There are several benefits associated with working from home. This includes the flexibility of planning your schedules, saving time (and expenses) by skipping your daily commute and giving your business idea a headstart with minimal spending. With that said, working efficiently in a home office requires you to create a space that enhances productivity in an offbeat work atmosphere.
Take the time and effort to give your home office a professional touch and define it in such a way that it doesn’t spill over to your personal life. Here are some handy tips to keep in mind when you set up a home office.
Recognizing the need of the hour
Don’t just randomly pick a corner in one of your bedrooms and consider it your makeshift work office - you’ll find yourself getting too comfortable! It is essential to understand the kind of work you do, to identify the need for a home office. For example, if you’re a telecommuter, you may be required to have certain equipment as per the directions of your employer, to work without disruptions. If you’re a photographer, however, you may need more space for a studio as well as to store props and other equipment. A lawyer or a consultant could benefit from a little extra storage, like shelves and cabinets to store paperwork.
It’s important to understand your work requirements before you set up the ideal home office.
Choosing a space
Do you live alone? Or do you have roommates? Make sure to pick a quiet spot that helps you stay focused and in turn, boosts your productivity.
If your work involves being on the phone for a good part of the day, it makes sense to choose a room that’s in a far corner of the house. Or, if client meetings are part of your daily schedule, a room closer to the porch should be ideal. On the other hand, if work involves dealing with a lot of technical equipment, a separate dedicated space becomes a necessity.
Even if you’re self-employed, a designated space for your work is a step in the right direction.
Include sufficient light in your workspace
Working in a well-lit environment can eliminate eye strain and migraines, letting you be reasonably more productive daily and stay invigorated in the long term. Pick a space with plenty of windows that allow natural light to come in, and you’ll find yourself needing less coffee to stay awake.
Here’s a pro-tip: Add a couple of plants to your workspace to augment productivity and a general sense of happiness while working. Also, you’ll naturally enjoy better air quality.
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Get a height-adjustable desk
Research shows that sitting all day leads to decreased productivity. Add stress, obesity, and cardiovascular issues to that. However, standing all day isn’t great either. That is why, the ideal solution would be to alternate between standing and sitting during your work hours.
Since standing at work isn’t something you can immediately get used to, start slow - maybe, an hour a day at first, and increase the time period gradually. Wear comfortable footwear to cushion your feet while standing and avoid back pain.
Read more on how height-adjustable desks can improve productivity.
Allocate space for non-essential devices
At home, it is easy to get distracted during working hours.. There are chances that you’ll spend more time scrolling through your social media feed and getting lost in superfluous content online if you have your phone or tablet near you during work. This way, your productivity is sure to take a hit.
An average of eight hours per week is how long employees spend on smartphones completing tasks that have no connection with work. It could even be more for those who work from home offices. So, to minimize distractions, designate an exclusive space for all non-essential devices that you ought to access only when required. Wasted time leads to wasted energy, which, in turn, disrupts the flow of your work.
Minimize other distractions at home
When it comes to home offices, it’s not easy to separate the professional from the personal. Distractions can come from family members, pets, noise, and of course, electronic devices. So make sure you choose the quietest, most secluded spot in your home when setting up your home office. Additionally, you can install curtains, a room divider, or even a shoji screen to minimize visual distractions and headphones to block out sound.
If work involves plenty of conference calls, use signs at the door to request the other people at home to avoid interrupting you at that time.
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Get rid of unnecessary clutter
To think with clarity, one needs a home office that’s completely free of non-work clutter. Remove all items that you likely won’t be needing during work and move the less-used ones to an easily accessible corner. Make use of file cabinets, cupboards, drawers, and pouches to keep your files, stationery, and any equipment.
A well-organized home office needs to be both appealing to look at and fantastic to work in. As chaos can be overwhelming and reduces your ability to focus, your productivity and happiness can definitely skyrocket as a result of decluttering.
Add a few personal touches
Considering that we’re talking about home offices here, you can include a personal touch or two, as long as it isn’t distracting. The space should make you want to work, over all else. Adding your signature to the home office makes it more inviting and conducive to work, the same way personalizing your desk at the office would.
Add furniture and decor to your liking but also keep efficiency in mind - so no recliners, mind you! Aesthetic touches such as abstract artwork and rugs help boost inspiration and creativity. Keep the home office close to your heart and in line with work requirements, albeit with a little individuality.
So, there you have it! These tips should help you set up a home office that is both comfortable and productive. This way, you can maximize the quality of your work when you have the best of both worlds - the familiar comfort of home, and a zone that’s primed for productivity.
What’s more, BureauOne offers fantastic home office packages for you and your team, curated by experts who keep all of the above in mind, so you’ll have the most ideal place to work within the comfort of your home.