Working from home is exciting because it gives you the opportunity to be comfortable in a familiar space. But how does that affect your level of productivity? If your home office or work space is too casual peak productivity may be lost. Whether you are self-employed or telecommuting, being successful in a home office requires creating an office space that promotes efficiency in a non-traditional work environment. Take the time to figure out what your needs are and what’s going to make you feel most productive and effective while working from home.
It's important to create a boundary between your working and personal space. Here are 8 tips for creating a comfortable yet practical work space.
1. Choose a good location
Choose a dedicated area in your home. You'll likely spend a lot of time at your desk, so don't stiff yourself on space like squishing a tiny desk into a windowless corner of the house. Give yourself enough room to move around. Consider traffic flow and your attention span. Do you work best in active environments or should your office be tucked away in a quiet space? Working from home gives you the opportunity to create a space that works specifically for you.
2. Pay attention to lighting
Set up your work space with plenty of light for work. Table lamps and floor lamps are great options for task lighting. If you have the chance to setup beside a window, even better. With natural light not only can you see better, but it offers other physical benefits like reducing headaches and eyestrain. This allows you to be more productive on a day-to-day basis and healthier in the long-term. The most important thing is that you position your desk to avoid any glares.
3. Figure out what you need
Figuring out what supplies, equipment and the type of setup you'll need depends on the type of work you do. Your work may require you to use dual monitors. That's important to have in mind when choosing the size of desk you need. A consultant could require additional space for file cabinets to store client information. If you are telecommuting, your employer may have specific requirements about the equipment you need to have. Before claiming a corner to get to work in, make a detailed list of your needs for a home office and set up a space that can contain everything.
4. Invest in a COMFORTABLE chair
Unless you opt for a standing desk, you'll spend a good amount of time sitting down. You definitely want something comfortable. If there's anything you should splurge on when setting up your work space, a comfortable chair is worth every dime!
5. Don't sacrifice form for function
Everything from your desk to shelves, and storage should serve a function. You don't want to have too many things around just because they look cute. After a while your work space will start to look and feel cluttered, because now you have actual work laying around on top of those just-because items. Consider your workflow and what items you need at your fingertips before investing in furniture, and then look for pieces that are both beautiful and functional.
6. Clean up cable clutter
There's not much you can do to beautify the computer, printer, and phone, but you can attempt to hide ugly cords.
Make sure there are accessible outlets by your equipment. This is why it's important to pick a location in your home that is functional.
Arrange your wires and equipment logically. In other words, move your laptop closer. to the side with the outlet instead of running a cord all the way across the table!
Use a surge protector instead of multiple extension cords. This will not only protect your equipment but also help you to keep cords as close to one area as possible.
If you'd like to go the extra mile to cover the mess of cords on the floor, you can get cord winders, tubing, a wire organizer or even use simple zip ties. A pack of 100 costs $5 on Amazon
7. Organize vertically
Most home offices don't have the most square footage, so using space efficiently is very important. You can maximize your space by hanging floating shelves on the walls or bringing in a book case to get papers and office equipment off the desk. Vertical file folders on the desk are perfect to keep important papers within arm's reach. If you tend to make piles, get a nice paper basket. If you prefer a clean desktop, designate one drawer for your "to-do" papers. Cube storages are a fun alternative to bookshelves, since you can use each space to store books and needed knickknacks. Along with organizing your space, having a designated area like a drawer or special caddy to store your phone will help increase productivity by reducing distraction. A little self-discipline goes a long way.
8. Add homey touches
A few homey touches will enhance the comfy feeling of your home office, like a pretty mug for a pencil holder, trendy notepads and sticky notes, and a decorative waste basket. Give yourself something to look at. If you don't have a window view, try hanging up inspirational wall art. Pretty things are fine as long as they are FUNCTIONAL. Like a clock. You need to be able to keep track of time. While you could always use your computer or phone, a nice clock is the perfect excuse for that something extra. Plants are great additions as well. Keeping a live plant or two in your workspace research shows can improve both your productivity and make you happier while your work. Designing a space that motivates you helps you to get the work done so you can get out of there! Even though your work is at home, there still comes a time when you have it to call it a day and shut the door to your office.
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