Having a home-based office brings to the table a couple of interesting benefits with virtually non-existent commuting costs being just a cherry on the top of this cake. But nothing in this world is ideal, and home offices are no different. In this case, the biggest obstacle we are facing are high maintenance and upkeep costs that are, otherwise, the burden of the employer.
Still, if the home office is your long-term business arrangement, these problems can be mitigated with a couple of simple upgrades. Let’s take a look at them.
Work on the layout
This may sound weird, but the office layout has everything to do with the efficiency of your home office. How? Well, moving your desk so that it gets good exposure to natural light will allow you to go through a good portion of the day without using task lighting. However, you should avoid extensive glare because your laptop will use more energy to keep the screen comfortable for work. Also, it would be a good idea to plug all the devices into a single strip to make sure everything is shut down when you leave.
Optimize your gadgets
Every modern office worker uses at least several different gadgets to make a living. The tricky thing about them is that, because they are not constantly plugged in, we get the impression they use less energy. That is a big mistake. So, make sure all the speakers, headsets, coffee heaters, VoIP phone systems, printers and similar devices are set to economical settings or battery saver mode. You will not notice any difference. Your electrical bill most definitely will.
Make your lighting smarter
As useful as it is, natural lighting can keep you going only for so long. Once the sun sets down, your office would greatly benefit from the layered setup that would allow you to leverage the versatility of task lighting. This move may seem a bit complicated, but from the experience of one of our associates from Sydney, a professional electrician from Inner West had no problem doing the rewiring. Of course, it is always advised to embrace full automation and let the lighting system self-regulate itself according to current needs.
Install a smart thermostat
This story unfolds much like the previous one. Although we are to a large degree capable to determine the optimal indoor working temperature, we simply end up so carried away with our duties we stop paying attention. Also, sudden emergencies may require that we leave the office, with the air-conditioning still working until we return. All these problems can be successfully mitigated with a smart thermostat that uses all the benefits of the IoT and even allows for remote control.
Scale the tech to your current needs
If we take an honest look at all the devices we are using throughout the day, we can see that more often than not, they are disproportionate to our needs. For instance, if your office features a wall-mounted TV set, you are probably using it to browse the news or display some important information. Ask yourself, would you lose any of the productivity if you scaled the screen down by a couple of inches? Similar things can be said about your laptop (more power, higher consumption), speakers, and so on.
Leverage the power of solar energy
Sunlight represents a free source of renewable energy. Harnessing this power, however, requires some kind of investment. If you want to create a more permanent setup, you can upgrade your house with a full-scale solar panel roof system. Your house will continue to benefit from it even if you, at some point, close your office. Alternatively, you can resort to solar-powered power banks and other gadgets that don’t produce as strong results but make small savings nevertheless.
Replace old bulbs
Last but not least, let us mention one move that is both very simple and capable of producing immense savings. We are, of course, talking about replacing your power-hungry incandescent bulbs. According to some estimation, LED bulbs are capable of using over 75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts. In combination with proper interior design, they also create a very pleasant, productive atmosphere. Be sure not to miss this one.
We hope these few tips will help you to set your home office on the proper foundation and use all the benefits of contemporary technology. Working from home can be incredibly gratifying, but only as long as we can keep the associated costs on the minimum.