Covid-19 has changed the way many of us work. Before the pandemic, around 14.6 percent of the U.S. workforce worked from home, according to an MIT survey. As of April 1, 34.1 percent of the workforce switched from working at a remote office to working from home. Currently, around half of the working population now calls home their office. This could be a trend with a long lifespan.
Studies show that working from home has distinctive benefits. It can boost morale, and it’s been shown to increase worker productivity. However, it can also blur the lines between life and work, which isn’t always great for your work-life balance.
The best thing you can do if you’re working from home for the foreseeable future is to find yourself a little corner of the house for a dedicated home office with a door you can close firmly at the end of the work day. The kitchen island or the couch in the den just isn’t going to cut it long-term. A dedicated office lets you focus better during work hours and separate your work from your life more easily.
Whether your office turns out to be in the old guest bedroom, the cleaned-out storage room in the basement, or a corner of the attic, you’ll want to make it feel like a productive workspace and not a guest room, storage room, or random attic corner. Get a good desk and a comfortable chair. Paint the walls a color that makes you feel happy and productive.
And put down some hardwood on those floors. Here are five reasons why.
1. Wood floors are timeless and versatile.
Hardwood floors really are timeless. They transcend decor style, looking just as stylish in an ultra-modern, glass-and-metal office as they do in a cozy, bohemian-chic workspace with messy shelves and a plump couch. Whether you choose a dark or light wood hue, the very nature of the wood makes the floor highly versatile. No other flooring type can both fade into the background and enhance your decor at the same time.
2. Wood promotes positivity and calm.
Any job is going to produce its share of tension and stress. But the right work environment can reduce your stress and help you concentrate better. Wood floors serve as a natural element in your home office, promoting positive feelings and reducing negative feelings, according to a literature review by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. The review found that wood walls or wood floors (but not both at the same time) can help reduce blood pressure and feelings of depression. One study found that wood floors give a warm impression due to their yellow and reddish hues, and since they reflect little UV light, they can reduce feelings of fatigue. People have a clear, positive attitude toward wood and consider it to be “natural, warm, healthy, good-looking, easy-to-use, and environmentally friendly,” according to another study in the review.
3. Hardwood floors will last and last.
Hardwood floors are durable, and with proper installation and optimal maintenance, they’ll last a lifetime and beyond. Especially in the office, where you’re pacing and rolling around on your chair for several hours a day, you need a flooring option that will resist wear and tear. Lifetime Hardwood Floors uses only the highest quality top coatings to ensure a finish that will protect your floors and keep them looking their best.
UV-cured and LED-cured coatings are even more durable than standard air-cured, water-based coatings. LED-cured coatings are natural hardwax oils that deeply penetrate the wood and harden instantly when exposed to LED light. Lifetime Hardwood Floors is the only contractor in the Omaha area with the equipment and expertise required for LED-curing.
4. Wood promotes good indoor air quality.
Carpet can off-gas volatile organic compounds for five years or longer after they’re installed. Off-gassing of these harmful chemicals can cause a range of health problems, and it can worsen respiratory conditions like asthma and COPD. Carpet also holds onto microscopic allergens like dust mite droppings and pollen as well as a wide range of bacteria and other pollutants.
Installing or refinishing wood floors with low- or no-VOC coatings reduces the chemicals emitted into your home. For standard jobs, we use a high quality, low-VOC, water-based coating that contains roughly 275 grams per liter (g/l) of volatile organic compounds, compared to 500 g/l in oil-based coatings. This GreenGuard-certified coating stops off-gassing after about a week.
Our UV-cured coatings, by contrast, have VOC levels of just 30 to 50 g/l. They cure instantly and produce no odor or off-gassing at all once they’re hardened. LED-cured coatings are the best choice for good indoor air quality, because they contain and off-gas zero solvents and zero VOCs. Since hardwood floor maintenance doesn’t require any chemical cleaning solutions—which reduce your indoor air quality as well as build up on the floor and reduce its shine—wood floors promote healthy indoor air quality for the long-term.
5. Wood floors are easy to keep clean.
For the best possible focus and productivity, it’s important to keep your office environment free of dust, which contains microorganisms that can produce allergy symptoms or contribute to brain fog and fatigue. A solid floor is better than carpet, since it’s possible to remove all of the dust that gathers on a hard floor. Hardwood floor maintenance is super easy. Simply slide a microfiber dust mop across it daily to prevent dust buildup, and periodically use a Norwex (or similar) microfiber mop pad, dampened with water, to remove dirt and disinfect the floor.
If you’re ready to go all-in on your home office—whether that means tearing up carpet and installing new flooring, giving tired floors a shiny re-coat, or refinishing old, worn-out floors—give us a call at Lifetime Hardwood Floors. Our expertise and use of high quality products and materials mean your new office floor will be as beautiful and durable as it can possibly be.