Time Your Tech for Healthy Visual Cues
Much work from home advice is in favor of the work part of the work/life balance. But life is equally — if not more — important. From a technology standpoint, there are things you can do to automate tech to send visual cues throughout the day that are in alignment with natural circadian rhythms. This largely revolves around light and motorized window treatments. Natural light’s color temperature is bluer, keeping homeowners alert and awake. A good technology integrator can program motorized shades to go up in the morning and let this light flood in. As the day wears on, natural light’s color temperature skews more toward orange and red, indicating the onset of evening and signaling the body to wind down to prepare for sleep. At this time, shades can descend halfway, acting as a visual cue that the work day is coming to an end. An integrator can also program lights to change temperature over the course of the day, mimicking the sun’s energy. This type of lighting and shading automation promotes wellness, regular sleep patterns and improved vitality and mental health.
Consider Acoustics for Focus
Let’s talk about noise in the home office. There is the ever-present threat of children screaming and dogs barking at the mailman encroaching on the sanctity of the work space and causing potential embarrassment during a work call. But if homeowners start thinking about the home office as a place where they deserve focus instead of a place to keep their wonderful life — and all its sounds — at bay, they will love their space more.
“Fortunately, most any acoustic issues can be solved to ensure a well-controlled sound in your home office,” said Steve Haas, CEO and principal of SH Acoustics, an award-winning acoustic and audio design consulting firm. “Sound-absorbing panels from Kinetics, MBI and others can be applied to office ceilings to ‘tame’ any excessive sound. If you don’t like the panelized look, entirely seamless acoustic systems like Baswaphon, which is plaster-based, or Clipso, which is stretched-fabric based, can be installed over an entire office ceiling and look like smooth drywall or plaster in the end.”
Protect Your Sanity with a Robust Home Network
No home office story is complete without a serious discussion about the home network. Most people rely on the cable company’s equipment to get them through the work day. This is never enough, especially when kids are home and gobbling up all precious bandwidth.
A professionally installed network is of utmost importance for mental health. A good home technology integrator will make sure a homeowner not only has enough bandwidth, but that the home office is secure from vulnerabilities, which especially important when someone is in the possession of other people’s data, such as client’s credit card numbers. Access Networks offers commercial-grade networking solutions for the home that will keep you working smoothly without interruption.
We also highly recommend a cellular booster for the home so important work calls don’t get dropped. Various things can affect cell coverage, like a home located near obstructions like tall buildings or mountains, is far from a cell tower, or is constructed of cell-stopping materials like concrete. Uniden Cellular Booster Kits are a great solution that makes embarrassing connection issues and buffering a thing of the past.
Reduce Interruptions with a Smart Lock & Video Doorbell
According to Parks Associates, the majority of residential door locks installed in the U.S. are mechanical, but an increasing number of exterior locks in single-family homes are being replaced with smart door locks. That’s because they are extremely helpful, especially when combined with a smart/video doorbell. Is the housekeeper early and you’re still on a call with a new client? Simply check the video doorbell feed on your laptop or mobile device and let them in via your smart lock. This works equally well for kids that come and go during the day and for deliveries. You’ll always know who’s at the door and won’t have to get up to check every time the doorbell rings.
Don’t Forget the Design
Homeowners spend thousands of dollars on interior design for the kitchen, living room and bath. We spend a lot of time in the home office — doesn’t it deserve the same consideration? By design, we are talking about more than a fancy room digitally rendered in a Zoom background. The home office should not only be a well-appointed, comfortable and personalized place where you want to spend a lot of time, it should be ready to rock your videoconferences.
“We are getting a lot of requests for home offices to be Zoom-ready, which to me means a beautiful background with great lighting and audio. It’s added the need for extra storage for people that want to have a ring light, microphone or a background drop in their space,” said designer Amala Raj Swenson of Amala Raj Interiors.