When you picture your dream home, what comes to mind? Is it a decked-out deck? A snazzy, spacious kitchen?
One thing you probably don’t think about is productivity. But your living conditions have a lot to do with how much you can accomplish while at home.
Think about it: If you’ve been working from home during the pandemic, have you ever wished for brighter lighting? What about a larger home office?
Fortunately, not all productivity-related home upgrades require a major renovation. These easy home improvements can help you make a serious dent in your task list:
1. Adaptive Wi-Fi
Nothing is as important to your at-home productivity as your internet connection. Every email you send becomes a source of stress when you aren’t sure whether or not it’s gone through. Participating in meetings is awfully tough when you can’t even log in.
If your router is working but you can’t connect elsewhere in your home, a distribution issue is probably to blame. One way to boost coverage without knocking down walls is with an Adaptive Wi-Fi system like Plume. Because every home is laid out a little differently, traditional routers can’t always reach every corner of the house.
2. A Standing Desk
If working from your home office is getting a little old, try refreshing it with a standing desk. Your desk setup plays a major role in your productivity: Opt for a spacious, durable one that lets you decide whether to sit or to stand.
Why not opt for a fixed standing desk, which tends to be cheaper? Because the real health benefits of a standing desk come when you can switch. Standing all day can be hard on your joints, just as sitting all day can be hard on your cardiovascular system.
Music can be motivating, but nothing interrupts your workflow more than loud noises. If your son won’t stop playing drums during the workday, a good upgrade might be acoustic wall panels.
With sound-dampening panels, the key is balancing aesthetics with costs and durability. Try to get two out of the three: Are you OK with paying more for some good-looking, durable panels? If not, what about cheap, durable ones that don’t look great?
4. A Skylight
Installing a skylight takes a little more work than some of the other upgrades on this list. It’s within the wheelhouse of many DIYers, though, and adding some natural light can help you keep your stress levels in check.
With skylights, the key factor is placement. Think first about your room: If your office is in a well-lit space, then you probably shouldn’t splurge on a new window.
The second thing to think about is roof orientation. A south-facing window is going to get light all the time, a north-oriented window infrequently or never, a west-facing window in the afternoon, and an east-facing window in the mornings.
5. A Video Doorbell
How many times have you sat down to work, only to get right back up again to answer the door? Probably at least once a day. Plus, being pulled out of a video call to answer the door affects not just your productivity, but also that of other members on the team.
Video doorbells like Ring have multiple modes. That way, you can set the system to notify you of any motion, to alert you about only outdoor activity, or to disarm itself altogether. Disarming your doorbell can be a good solution for false alarms, such as kids playing in the yard.
6. A Pet Door
A pet door might sound like small beans, but ask any pet owner: How many times per day do you have to open the door to let it in or out?
Pet doors come in kits sized to different animals. Select one that matches your pet, and cut a rough opening in your door.
With this upgrade, realize that not all buyers will see it as an improvement. Thankfully, a replacement door is also a cheap, easy home upgrade.
7. New Paint
New paint can do wonders for a dark, dingy room, according to MansionGlobal. The key is to choose the right color.
Bright colors like red and yellow can be energizing, but they can also be distracting. The opposite is true of dark colors: They tend to be relaxing, but they can also make a room feel small or dreary.
If you’re not sure, go with a neutral tone. White or light grey can brighten up a space without turning off potential buyers.
8. A Window A/C Unit
Perhaps you live in an older home without central air. Maybe your air conditioner can’t keep up in the summer months. Whatever the reason, a window unit could be just the ticket.
Window air conditioners come in multiple shapes and sizes. Measure your window opening before buying, and make sure you get a unit that can cool a room the size of your office.
When the weather turns cold, pull out your window unit. If you don’t, your heating bill will surely remind you.
9. A Whiteboard
If you’re looking for an easy home upgrade that you can tackle in an afternoon, why not install a whiteboard? A few wall anchors are all it takes to add an ideation space to your home office.
A whiteboard is perfect for brainstorming, listing tasks, or posting reminders. Plus, it can be taken down just as easily as it’s installed, in case you decide to repurpose the room.
A few small home upgrades can make a world of difference in your productivity. If you want to make your time go further, don’t let home improvement season go to waste.