How to Set Up a Remote Office - Krostrade

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How to Set Up a Remote Office

The threat of the recent novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak compelled various types of businesses to figure out how to set up a remote office for their workforce. Creating a productive and efficient remote office involves careful planning, deliberate effort, and systematic execution. 

Best Home Office Setup for Productivity

What is a Remote Office

By definition, a remote office refers to a work environment that is outside of a traditional office. If you think that remote-office setups are nothing but a fad, think again.

Although an employee can work from a coffee shop or anywhere else, most of those, who work remotely prefer to work from home. Even before the pandemic forced companies to embrace the remote-work culture, more than 5 million employees in the United States were already working from their homes half the time. 

In other words, gone are the days when most people got on a train, took the bus, or drove to the office to get to work. The usual “morning commute” has drastically changed to getting up from their beds and making a beeline for the home office they’ve managed to set up. Whether you like it or not, remote offices are the new normal.

 

Best Home Office Setup for Productivity

With no commuting required and no workplace distractions to deal with, working from home can give anyone a chance to take control of their career. However, did you know that your home office set up can significantly influence your productivity at work? To help you get the most out of working remotely, you’ll need to consider certain factors as you’re setting up your home office.

Find the right space

Placing a desk in one corner won’t be enough to make it a home office. When it comes to choosing a dedicated workspace for yourself, you’ll need to consider how you can best steer clear of possible distractions. You’ll also need to come up with ways to maximize the space that’s available for use.  

It would be great if you can set up your home office in a separate room in your home. Working in a separate room will make it easier for you to establish boundaries between your work and your leisure time. If you don’t have a spare room and you’re a little tight on space, you’ll need to choose the right place for your workspace carefully.

Also, try to look for a spot where you can get natural lighting. In case you’re not aware, natural lighting can help regulate your sleep-wake cycle and boost your productivity. 

 

Get a home office plant

Do you like plants? Did you know that incorporating these natural elements into your designated workspace can greatly enhance your productivity? Getting a home office plant will make a beautiful addition to your interior and help reduce your stress levels and improve indoor air quality.

 

Declutter

A cluttered workspace won’t set the stage for increased productivity. Should you decide to add a few decorations to your workspace, make sure that you pick the decorative items that won’t eventually turn into office clutter. When you’re setting up your home office, take time to identify the items that you’ll use, those you’ll have to dispose of, or those you need to move to another space.

 

Keep things organized

If your desk is constantly covered with documents or items, don’t be surprised if your productivity is reduced. Chances are, you’d be wasting your time looking for something important just because everything in your home office is disorganized. To avoid this, make sure that your documents are properly filed and stored where you can access them right away and not piled up like a beaver dam. 

 

Set some boundaries

It can be a pain to lose your momentum after your work gets interrupted. If you want to get anything done, you’ll need to give your tasks your undivided attention. Keep in mind that you’re still being paid to work despite enjoying the convenience of staying home.

For this reason, it’s extremely important to let the members of your household know about your office hours. Also, if you don’t want your productivity to take a hit, stay away from the television and quit checking your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.

 

Pick out the right desk.

Your home office desk can either make or break your job. It greatly influences the amount of work that you can get done. Make sure that you pick out the right one for you.

Think about your home office space when you’re looking to find the ideal desk for you. Do you need more storage in your desk? Considering the size of the desk and if it fits your workspace will help you create a work environment that exudes comfort and inspires productivity. 

If you want to minimize the time you spend sitting down while working from home, you might want to consider using a height-adjustable desk. This will allow you to have standing and stretching breaks throughout the day.

 

Choose the right chair

Once you’ve picked out the right desk, the next step is to find the right chair. Make sure that you get one that can provide you with proper support. If you’re not comfortable with your chair, your back will suffer pain, and it would be challenging for you to stay focused while you work.

 

Get the right gear on hand

Setting up a remote office that increases your productivity wouldn’t be possible if you’re missing the right tools and equipment. This would include a computer, a phone, a paper shredder, a power cable box, a laser printer, your headphone stand, or whatnot. Make sure that you don’t have slow internet that will keep on interrupting your work.

 

Have your own break space

Sometimes, you’ll need to take a breather from work without being tempted to chill on Netflix. You can take breaks without subjecting yourself to other distractions if you set up a break space within your home office. For starters, consider getting yourself a couch and placing it away from your desk.

 

Stick to your schedule

If you don’t plan your day, it doesn’t matter if you’ve managed to set up a remote office that could enhance your productivity. Coming up with a daily schedule will help you become mindful of your tasks. You can stay on track if you keep a bulletin board or a desk calendar pinned on your desktop in your remote work station. 

 

Ground Rules for Setting Up Your Home Office

Does your idea of working from home mean sitting cross-legged on your couch while hunching over your laptop? Unless you want to wake up aching each morning, you’ll need to establish some ground rules for setting up your home office. Experts recommend the following:

 

Having your dedicated workspace is non-negotiable.

You would want to have your dedicated work station that’s quiet, near the window, and close to outlets. You’ll thank yourself for setting up camp where you can have access to natural light. Plus, placing your desk next to outlets will allow you to ditch the need to use those unsightly extension cords.

 

Sit comfortably

You’ll need to sit like a pro if you want to get things right. Make sure that your legs are parallel to the ground, and your feet are on the floor. If this isn’t possible, grab a box and use it as a footrest.

 

Mind your monitor placement

Keeping your monitor at eye level and placing it at an arm’s length away is good for you. If you’re using a laptop, you might want to get a separate keyboard and mouse. This will allow you to prop up your screen to the ideal height.

 

Protect yourself from the sitting disease

In case you’re wondering, the “sitting disease” gives place to the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Refuse to be someone who’s constantly chained to their desks. When you’re taking breaks, don’t forget to move around so that your muscles can stretch and relax. 

 

Essential Furniture Types for Your Remote Office

Taking time to choose the furniture types that you’ll use for your remote office is a must. Keep in mind that a lot of careful planning is required to maximize your space while optimizing workplace ergonomics. Look over these must-have furniture types that you’d want to include in your home office.

 

Adjustable standing desktop

Save yourself the time and the trouble of readjusting your laptop, keyboard, mouse, or monitor. With an adjustable standing desktop, you can have the option to instantly raise or lower its height with just a lever’s simple push.

 

Ergonomic desk chairs

Ensure that your chair isn’t hurting your health to steer clear body aches and pains that most desk-dwellers struggle with regularly. Get an ergonomic desk chair that gets you back up and allows you to slide from side to side when you’re trying to reach for certain items on your desk, shelves, and drawers. 

 

Shelving

Aside from being fully functional, shelving can also make your remote workstation look and feel more intimate. Although you can choose to have built-in shelves along your walls, you also have the option to stick with the traditional freestanding bookshelves.

 

Filing Cabinets

You can’t work efficiently if you don’t have proper file storage. Whether you decide to get yourself a lateral file cabinet, a standard two-drawer letter-size file cabinet, or a two-drawer legal-size one, it’s up to you. Just be mindful of the space that you have because file cabinets can be huge space-hoggers.

 

More Seating

Since additional seating is obviously needed for your break space, you may want to get an upholstered sofa. Don’t worry; your extra room won’t require a lot of space in front of it.

 

What About Transformable Furniture

Transformable furniture is ideal for those who live in smaller spaces such as tiny homes and micro-loft apartments. If you’re into the micro-lifestyle, the key to enjoying a smaller carbon footprint while having an optimized remote office set up lies in choosing the right transformable furniture. The right pieces can make downsized living seem larger than life.

Since furniture designers embrace the concept of living small, many of them are coming up with pieces that complement this lifestyle. They make it possible for a tiny home office to feature an expandable sofa, a coffee table that flips into a laptop stand, and more!

 

The Biggest Benefits of Working Remotely

When companies across the world adopted a remote-work policy to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the rise of remote work statistics became undeniable at the beginning of 2020. Employers and employees alike have no choice but to navigate their way amidst this time of major upheaval. Thankfully, the results are positive for both parties. 

 

Employers can hire the best talent.

With virtual employment, companies are no longer limited to certain geographical locations. This means nothing will stop them from hiring high-quality freelancers and specialists from any corner of the world. Creating teams that span multiple time zones allow businesses to respond quickly to customers, enhance the coverage of their vulnerable assets, and progress on their projects continuously.

 

It’s cost-effective

Remote working arrangements won’t require employers to rent or buy an office space or spend more cash to install office amenities. Plus, they won’t have to worry about charges for utility and building maintenance to keep their physical office running. Likewise, virtual employment will also cause the employees to save more money because they won’t have to gas up, buy their meals, or invest in office clothes.

 

It boosts employee retention.

Did you know that three-fourths of the respondents said that remote work arrangements are one of the biggest nonmonetary ways for companies to boost employee retention? Those who work remotely claim that they get to enjoy a much greater sense of work-life balance with this kind of arrangement. With higher retention rates comes lower employee turnover, as well as fewer misfires.

 

It enhances productivity 

Employees who work in traditional offices fall prey to several distractions that take up a lot of their time. These distractions could include extra minutes spent gossiping with a co-worker in the break room or getting pulled into office politics. These distractions can add to work-related stress that will ultimately result in lower productivity, morale, as well as higher leaves.

On the other hand, those who work from home are compelled to take extra steps to demonstrate transparency when it comes to their daily tasks. Since remote workers tend to manage their day-to-day work, employers can do away with micro-managing. Thanks to the teams of productive remote workers, there would be a much lesser need for regular checking in calls or useless meet-ups.

 

Employees enjoy the flexibility.

Since no commuting is needed, they won’t have to sit through heavy traffic on their way to or from their workplace. This means that they can get to spend more time with their families. What’s more, the flexible work schedule allows them to take much-needed breaks that could involve a quick meeting with a friend or a visit to the gyms.

Conclusion

Remote workers can be more innovative, engaged, and productive if they know how to set up a remote office that’s ideal for them. Creating the right remote working environment may take a lot of careful thinking, but the benefits are all worth it. 

Are you looking to find an expert who can help you set up an effective and efficient dedicated workspace? Get in touch with us at Mila Design. We specialize in designing and manufacturing high-quality office furniture, cabinet furniture, and other individualized projects. 

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Architecture for children

Architecture & Child Psychology: The Interconnectivity

The world is continuously moving toward a phase where technology meets architecture. Traveling and looking around, you see buildings in innovative concepts, astounding consumerism, skyscrapers, commercialism ideologies, and more. You could wander about what’s connecting the concepts of architecture and child psychology.

Thinking out of the box, art for art’s sake

Sounds very interesting, right? These demands are likewise challenges for architects to beat what is the norm, think outside the box, and design buildings with limitless creativity. However, because architects are also subject to business deals and commands, they have to adjust and move according to what these interests want. 

Naturally, human beings are born with senses, and part of this is able to appreciate what’s around them. Buildings are, at most times, utilized for practical purposes of shelter, or as a place of work, but these must be able to exude true meaning. Architects are known to design based on objectives, and not just for the sake of consumerism.  

Basing these designs from children’s psychology will offer beautiful results. Previous studies have revealed how the designs turn out to be better and more appealing when done from the perspective of a child’s mindset. 

Children are innocent, unaware of many realities in life, and their perception of the surroundings is young, unchanged, immature, and not prone to influences. At the end of this piece, you will be able to: 

 

  • Understand architecture for children
  • The relationship between architecture and human psychology
  • Comprehend what rehabilitation architecture and stability mean
  • See how to design small architecture for children
  • Take a look at the best samples. 

 

Architecture for children

The child’s mind is playful. Architecture for children, in line with architecture and child psychology, may be defined in many ways. First, it may refer to how architects command their tools to come up with designs based on a child’s perspective. Thus, simple, easy-to-understand, and idealistic.

Second, it may also refer to architecture intended for children. How does one design a toy store different from a dress shop for moms? How does one design a family-friendly community versus a community for more mature individuals? How does one create a theme park with the concepts attractive to children?

Third, architecture and child psychology can also pertain to outdoor accessories and furnishings that both children and older people will love. These may include dog parks, benches, tables, and pet stations.

Architecture and psychology

Architecture and child psychology are two broad fields of study, though these two are not very difficult to connect. Previously, you have learned how human emotions change with the changing of the surroundings and how they relate to one another. We’re expounding on this a bit to discover more about the art and its correlation with child psychology.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a source that has been present since the 19th century, preceding the World Wars, psychology is defined as the science of mind and behavior. It also refers to the study of brain and behavior concerning a particular field. 

Is there value on each other’s concepts? Yes. Know that design could go beyond creativity. Architecture is art, mathematics — and science. 

Buildings and how they look impact the way humans interact and think. People can read patterns, and it is the architect’s work to ensure that the design follows solid principles. One of these is known as the Gestalt principle, duly related to the interaction between architecture and child psychology.

This principle talks about how the human brain mirrors daily surroundings in such a way that it is wired to identify symmetry and balance in line with the general whole, hence appreciating visuals. These principles are founded and grounded on similarity, continuity, proximity, closure, and figure. 

One of the best examples would be the durian-shaped building located in Singapore. Known as The Esplanade, this building officially attributes itself to the popular fruit in Southeast Asia, the durian. However, it is very different in terms of the building’s size, and without knowledge of this fruit, you would not be able to make the identification.

Gestalt principles trick the brain into following illusions, making it believe that this is what the person can see. Humans have the natural way to deconstruct these into the most direct meaning. The elements of balance, lines, depth, and illusion come together. 

And then, you have the psychology of color. Did you notice that many food chains and restaurants have a red color? Red symbolizes thirst, hunger, and the need for something. Brands and companies have taken advantage of the color to attract more customers. 

 

Children psychology in rehabilitation architecture and stability 

Now that you’ve offered a glimpse of child psychology and architecture, we are taking this learning up a notch higher with rehabilitation architecture. Going through the different countries and continent words, it makes it easy to understand. Recovery through rehabilitation is the end-goal, but there are challenges conquered, learning curves, and habits that must be done correctly and consistently throughout the process. 

Does architecture re-shape and refocus the mind similar to being rehabilitated? Yes. Architecture is also about healing. Spaces that heal have stunning visuals that do not burden the well-being of the person but more of relaxing them. 

In the path toward rehabilitation, healing prevails. The person learns from their previous mistakes, recovers, and makes the change. Architecture has the power to shape human psychology, and utilizing the technique to base every design from child psychology, you delve into themes of youth, playfulness, and curiosity. 

In the next parts of this piece, we take a look at specific samples of these architectural elements for children — from playgrounds to dog stations.

 

Designing small architecture for children

Dominating architecture and design are these small architectural features created for children. These may include playgrounds, dog parks, tables, benches, and dog stations. Creating these pieces takes effort and time, which is why architects are investing time to ponder how they will have them designed, built, and presented. 

Architecture and child psychology are two considerations that come into the scene when dealing with creating these pieces. In 2018, children or those aged 15 years and below comprised 26 percent of the global population. And, you have been a child at a point in your life, too. 

Children have memories of various spaces. It includes playing around the library in your community, or the closest playground to your house. Architects consider these when designing a small architecture for children. They are contributors to molding perspectives; thus, the need to think and re-think, and find ways to feature energy and empathy in the creations. 

“Memories like these contain the deepest architectural experience that I know. They are the reservoirs of the architectural atmospheres and images that I explore in my work as an architect,” Swiss architect Peter Zumthor said.

Universal laws for determining what’s a good design and what’s not should not be confined to strict conditions. Principles from this must be comprehended, though, to encourage discussion, promote learning, and have nature involved along the way.

Playground zone and use

The benefits of playgrounds are plenty. These are where your children develop their early motor skills and interact with their school classmates and friends from the neighborhood. Playgrounds are where children and their parents, relatives, and family members gather in a different space involving nature.

With these playgrounds, they are freer to move, promoting self-confidence and self-esteem. Many community playgrounds are free admission, which increases the chances for these children to utilize the spaces for engaging their imagination into the activities. These playgrounds are also partnered with health-related organizations in the quest to combat childhood obesity.  

What is a playground zone? Playground zones are common signs that indicate you are entering a playground area. This is a small architectural feature that can be conveyed through the design of open parks and playgrounds. It alerts motorists and drivers to take caution within the area since children frequent playgrounds.

There are various considerations when selecting and building these playground features. These include:

 

  • Safety
  • Play
  • Adaptability
  • Freedom to move
  • Knowledge and learning

 

Safety is number one, and this has been the goal of every playground zone installed in the area. Without safety, architecture better be non-existent. It involves the use of quality materials. Then comes opportunities for play. Being able to play is the children’s right. Spaces conducive to these activities must be abundant in your neighborhood.

The adaptability of the architectural space means being able to sway according to how they are needed. Are the eco-parks going to be used for teambuilding? Or, these will be more about a picnic of the family with children? With these come spaces where people are free to move around. Lastly, they must be conducive to learning. Are the plants you see around child-friendly parks labeled with scientific names?

 

Parks design for children including dog parks

Children’s parks that allow pets are trendy nowadays. The rising population of pet-owning individuals needs these spaces that are created exclusively for them since there are individuals who might find themselves not very convenient around these animals.

To design the best of these parks, one must consider the kind of play. It may include active play, sensory play, imaginative play, creative play, reflective play, and social play. For instance, the popular Mind Museum in the trendy area of BGC in Taguig City, Philippines, is an indoor showcase of crafts intended to develop the child’s learning. This leans toward reflective play more than active play.

Second is the sense of place. Parks that have the most definite sense of play are those that also talk about the local culture and the “community spirit.” It may include symbols that are native or local to the community. Benches may be painted with colors that tell you about the personality of the locality. 

Multifunctional park features are also getting more popular. Gone were the days when monkey bars were for hanging, slides are for sliding, and so on. Now, some chairs and benches have the dual purpose of where park visitors may sit down to rest, and act as the complementary decor of the larger area. 

Then, you can also utilize your artistic skills to feature hideaways and passageways that are not directly revealed on the map layout. The passageway to a lagoon or mazes that lead to a picture spot for opportunities of taking photographs may be included.

Flow is also a design principle. Visually and along the path, park visitors and children should have continuity of movement that coincides with the patterns of design, unless otherwise part of the entire art. Treehouses, hopscotch, or slide features are recommended transition pieces from a particular zone in the park to a different area.

Similar to a high-interval workout in the gym, zones for different energy levels must be designed carefully. It will prevent younger children from trying out a playground facility that may be too huge for them to handle. Then, you may also consider designing according to traffic. Work with nature, work on sustainability, and feel individuals’ movement once the park is completed. 

 

Small architecture for children — benches, tables, and dog stations 

Benches, tables, and dog stations are not just about their purposes, but also about giving a visual spectacle. Imagine a park without spaces where park visitors can rest. Or, open areas frequented by visitors bringing pets without stations exclusive for pet use. Aside from it being a disorganized affair, it is a step back from aesthetics. 

Great aesthetics involve these small pieces that complement the design, giving a visual break from greenery or lifeless continuity of horizons. Take, for example, a coastal stretch by the beach without accessories like volleyball nets or huts. It will look like an underdeveloped area.

Conclusion

There are several groups, institutions, and organizations advocating for improving architecture for children and introducing them to the field early on. Unless you have relatives who are architects, designers, or urban planners, there are instances you may be unaware of what architecture really is.

How old were you when you heard about the term “architecture”? If, for instance, you are in your 30s and were able to discover the in-depth meaning of architecture, will you have a child-like perception of what the field is all about? You have seen how architecture and child psychology go together, and we cannot wait to see how you will implement this in your future projects.

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