greater productivity. These can be cheaply obtained through online and brick-and-mortar retailers for $20-$60.

4. Indoor Plants

Indoor plants like flowers, succulents, or even eucalyptus from the local grocery store can help mental health at home greatly. Plants are proven to help clean the air in a space, as proven in a study conducted by NASA in the 1980s, and in interviews with over 440 Amazon employees in the U.S. and India, researchers found that those who worked in offices that included indoor plants felt greater job satisfaction and commitment to the company than those who did not. Many large grocery chains like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Safeway offer good deals on indoor plants.

5. Solid Office Chair

Chairs that are used for work have come a long way; most that come to mind aren’t that comfortable, can be cumbersome to adjust, and take up more space than they should. More ergonomic options have been hitting the market, and there are many chairs that offer great support and mobility for the price. Costco, Sam’s Club, and Ikea have respectable options that won’t break the bank. You can expect to spend anywhere from $100-$350.

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About the Author: Will Jacobson, Marketing Intern

Will is the Marketing Intern at VNL, and he joined the company in October 2021.  He assists in content creation, marketing, and communications, and is finishing up his degree in marketing from the University of Colorado Denver.