7 Ways to Set Up a Productive Home OfficeWritten by InvoiceBerry Team on May 06, 2019
If you work from home full-time or a few days a week, then you’ll know what a blessing it is. No more commuter stress, flexible work hours and no more annoying colleagues to deal with.
But what about your home office set up?
Sitting on the sofa with your laptop won’t do. You need a dedicated workspace you can sit at each day so you can be your most productive.
Here are 7 home office tips for customizing a comfortable space to meet your needs.
1. Find your happy space
Ideally, you’ll have a spare room for your home office setup. But this isn’t always practical if you have a one-bedroom apartment or you have kids.
It may make more sense to carve a home office out of your bedroom, kitchen, living room or dining room.
If you’re sharing the space with another person/persons then good organization is key. Invest in storage and room dividers so the room can be kept tidy and do double duty without compromising anyone’s needs.
If possible, avoid having your home office in your bedroom.
From my experience, I have found it to be distracting to have the office and the bedroom as one. Separate your resting area from your productive area so you can dedicate your full working hours to your work and not feel the temptation of laying down on your bed.
2. Technology concerns
When choosing the best space, check the distance from the nearest power outlet.
Can you plug-in easily or will you have to buy an extension cord?
Setting up a home office also means looking at updating your technology so everything works well. Trying to work from an old computer is counter-productive.
Make sure you set up a strong WiFi connection, there’s nothing more frustrating than having your calls drop with an important client because your WiFi speed is a bit slow.
Invest in your internet, you’ll thank yourself later.
3. Let in the light
A commercial office usually has windows and is well lit so employees don’t strain their eyes. This is something to be mindful of if you don’t have a source of natural lighting.
A desk lamp or two will be necessary to illuminate your space.
If you do have natural light then you may have to adjust the angle of your desk so you’re not getting glare on your screen from morning or afternoon sun.
4. Decorate to motivate
Personalizing your home office can be a great way to boost your creativity and motivation. One of the benefits of working from home is that you can decorate your office how you like.
Here are a few home office ideas for decor:
- Prints with motivational quotes
- Vibrant art
- Colorful area rug
- Green pot plants
- Paint the walls an energizing color
- Interesting light fixtures
- Stylish shelving
- Colorful throw rug.
Start by decluttering your apartment and make a list of what you need for your home office set up. Having a neat and organized setting makes it much easier to be productive and raises overall morale.
To avoid spending exorbitant amounts of dollars on your office, visit vintage and secondhand stores to pick up some quirky personalized items for your home office.
You can also order what you need online if you don’t have time to go shopping.
5. Minimize distractions
Many people say they get less done at home because they’re more easily distracted. Some of the common distractions to watch out for are friends/family, TV, the kitchen and social media.
But by setting yourself some ground rules you’ll be more productive.
For example, you could:
- hang a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door
- tell your family or friends that you won’t be available until 5pm
- switch off your phone or leave it in another room
- watch TV in the evening, not during the day
- set dedicated lunch/snack breaks.
6. Proper home office furniture
One of the most important home office tips is to get proper home office furniture. This needs to be comfortable and supportive so you don’t end up with a sore back or neck problems.
There are many photos of stylish home offices on Pinterest and Instagram but pretty doesn’t necessarily equal ergonomic.
Have you thought of implementing a standing desk?
Standing desks have been proven to increase productivity by keeping energy levels high. It can be tough to stand for 8 hours straight every day, you could instead get one of those adjustable desks that allow you to stand or sit.
The health benefits of standing for a few hours a day will make it worth your investment.
Whichever type of desk you end up choosing, you need it to be large enough for all your necessary tools. Nothing worse than a cramped up desk because you don’t have enough space for all your essentials.
As well as good home office furniture, make a point of taking regular breaks throughout the day.
Without dedicated tea breaks and lunch breaks you may end up neglecting to take time out. This is important to keep productivity levels high.
7. Leave your work at the office
When your office is at home it’s harder to get away from your work and forget about it. It can be helpful to go for a walk, do food shopping, go to the gym or visit a friend so you can create a bit of distance.
One helpful trick that helped me is taking your full hour lunch break outside your home.
Spending that one hour in a different environment really rejuvenates you and recharges your batteries to keep up the great work when you’re back in your home office.
Working from home has a lot of benefits, and you want a home office that meets all your requirements for a long term arrangement. Remember that there is a no one size fits all for a home office.
Everyone has their own personality and needs, so you will have to give it your own spin to make yourself happy and productive in your work/home environment.
The next time you’re working from home, be sure to keep the above home office tips in mind so you can tick all the boxes for your home office setup.
Angela Pearse is a blogger for Zumper who frequently combines travel with freelance writing. She’s passionate about Art Deco hotels, historical novels, Netflix, hiking and healthy living.