Having a home office offers many advantages. Since you tend to spend lots of time there, tackling your work-related duties, it requires efficient and effective organization.
Being successful in home office means, first of all, carving out a clean and self-contained space. It is a non-traditional work environment which deserves more than a threadbare chair with a metal desk tucked in a corner. Whether you are running a small business from home or simply want a nice space to pay your bills, defining a designated and professional working place is crucial for your productivity. To eliminate possible pitfalls that could be plaguing your homework lot, consider some useful tips I pulled together to a great setup of your Home Office.
Before you set off on staking out a place of your own, jot down a list of critical needs that you cannot do without in your home office. Such list has a name ‘basic needs’ and preparing it is essential for your efficient well-being. Include all must-have items should on this priority list. From an ergonomic chair, a stylish desk to a computer or a fax machine with a landline, if necessary. If you are an IT engineer, you must have a bigger, larger surface to hold all additional computer screens or an extra laptop. Being an artist entitles you to possess a few canvases in the room. Therefore, space management is crucial. Many of us are companies’ consultants so there must be enough shelves for storing file cabinets and stashing piles of papers. While preparing your ‘home office essential list’ make sure to foresee all potential needs that you must have in your surroundings.
With all the necessities in mind, you have a clear idea now of how much room you will need in your designated spot. You are more than likely to spend from 40 to 48 working hours there, so creating an ideal place is pivotal in these circumstances. Interior designer Joshua Rose encourages people to look for the best room in the house when having a setup of a home office in mind. “ Instead of forcing yourself into a tiny space under the stairs or in a closet, create a space that is both alluring and practical. „Considering that majority of us share our households with a spouse, children or even a roommate, who cause lots of noise in the background, the office must remain quiet and tranquil. It is more than important to shield yourself from any distractions that are going to interfere with your working regime. Additionally, if your job requires holding business meetings, privacy is a key ingredient here. Sometimes choosing a spot near the main entrance is a vital factor. That way significant clients can stop by in any time, without the chance of popping into a chocolate-smeared face of your beloved kids.
Clever advice: I know that retro look is the hottest trend in office furnishings, but you are aware that a minuscule desk, mimicking 50’ can hardly accommodate your laptop not to mention additional computer monitor or a file cabinet? The same advice applies to choosing an appropriate chair. Not only sitting upright is the key word, but also back support and armrests are equally relevant. So knowing that favorite armchair from the living room is the most comfortable seating in the household, fetch a functional yet stylishly designed chair for your workplace.
Get your balance right
The very often an overwhelming need for working space makes us get stuck on the lack of a dedicated room. You might feel as there is hardly any free room for such extravaganza as a home office, especially if you are tight on space. Start to get your gear and utilize some areas so you will end up with organized and uncluttered look. Many people nowadays like confined nooks and even a once-neglected corner with sloped ceiling can be the headquarter of your dreams. First and foremost, build your office necessities up on the walls. You can keep most of your storage files and cabinets high on shelves. Sometimes a good solution is to keep your printer, scanner, landline telephone and fax machine on a top surface on your desk while file logs and other hardware accessories can double act as stands.
The solution: Do not overestimate the unnecessary amount of documents. On the top of everything, you must stay organized and plan a space that has both a good storage room and enough leg room. Get a little creative and move some documents to another room. In general, a rule of thumb is that only office supplies or files that you need on the daytime basis and use frequently should be within reach. Store everything else in a different place, like a nearby room or a basement.
Light up your day
Whenever the situation allows, choose a spot for your home office that has a lot of natural light coming in through the windows. We often neglect the lighting and do not let sufficient sunlight. We must open all windows and openings and when that is not enough, plant more direct lightning. Nevertheless, you could always do with installing additional artificial lamps in strategic places. Firstly, overhead lights must lit the whole room. General lighting plays an important role as your intention is not to sit in a dark cave. Secondly, a well-positioned floor lamp with an adjustable neck can majestically shine a direct light onto your documents. A desk lamp, with a decorative shade, can be more than enough for brightening your nook.
Clever advice: Regardless of the chosen lights alter the position of your computer monitor so that there is no glare from a window or coming from an artificial source of light. Make sure you do not strain your eyes and get a contrast and balance right on your screen to minimize eyesore. Linda Varone, author of ‘The Smarter Home Office’, says “Adjust your computer monitor to the eye level or slightly below. While scanning down the screen, your eyes crinkle a little and give natural moisture to your eyelids, reducing eye fatigue. “
Invest in Technology
With the right equipment in hand, getting started with your home office is a matter of time. Considering that vast amount of time you will spend performing your work duties from home, you cannot allow for any sources of frustration that may occur during setting up.First and foremost your budget should be spent on a great and spacious desk and ergonomically designed chair with back support. When you are engrossed in a pile of workload, you do not need a nagging backache or a numb elbow to take a toll on your health and mood. The latter issue is technology accomplices that are the key factors for your efficient performance. A computer with enough memory for your field of expertise, fast Internet connection, tools and software to get your work motor humming with apprehension are an ultimate must-have. As it often happens we hold on desperately to old devices because they simply work but the time wasted for troubleshooting occurring trouble causes more damage than it is worth.
The solution: When I recently experienced a system crash with a data loss day before a deadline, I instantly took the opportunity and upgraded my software. A good antivirus followed by regular IT checks of your devices will significantly facilitate your work and mood. And also, remember about backing up your stored info on your computer.
Add Decorative Touch
Many people function daily in a pristine, white, uniformed cubicle. But why should not you enjoy your office without being distracted with over decoration? Sure, the cheap and heavy load on the walls might be a bit of a problem but neglecting your workplace is a big issue. Adding personal touches to your office creates a cheerful atmosphere, a place where you want to spend time, fulfilling your work duties. A sterile room surrounding needs a personality before sustaining working mood and positive apprehension. Ask yourself sincere questions: What inspires you and keep you going? If you are keen on travelling, frame postcards or family photos from last year vacation. If you dread white walls, just print out favorite images from Google Graphics to a grand scale and hang them on the walls as posters. Is listening to music your treasured past time? Pop some album covers or posters advertising a concert on adjoining walls. A little greenery has also never done any harm. Green plants give a high kick to start off a day and boost the room with a fresh energy and pleasant aroma.
Clever advice: The decor can have a massive impact on your productivity. While designing the household, pay special attention to incorporate the same style or theme to your office environment. Decor items are like a scenery outside your window, can brighten your mood instantly. And remember that we tend to spend most time where the surroundings talk to our senses.
Setting Work Schedule
Establishing office hours is essential when working in the home environment. When you do not have a standard schedule, it will be beneficial for your efficiency to set a working itinerary. Not only you stay focused but partially a load of time will be inadvertently spent on important tasks. Perhaps a 9 to 5 shift will be a real perk for your clients, so they know your availability during the day. Keeping a timeframe also prevents unexpected visits from neighbors or friends dropping in for coffee. Minimizing distractions is a key factor so put a sign with your working hours on the doors and stay focus on the job.
The solution: We all get bugged from time to time, especially with our smartphones or social media. These are called consumable media not by accident. Having access to humming television in the background or kids playing havoc on a media console can easily lead to severe sidetracking results. Parents with young children in the house know the big issue here. It is virtually impossible to have any work done while being at kids’ mercy. Hiring a babysitter is sometimes the only plausible solution. When it comes to distracting media, disable notifications during your established office hours. Do not let anything less important as job-related issues bother you while working.
Take full advantage of my tips and ideas and perform with setting up your Home Office. Let it be simple, stylish and productive. Do not forget about establishing a working day shift. It may be obvious to some, but the truth is, it can be remarkably beneficial.
At the end of the day, there still comes a time when you call it a day and shut the door to your office.