5 Ways to Create the Perfect Home Office
Telecommuting in the United States is at an all-time high. Spurred by technology and a changing workplace culture, over 24% of Americans now complete some or all of their work at home on a typical workday. What’s more, it’s estimated that over 50% of jobs would be compatible with a remote workforce.
The Age of the Home Office
With collaboration tools like Google Drive, Skype, and Slack, it’s no wonder more people are managing a full day’s work without ever leaving home. Telecommuters enjoy the comfort of their own home and skip the annoyance of needing to commute in to the office. Home offices are also the perfect environment for starting a small business since you can save substantially on start-up expenses by avoiding the costs of an office space.
If you’re new to telecommuting or you’re looking to increase your productivity at your home, setting up a home office can be an essential step. Separating your workspace from the places in your home associated with rest, relaxation, and leisure sends a clear signal to your brain about the intent of the space, and this can translate into higher productivity levels.
Setting Up a Home Office
Your ideal home office will reflect the ways you work best and the type of work you expect to do. Home offices should ideally function as efficient and minimalist spaces with all the tools you need to focus on the task at hand. These five tips can help you create the perfect workspace in your home.
Revamp Your Task Lighting
Good lighting is essential for an effective home office. A combination of light fixtures focused on certain tasks will help you feel more productive when you sit down at your desk to work. Make sure you have effective task lighting at your workspace, and take advantage of natural light whenever possible so you don’t feel too isolated. Avoid putting any lighting behind or above your computer screen to avoid any distracting glare.
Create the Perfect Desk Space
Your computer desk is the command center of your workspace and the place you’ll be spending most of your working hours. Personalize this space to reflect your work habits by paying special attention to the environments where your productivity is highest. If you need some hustle and bustle in the background to get work done, place your desk in the center of your living room or kitchen or facing out to a large room. If you trend toward quiet spaces, cut distractions down by placing your desk in an isolated room or tuck it in a corner. If you’re a minimalist, keep your workspace clear of clutter and consider going paperless.
Working uninterrupted for long periods of time demands a comfortable and ergonomic space. A stiff-backed wooden chair likely won’t cut it; consider investing in a high-quality office chair to provide better support. If you have trouble sitting for long periods of time, a standing desk may be a good alternative, but the best option is to take frequent breaks to walk around. If you’re having trouble choosing, nothing says you can’t set up multiple workspaces in the same room and allow yourself to alternate.
Keep Your Cords at Bay
If your space is organized and neat, you’ll have a much easier time feeling focused and organized yourself. Managing the various cords and wires that lead up to your computer can help any workspace look less cluttered. You can buy special adhesive wire clips to run up the legs of your desk, attach a power strip underneath or inside a desk drawer, or paint over wires in an encasement along your wall. Better cable management will keep the minimalist look of your home office intact and your power cord out of the wheels of your desk chair.
Upgrade Your Equipment
Your productivity is a direct reflection of your equipment. A slow, outdated computer or a dragging internet connection can limit your ability to work remotely, making the right technology an indispensable part of any home office. For Skype meetings and teleconferencing, consider upgrading to a faster internet provider. Small-business owners may also want to invest in a high-quality printer to make sure any promotional materials, invoices, or business documents appear as professional as possible.
Creating a productive oasis in your home can help you maximize your work output. Whether you’re telecommuting or starting a new business, a new office space may be the kick-start your work life needs to reach your goals and ambitions. And besides – who doesn’t like to decorate?