For many Central Florida residents, home automation is becoming the new normal. Here's how we make your home run more seamlessly and create a comfortable environment.
Building a new home is an exciting time for a family. Just like buying a new car, you get to be the only people who have a say in the configuration from the very beginning. You get to explicitly specify what it looks like, how many rooms it has, what those rooms do, and best of all, the optional equipment it contains! Buying a used home, again like a used car, is all about finding the best option available that suits your “wants and needs” criteria. Certainly they both can be fun processes, but when you get to build something from the ground-up, you inject your own personalized touches and characteristics that truly make it your home sweet home.
Working from home has its luxuries, including a flexible schedule, no dress code, and the lack of office environment stress. But that doesn’t mean it’s an all-day movie marathon pajama party. You have important tasks to accomplish that require tuning out numerous distractions, and you must tackle menial side-tasks without getting derailed. When you’re physically uncomfortable or worried about activities going on outside of your office, a whole day’s worth of productivity can fly out the window.
Thankfully, you can configure your office to minimize these distractions and maximize efficiency. Here are a few ideas I love for an office redesign that will make working from home a total dream.
Invest in Automated Comfort
Gone are the days of freezing underneath the air vent in a cubicle or overhearing your coworkers’ conversations. You have complete control of your environment, which means you can adjust the thermostat, lighting, and even music without offending anyone. But by the time you tailor these elements to your liking throughout the day, you’ve probably gotten distracted by something random like the dishes in the sink. Consider using home automation to rig the temperature, lighting, and music to your schedule. You can walk into your office ready to work in the morning and get started without losing steam. Press a button that raises the shades and activates the playlist without getting up from your desk. Tap it again to stop the music while you join a conference call, or if the tunes are causing an unnecessary distraction. Taking control of your surroundings will help you better focus on the tasks at hand.
Secure the Area
Working from home often means running quick errands throughout the day. Locking up the house may feel like too much trouble if you’re just heading to the post office and back. Save yourself the trouble by installing an automated security system that’s in control of your locks, lights, and alarms. That way, a simple “Away” setting can take care of everything without using any of your precious time.
The distractions don’t always come from inside your house. If you live in a suburban area, you may get a few knocks on the door throughout the day. Instead of taking the time to see who it is and possibly have an unwanted chitchat with the next-door neighbor while you’re waiting for an urgent conference call, you can monitor security cameras inside and outside your house from your desk.
Install a Kitchenette
Your office should be a haven from the craziness of your everyday life. But if you have to venture into the kitchen every time you need to refresh your coffee or grab a snack, you’re wasting valuable time and inviting any available family members to distract you. Instead, install a small kitchenette in your office packed with snacks, drinks, and a smart coffee maker so that you have fresh and hot coffee to get you going at the exact right time.
Get the Right Desk Gadgets
The littlest factors can affect productivity. You may not think twice about the lights in your work area as long as you don’t have to squint to read, but poor lighting can damage your eyesight and cause headaches. To prevent this, invest in a high-tech lamp like the Dyson Desk Lamp. The heat pipe technology draws heat away from the LED bulb so you don’t sweat sitting near it, and the high-powered bulb provides 154,000 of warm, inviting light.
Use your space economically by getting other helpful gadgets, such as a cup holder that clips to the side of your desk to prevent devastating spills on your computer, or a smartphone sanitizer if you do most of your business over the phone. Self-watering plant pots are also a great home office addition for the worker who loves the refreshing and stress-relieving properties of plants without the burden of frequent maintenance.
With a few updates like these, you can increase your productivity and enjoy working from home while impressing any visitors with your tech-savvy home office!
If you are interested in automating your home office, Control4 can set up the perfect working environment for you. Get in contact with one of our smart home experts that can give you ideas that will boost your work-from-home comfort and efficiency. Or feel free to fill out the form below for more information.
One of my favorite features of my Control4 home automation system is the whole home audio. I have the ability to either the same song in all the rooms or a different song in each room. Control4 integrates with all the large internet radio apps so I can listen to all my favorite artists with ease. Some of the internet radio providers that it supports are Pandora, Deezer, Tune-In, and Rhapsody. It also integrates with 3rd party devices to provide you XM Satellite radio. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 10 years then you know at least a few of these big names in the music world.
Just in case you can’t find what you are wanting to listen to on these sources you can always stream any song or playlist from your smart phone with Control4’s Share Bridge.
Control4’s wireless speaker point makes it possible to have distributed audio in existing houses that would otherwise be extremely hard, if not, impossible to run wires to ever speaker. If you already have an existing wireless Sonos system in your house Control4 can control that as well.
With digital music streaming throughout your house you can have scenes created to access your music at all the right times with ease.
Party Scene - Your Control4 Dealer can create a party scene for you to execute at the click of a button. This Party Scene can set your favorite playlist to play throughout the house at a preset level. If the patio has a dance floor for your party, you can have it playing louder than the rest of the house where you might just want to have quieter background music. In addition to the audio control the Party Scene button can also trigger things like lighting control and set the thermostat to a lower temperature. When you are done with the party all you need to do is press the button one more time and the music shuts off and your house returns to normal.
Wakeup Scene - If you hate waking up in the morning as much as me then you need all the help you can get. With a wakeup scene you can have a sequence of events triggered at the time you set the night before. So if you have to be up at 6:00am you can have the temperature in your house drop a few degrees starting at 5:30am. Then at 6:00 your music and lights can start slowly ramping up. You can even have your TV turn on to your favorite channel. When arm your alarm system before you leave for the day, your TV will shut off and the music will stop playing.
If you have any questions about Control4 or would just like to have a free consultation, please feel free to contact us.