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Neglecting the Home Work Space Can Hamper Productivity for Today’s Growing Ranks of Telecommuters
As record numbers of Americans take to telecommuting, time management and productivity expert Laura Stack warns that working from home takes more than clearing a spot for the laptop at the coffee table: it takes a home office that means business.
More employers—even those who resisted the trend until recently—are setting up offices in employees’ homes and realizing the cost savings of allowing them to telecommute, at least part time. By 2016, the number of people working from home is expected to rise by 69 percent, according to the NRDC study.
Time management and productivity expert Laura Stack addresses the perils of skipping the nuts and bolts of setting up the home office space in her newest entry to The Productivity Pro, an online newsletter that addresses time management and productivity trends in the 21st century.
Stack says that whenever an individual makes the change to working from home, the key to success is creating a productive home office environment.
“The first mistake new telecommuters make is setting up shop in one of their home’s cozy, comfortable spots, tossing aside everything learned about ergonomics in the office,” she says. “After a week of unnatural posturing at the breakfast nook, the back starts to ache, hands and feet go numb, and productivity plummets.
“Bite the bullet and buy good, solid office furniture of the appropriate types,” Stack says. “ Use a wrist pad to keep your typing and mousing hands straight, so you don't fall prey to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome; make sure you have sufficient lighting coming from above; and supply all cordage with surge protectors just in case.”
Stack says that some organizations have written policies requiring specific types of ergonomic furniture in the home office, as well as specifics on where and how it should be set up. Stack recommends setting up in a clean, spacious, well-defined and distraction-
“If space is a problem, at least ensure you have a door you can close to place a boundary between work life and home life,” she says. “Don't set up in the kitchen, your living room, or the master bedroom, though an unused spare bedroom or dining room can work well.”
Stack also recommends having plenty of room for all furniture, electronics, files, and supplies, so there is no need to run back and forth to find work-related items.
“You want to make your home office as comfortable and convenient as possible, so you can more easily maximize your personal productivity,”
For more information on setting up a productive home office, visit www.TheProductivityPro.com, send an Email to Laura@TheProductivityPro.com, or call (303) 471-7401.
About Laura Stack:
Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.
The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “SuperCompetent”
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