Published: November 01, 2017
Many of us corporate office employees fantasize about the perks of working from home. No traffic or long commute, the ability to work in sweatpants with your dog sleeping under your desk, and, most of all, no annoying coworkers interrupting you all day. If you’re making the switch to working from home, one of the first things to consider if how you’ll set up your home office space. For optimal productivity and an enjoyable work space, follow these four tips when creating your home office:
Make sure the room you choose to set up your office in has plenty of natural light. If you’re used to a stuffy, dim corporate cubicle, you might assume you focus better in the dark. On the contrary, it’s been proven that lack of natural light can make you feel lethargic and stifle creativity. For best results, set up your desk so that the sides of your computer are facing the window. Don’t forget lighting for rainy days or late night work, either. Overhead lighting isn’t enough for productive work. Put a small lamp on your desk for task lighting, and place a few other table lamps around the room.
Pinterest is great, but don’t abandon practicality for cuteness. An ergonomically designed desk chair will offer better back support than that plush upholstered chair you saw in a picture online. Think about how much desk space you’ll actually need before getting a small vintage letter writing desk that barely has room for your computer. Don’t paint the walls a bold color, such as red or purple, that you’ll get sick of looking at day after day. Too many colors and decorations in a home office can actually distract you from your work. Try a soft, cheerful blue, green or yellow wall color and a fun, patterned area rug. Be sure to add a few plants to your home office as well. They’re proven to make you feel happier.
No matter what we try to tell ourselves, organization and productivity go hand in hand. Don’t let the desk in your home office become littered with paperwork and notes. If the room you set up office in has a closet, install a shelving system to hold folders and file boxes. You can also use a bookshelf for storing documents if you don’t like the cold, corporate look of a filing cabinet. Be sure to label everything, too! That way you won’t waste half an hour searching for that one client brief from a month ago. Don’t let non-work related items find their way onto your desk where they can distract you. In general, it’s a good idea to keep your desktop as clear as possible with only the immediate tasks you’re working on taking up space.
While you might not have a lot of options when it comes to choosing the location for your home office, try to set up your workspace as far away as possible from the most heavily trafficked areas of your home. Putting your desk in the corner of the living room will lead to frequent distractions from the television and other family members. Even if you don't have clients stopping by for meetings, privacy is still an important part of a productive work day. When you’re on an important phone call and your dog is barking like mad at the mailman, you’ll appreciate having a door to close. So go ahead and convert that rarely used guest bedroom into a home office. You can store all the unused bedroom furniture in a UNITS portable storage container.
With these tips, you’ll be fast on your way to a home work space in which you’ll be excited to spend 40 hours a week.