Working from home has a lot of advantages, skipping the long commute being just one of them. While most people believe that working from home means whenever and wherever around the house, you’ll probably find out that you’re at your best and most productive when you have a designated workstation and a schedule.
Setting up a home office gives you a lot of freedom of choice and here are several tips you might find helpful.
Find the Best Location
If you have an extra room in your house, the search for the best location for your home office is easy and quick. However, not everyone can boast of that luxury. In a tight space, you need to be more creative and think outside the box to set up your perfect home office.
There are lots of corners, nooks and crannies around the home you could consider as options – part of the kitchen table,a corner of the living room or even in the bedroom. The downside is that you probably won’t have a lot of space at your disposal and sometimes you might even pack it all up at the end of the day and reset it again the next. Whatever you end up choosing, look for a spot where all your gear can fit and make sure you incorporate some clever storage solutions.
An ideal situation is when you have a dedicated room for your home office where you can close the door and isolate yourself as you focus on work without distractions. That enables you to get your privacy and peace easily. But if your home office is in the corner of your kitchen, living room or bedroom, you’ll probably find it hard to separate work from home.
The solution might be in using a privacy divider. You might opt for a traditional one that sits on the floor or a curtain hanging from the ceiling. Curtains are a quick, easy, lightweight and inexpensive way of shutting the door to your office, plus they can easily blend in with the rest of your home décor.
Consider the Light
When you set up your home office, ensure it gets plenty of light, hopefully as much of it as you can from natural sources. Find out the combination that works for you – warm light promotes relaxation whereas cold light improves productivity and focus.
Windows and exposure to daylight matter both for your health and productivity but you should also consider adding some plants – they love the light, too, but they can also contribute to your overall well-being. Research has shown that the presence of plants in an office is beneficial both for your mood and work efficiency.
Make Room for Equipment and Gadgets
Without a supervisor to keep an eye on you, it can get easy to get distracted working from home, so getting the best equipment you can afford is among the highest priorities. You need to stay on top of things and be efficient, so naturally, you need a great computer and monitor, and if you need to print out lots of documents, getting a laser printer is a smart investment. In addition, you can benefit from having a variety of cool tech gadgets, such as wireless desktop chargers, portable speakerphones, HD webcam, and a mountable USB power strip cube, just to mention a few.
It’s certainly tempting to grab a chair from the dining room when you’re working from home because it’s convenient and easy. However, sitting long hours at a desk without regular back support is a fast lane to posture problems. Getting an ergonomic office chair will give you proper support and just like with other home office furniture, this is an investment in yourself.
Speaking of a good investment, getting the right desk that fits your budget, your space, and your workflow is also imperative. Sitting or standing all day can both cause pain and sometimes even serious health issues. It might take some getting used to, but you might consider a standing desk instead of a traditional one. With an adjustable height, you can choose whether you sit or you want to stretch your legs a bit, and it’s all done with a simple push of a button.
Have a Way to Track Time
Research studies have proven that if you get up from time to time to flex or just move around, you’ll be more productive. These short breaks offer mental rest during your workday and can improve your concentration. The downside is that when you work from home, you can easily lose track of time and before you know it, you’ve spent over 12 hours at the desk, two days in a row!
To prevent yourself from overworking, you need to find a way of tracking time – it could be the alarm on your phone or a visibly displayed clock in your home office. Being aware of time will allow you to organise work more effectively, maintain regular working hours and balance your work with home life.
Most of all, the key to setting up the perfect home office is making it personal. What might work for someone else may not work so well for you, so you must try out these ideas until you work out the perfect fusion of technology, comfort, and productivity.