A Proper Workspace is Key to Productivity
feel that the most productive work setup would be at a desk with a laptop dock and an extra monitor
Would you look at that, it’s already been a year. Time flies when you’re battling your spouse for office space at the kitchen table. And now you have to figure out if #workfromhomeiversary is a real thing and if you should be shopping for a gift.
For many, the past year has seen us turn unlikely places into “home offices.” We wanted to check-in and see how everyone was coping in a post-commute world, so we surveyed 2,000 folks from across America. From how to set up the most productive desk to working with a spouse, this is what they had to say.
of remote Americans typically spend their time working somewhere other than a home office
|Lack of a productive space for work||34%|
|Technical issues that arise (i.e. Internet cuts out)||33%|
The Chair Is Uncomfortable, but the WiFi Is OK
Office life, love it or hate it, our cluttered little cubicles were shrines to productivity. Two monitors at eye level and a height-adjustable chair with real, honest-to-goodness lumbar support. Heck, you even had a stapler within arm’s reach. So, how’s the home office stack up?
Of the 2,000 people surveyed, 34% cited lack of productive workspace as the biggest challenge to working from home. So, for those of us not in the 41% lucky enough to have a dedicated home office, where are we working? Our living rooms (19%), bedrooms (18%), and dining rooms (10.75%) mostly.
But where we’re working isn’t the only thing causing us consternation. What we’re working with is having a real impact on our output. A few of the biggest barriers to productivity in our current setup are screen space, 46% said an additional monitor would help productivity. Worrisome WiFi, 55% say a spotty connection is slowing them down. And when technology isn’t the problem, noise is. 54% said noisy environments had an impact on productivity. Shy of a small construction project, is there anything you can do to create a better workspace?
Top 4 Pros of Working From Home
|Lack of daily commute||63%|
|Ability to wear whatever you choose||58%|
|Flexibility to leave for appointments, errands, etc.||48%|
|Ability to cook or do laundry during the day||45%|
Top 4 Bad Habits of Working From Home
|I use my phone to go on social media or browse the internet during the work day||37%|
|I shop online during the work day||34%|
|I binge watch shows on Netflix during the work day||33%|
|I leave home for non-essential trips (shopping nail/hair appointments) during the work day||26%|
All the Comforts of the Office, at Home
It’s been a year, and maybe it’s time to upgrade your environment. According to our cross-section of America, nearly one-quarter feel the most productive work setup would be at a desk with a laptop dock and at least one extra monitor.
If you have space, consider getting a dedicated desk. 27% list the inability to disconnect from work at the end of the day among their biggest challenges. Having a separate space for work can help with that, say 85% of respondents.
Desk, table, seven boxes of varying size precariously stacked, it doesn’t matter what your computer is sitting on, you’re going to need to make room for an additional monitor (76%), an external mouse (74%), and an external keyboard (66%). But be careful, this is where things can get complicated. You’re going to want a simple, one plug solution to tie it all together.
When choosing a hub or docking station, consider the connections you’re going to be working with. Start with the monitor, is it HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA? You’ll want to get a docking station that supports your screen’s connection type. Consider, too, the peripherals you’re plugging in. Mouse, keyboard, SSD, MicroSD, Ethernet, noise-canceling headphones, just make sure your hub has a complement of ports in the proper configuration.
Suggested Peripherals for the Upgraded Home Office
Agreement With the Following As it Relates to Remote Work Alongside a Spouse or Partner
|I get distracted by my partner||74%|
|I feel less productive||64%|
|I find focusing more difficult||64%|
|Our relationship has improved||77%|
|Our sex life has improved||70%|
|We communicate more often||81%|
Things get more complicated when sharing space with a spouse. Although it has its upsides, one in five respondents copped to copulating while on the company clock. 77% even say their relationship has improved as a result of working side by side. But, while relationships, in general, might be basking in the bliss of improved communication (81%), close quarters and careless quips are bound to lead to quarrels. Most common arguments tend to revolve around noise during audio/video calls (71%), who is working where (65%), and access to equipment (54%).
For the couples caught in conflict over conference space, consider this. Find a quiet corner where you can set up a conference station. It doesn’t have to be fancy, maybe just a screen, mouse, and keyboard. The important thing to keep in mind is the docking station. You’ll want to be sure everything is tied together with a one-plug solution. Just make sure the solution is compatible with both laptops.
Suggested Peripherals for the Shared Office
Preferred Working From Home
Nearly Half of Americans
working remotely would prefer to work at home long-term
Predict a Spring or Summer 2021 return to the office
Might As Well Get Comfortable, We’re Gonna Be Here a While
But seriously, why bother upgrading? You’ll be back in the office in no time, right? When asked, 47% said they would prefer to work from home long-term, while 43% favored a hybrid option. Only 17% see themselves back in the office full-time. Indeed with a slow but growing trend of companies like Twitter announcing permanent work from home policies, it seems likely that at least some portion of our work life will be done remotely going forward.
By the way, if you are sharing a home office with a significant other, you should know the traditional #workfromhomeiversary gift is an office productivity tool. Consider the TBT3-UDZ, a Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C Dual Display Docking Station with 96W Host Charging. Always a classic.
This survey was conducted January 21-22, 2021, by Plugable in collaboration with the online sampling service, Pollfish. The sample included 2,000 U.S. adults (18+) who are currently working remotely.
Questions on connections or comments about anything else? Please let us know in the comments, we’d be happy to help.