Working from home is becoming the norm. Many of us are switching to freelance work to afford greater flexibility, more lucrative paychecks and a better life/work balance. As well as this, increasing numbers of companies are cutting down on expensive overheads by allowing their staff to work remotely. Anyone who has worked from home will understand the importance of setting up a well-designed office space to maximize productivity and success. There are numerous ways to create a fertile working environment in your home, even if you’re pushed for space. Here are some tips.
Location, location, location
When you work from home it is easy to become distracted. Make sure your home office is in a place that will not be disturbed and offers a clear boundary between work and home. Trying to work on your laptop at the kitchen table with your family or housemates clamoring around is not only terrible for productivity, but it looks and feels unprofessional as well. You don’t need a huge area, just a place where you can concentrate and focus on your daily tasks without the laundry, dishes or television in your eye line.
Let there be light
Natural light is at a premium when it comes to home offices – the more you can get, the better. It is proven to be good for focus and creativity while working, and we all know what a big impact it has on our mood. Being able to let a blast of fresh air into the office space can be a real boost as well. Think about the windows themselves – aluminum sliding windows are durable and offer a sleek, modern look to your home office. Position your desk so as to get the maximum amount of sunlight without it reflecting on your screen. Having a good quality desk lamp is also essential for focused work, so invest in one. Having to squint is tiring for the eyes and the brain.
Choosing colors is a highly personal thing. You may work better with invigorating bold color on the walls, or perhaps cooler, aquatic tones bring out your productive side. Whatever floats your boat, giving your office a coat of paint is a cheap and easy way to set the tone for the room’s design. It can also offer the space a sleek, professional look, which will reflect in the quality of your work. When you paint, make sure you take into account the size of the room and where the light naturally falls within it. Lighter shades are more suitable for creative spaces, as darker tones can be a bit oppressive or claustrophobic – especially if you’re spending several hours in the room.
Plants in office spaces have all sorts of benefits. They are proven to help reduce stress, encourage positivity and focus, and improve the quality of the air. Be sure to factor in how easy the plants you choose are to look after when you select them – some might look great but require consistent watering and care. Plants and flowers are really effective at bringing a home office to life – they really elevate the feel of a room.
Clutter is a massive obstacle to creativity, focus, and productivity. Working from home is no excuse to keep a messy desk – use organizers and trays to keep things in line. Storage solutions for home offices are available to make things easier – including multi-purpose furniture designed for those with limited space. Invest in shelving units, filing cabinets, under desk drawers, anything you would expect to find in a regular office. If you have a job that involves clients visiting your office, you’ll need to have it organized and decluttered at all times.
Part of the appeal remote working holds is having control over your working environment, so don’t be afraid to add personal touches you wouldn’t be able to add In a regular office. A gallery wall with prints or family photographs, tastefully arranged can really liven up a space. If you’re into art, why not put a poster or painting up? Something personal to rest your eyes on while you’re thinking is another tried and tested productivity booster.
It isn’t difficult to set up a professional home office, and it doesn’t have to be an expensive undertaking. With a little creativity and planning, your space will become a productive and enjoyable place to work.
Article by Tanya Mayer
Tanya is a writer and a mother of two youngsters. She enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, reading books and cooking.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org