4 Tips for Setting Up Your Home Office
A growing number of companies are allowing their employees to work from home several days a week – or even work remotely full-time. The key to successfully working at home is having a dedicated space, which is separate from distractions. By having a professional-quality office space in your own house, you can more easily switch to a business mindset and stay focused.
However, creating a home office doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive. Here are four tips for putting together an effective workspace:
1. Minimize Distractions
Having your TV or refrigerator in plain sight as you work can derail your focus. Make sure that your office is completely free of any and all distractions. Keep only what you absolutely need on hand: a computer with an internet connection, work files and papers, your phone, a hands-free headset, paper and pens, etc.
It’s best if your office is in its own room with a door that closes, but if that’s not possible, carve out permanent space at a table or desk elsewhere in the house. Make sure your family members know your work hours and that you are not to be disturbed unless in case of emergencies, to further protect your focus.
2. Ensure comfort
If you choose to sit in a wooden chair from the kitchen table while you work, you’ll soon find that aches and pains in your back and shoulders will quickly distract you! It’s very worth it to invest in a high-quality, executive-level office chair. You’ll be spending a lot of time in that chair, so why get the best one you can afford? It’s not only important for your comfort, but also for your health!
You also want to ensure you have a comfortable temperature and airflow in the room. Tower fans are great options for small office spaces, and if you want even more of a refreshing breeze, you can set up a small personal fan right on the desk itself. In the colder months, you might choose a small heater that will either sit on your desktop to keep your hands warm or on the floor to help your feel more comfortable. A larger room heater or tower space heater is also a great option for warming your entire home office and making your workday much cozier.
Think about lighting, too. At home, you have the advantage of using more eye-sensitive lighting options besides fluorescent lighting. A mix of desk lamps, standing lamps and soft overhead light can help you achieve the right amount of brightness that won’t give you a headache.
3. Stay organized
Staying organized is also key to working effectively from home. Before setting up your office, devise a system for storing and easily accessing all the materials you need to do your job. A file cabinet keeps ensures important documents are always on hand, while a plastic or metal tray placed on your desk keeps priority work front and center. A large bookshelf can hold large binders, important reference books and manuals as well as baskets holding office supplies and tech accessories. Keeping a running list of tasks and projects in an online work management tool is also a great way to stay organized and ensure you’re prioritizing your most crucial work.
4. Add personal touches
At home, you can have more creative freedom with how you decorate your workspace. Add some fun, personal touches or decorations that enliven the space and make it your own, such as framed posters, wall art, fresh flowers or potted plants or a colorful bulletin board.
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