Anyone who’s ever worked an office job knows that the office itself isn’t always ideal. There might be too much noise, or not enough. You might pine for a view out the window, or a game with some coworkers where you can work out the tension and get the creative juices flowing.
Well, a home office is your opportunity to create your ideal work environment. Balanced lighting, stimulating atmosphere, and minimal distractions can all converge to give you the best opportunity to be productive and effective in your chosen field.
Today, with the ubiquitous ease of the internet, more and more of us are working from home, whether that’s once a week, or every day. Today we can video conference into business meetings and coordinate with people around the globe. All you need is a smartphone, a laptop, and a WiFi connection.
In order to make sure that your experience working from home is effective, it’s important to start with a home office where you can actually get work done. Here are some tips to make it happen:
Put Function First
Your home office should be more than a closet with a lamp and desk. Whether you’re spending 8 hours a week or 40 hours a week there, you deserve better than that. Your home office should be a purposeful space where you’re happy to be. This means comfortable furniture, good lighting, ample space, and the proper resources.
Design around your needs. Will coworkers be coming over to collaborate? Will you be meeting with clients? Will you be video conferencing? How much storage space do you need? As you design your office, design with those things in mind, instead of just making the space and then realizing afterwards that it would be nice to have something besides a box to file your ongoing projects.
Invest in the Right Resources
Most of us try to cut costs by simply using whatever we have lying around in our home offices. However, investing in the right tools is important in order to create a professional, comfortable environment that will encourage you to work your best.
- Invest in a proper office chair. You spend hours and hours in that chair–more time than you spend in any single chair throughout your house.
- Proper lighting can help you stay focused on tasks, improve eyesight, and minimize visual fatigue that makes you feel burned out.
- We probably don’t have to tell you this, but make sure that you have professional-grade technological resources. That means Wifi that won’t drive you crazy with its slowness, an effective phone connection, and modern computers. If you wouldn’t put up with it in a corporate office, don’t put up with it in your home office. Give yourself the tools you need to succeed.
Eliminate Distractions, but Keep Things that Inspire You
Surround yourself with a few of your favorite things. Give yourself a view, a picture you love, puzzle knickknacks, or a mini basketball hoop over your wastebasket. Everyone needs a good place to rest their eyes while they ponder. However, keep the distractions of housework out of your office. You should never have non-work projects encroaching on your work space. Having a sketchpad or whiteboard might be just what you need to capture your ideas as they come, but don’t allow yourself to get distracted with video games just because you’re at home.
Dedicate Some Resources to Cleanliness and Organization
There’s a reason that offices have secretaries and managers who keep things organized. It’s a difficult and vital task. You’ll need to set aside some space and time for this in your home office as well. Make sure that you have file cabinets if you need them. Spend time clearing the clutter off your desk and deciding where things go. Invest in organizational office supplies, and do a weekly cleaning to keep your home office from gathering up dishes, garbage, and dust.