You spend a significant amount of time in your home office. Here are 10 tips to help achieve the perfect setup.
Working from home is a goal that some can only dream of. You don’t have to worry about what you wear, dealing with a boss, or commuting to work. But focusing on work can be a struggle when you work in the same place you live.
Not only do you have to consciously switch into a work mentality when it’s time to get things done, but you’re exposed to more distractions than someone who works away from home. In order to reach your full potential, you’ll need to be mindful about how you set up your workspace.
10 Tips to Set Up the Perfect Home Office
So, where do you begin and how do you create the perfect workspace for getting your job done? In this article, we’ll give you 10 essential tips for making your home office conducive to productivity.
1. Choose Your Home Office Space
If you aren’t careful, working from home can mean losing the distinction between work life and home life. The first step to making the perfect home office is picking where you’ll be working every day. Although you technically could just use whatever space seems most convenient at the time, a designated spot is better.
Having a dedicated home office will help you step out of home mode and into the work mentality, and you’ll end up getting more done. It also comes with the benefit of being able to step out of your office space and switch into a more relaxed, leisurely attitude when you’re done with work for the day.
2. Use the Space Only for Work
Once you’ve chosen your home office space, make a rule that you’ll only use it for work-related tasks. If you start playing Sudoku puzzles or texting at your desk, you may have a harder time switching back to work mode when you need to. Keeping your work and leisure activities separate will ensure you can more adequately focus on both.
3. Pick Your Color Scheme
As soon as you’ve chosen your workspace, it’s time to choose which color you want the walls to be. Color has an impact on your mood, so this is an important decision and will impact the way you work. Are you inspired by bold tones like fiery red or deep orange, or do you prefer calming, neutral tones like grey or beige? Give some thought to different color ideas and décor themes before you pick.
4. Get an Ergonomic Desk
Your desk is the defining feature of your home office and where you’ll be spending most of your workday. While the amount of space you have will be a determining factor in what type of desk to choose, don’t forget to think about ergonomics, too.
Working from home can mean that you don’t get as much exercise since there’s no commute and you don’t have to go anywhere to start your day. A standing desk can be a good way to give your body a break from sitting and keep your mind alert at the same time.
5. Comfortable Seating
Next on the list is getting a high-quality office chair. The right chair will improve your posture, provide lumbar support, and keep you comfortable while you work. If you get the type of standing desk that allows you to switch between sitting and standing, a good chair will be the perfect place to sit while you take breaks from standing.
6. Think About Lighting
The next crucial factor to consider in your home office setup is the lighting. Natural lighting is ideal for productivity, reducing eye strain, and general health. But if you tend to work at night or your workspace doesn’t have a lot of natural light, look into getting a desk lamp for your home office. Having adequate lighting will help you stay focused on your work tasks.
7. Get Organized
Since you’re (presumably) starting your home office from scratch, you’ll want to get and organization system down right away. If you aren’t careful, files, bills, folders, and other miscellaneous items will pile up around you and your office will be a mess before you realize what’s happening. As you probably know, clutter will make it much harder to focus.
If you’re working with a smaller office space, consider using shelves to maximize usable surfaces. You may also consider switching to a paperless home office to minimize clutter.
8. Get Quality Office Equipment
An office is only as good as its office equipment. The specific tools you’ll need for your business will depend on the nature of your company, of course, but you can get the common staples set up first. Designate a spot for your laptop computer or PC. Set up a printer, a scanner, a fax machine (if required), and a paper shredder to safely dispose of old papers.
One of my home office pet peeves is having an unorganized jumble of cables near my desk. Here’s our article on keeping your office equipment cables organized.
If you spend a lot of time on the phone for your business, you may want to consider getting a landline instead of a cellphone for your business calls.
9. Set Boundaries
When you work from home, you may encounter people who don’t take your office hours very seriously. They might assume that since you’re home, you’re available to chat, go out to lunch, or engage in other leisurely activities. But part of keeping the mental separation between work and home is setting boundaries with the people around you.
Tell your family or roommates that when you’re in your office, you are not to be disturbed. Set up your work hours and stick to them, instead of falling victim to distractions and getting derailed. To take it a step further, keep your phone off or in the other room during work hours and outlaw social media in your office.
Read more tips about overcoming common problems when working from home.
10. Keep Nature Close
Just because you’re inside working doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy nature a bit at the same time. Keep houseplants in your office to improve your mental health and productivity.
Alternatively, try to position your work desk so that you can see some greenery outside. As a bonus, take frequent walks out in the fresh air to keep your mind and body alert and awake.
Ready to Enhance Your Productivity?
Once you have the perfect home office setup, your entire career may experience a radical shift. You can enjoy great success working from home, but the conditions you work under will undeniably have an impact on how it goes.
Your surroundings matter, and so does your mentality. With the 10 tips in this article, you should be ready to create your ideal workspace.