The latest trends in the working world and its impact on office design were outlined in a Work Trends 2013 Report by Gensler– an international architecture firm. Focused work is becoming a bigger and more important part of our work. Focused work has grown from 85% importance and 48% of your time in 2007 to 88% importance and 55% of work time in 2012.This is occurring while you are putting in more hours of work, on average, and must cope with more sources of distractions: noise and electronics.
How does this apply to your home office?
“Virtual work is, at its essence, the equivalent of focus work in terms of how it is supported by place. As anyone who has tried to pay attention on a long conference call knows, it’s not for the weak of focus. Quiet becomes not a nicety, but a necessity.” – Gensler Report
Is there a connection between distractions and lower productivity? You betcha.
“Concentration requires a more individualized set of options than today’s standard [design] playbook.” – Gensler Work Trends 2013 Report. This is where the choices you have in your home office really pay big benefits. People cite noise as being the most distracting and stressful element in the corporate office. You may not have to cope with that LOUD office colleague, but you may have to cope with a loud family, pet or street noise.
Here are tips on how to muffle distracting noise:
- Have a door, a good solid door that you can close, between you and household distractions
- Mask noise with a fan, air conditioner or music playing low – very low.
- Locate your home office away from the center of family activity, i.e. don’t locate it in the family room.
When you have fewer distractions you will be able to focus better and get your work done faster.
Learn more about how to set up your home office for improved focus and productivity: The Smarter Home Office: The Book