There has been a marked rise in the number of people who work from home, whether they are running a small business or remote working from the main office. Eliminating a long commute is fantastic, but you need to prepare your workspace to ensure proactive and productive working hours.
Here are a few tips on how to arrange your office space and keep your work separate from your home life.
1. Location is essential
The most crucial factor when planning a home office is where to put it. For those who need complete silence with no distractions, you will need a dedicated space where you will not be disturbed by other family members. Many entrepreneurs who work from home opt for a garden office, utilize a spare bedroom, or renovate a garage to create a quiet space where they can think and work.
Others need to be connected to their home due to parental responsibilities (e.g., caring for young children during the day) and convert a space in an unused area such as a dining room or large hallway. There are many options, so make a list of what you need your office to have before deciding where you will set it up.
2. Create a functional workspace
Before you set up your home office space, consider the functional aspects before you address the style and design. If you do a lot of printing, you may want to consider some quality all-in-one models with wireless features that allow for an easily accessible printing space.
Consider practical needs when you decide where to store office equipment and supplies (e.g., calculators, planners, pens, etc.). Save time throughout the day by keeping all of your regularly used supplies in the top drawer of your desk.
The main goal of a functional office is to save time. However, you also want to prevent continuous reaching for items that break concentration and workflow.
3. Design with affordability in mind
Many home offices will make do with a dining table and chair as a workspace, but this is not a wise decision. Find a quality office chair and desk within your budget to provide plenty of storage space and eliminate or prevent back problems.
There is a range of quality and stylish office desks and chairs to fit every purpose. If you like to keep your clean desk, you can buy a smaller one. Perhaps you prefer organized chaos? If so, buy an office desk with a large workspace and shelving for documents and paperwork. If your workspace is in a communal area of your home, buy multifunctional office furniture that fits in with the rest of the room and decor.
4. Let there be more light
You will spend many hours in your home office, so make it as comfortable as possible. Never make do with the current lighting set up as standard home lighting is not always practical for office work.
“There are three basic types of lighting—ambient, task, and accent. Layered throughout a room—especially multipurpose ones—they work together to achieve a rich and flexible lighting design.” Most homes are built with ambient lighting to uniformly light space from overhead.
Home offices need task lighting for detailed task work, such as reading and writing at a desk, that is glare-free and strong enough to prevent eyestrain. Purchase a desk light or floor lamp to place in your workspace for added illumination – day or night. If you can position your desk near a window as well to bask in natural light, even better.
5. Organize your infrastructure
When working from home, it’s easy to use existing infrastructures such as telephones and wall sockets, but this can be irritating in the long term. If you use a phone regularly, consider purchasing a VoIP or additional landline rather than using the home phone.
It’s also wise to have wall outlets fitted for your workspace to prevent running cumbersome extension cords or sharing outlets for family use areas. A dedicated work phone and electrical setup will help you keep regular hours by “switching off” when it’s time to call it a day.
Working from the comfort of your home can be rewarding and peaceful, but take some time to understand your personal productivity needs.
Create an office space that gives you the freedom to work effectively and create a better work-life balance without encroaching on other family members and your valuable home life.
Sofia Lockhart is a Sydney, Australia-based freelance writer from who enjoys decorating houses, engaging in home renovation projects, and sharing her experience and advice.
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