Working for home certainly has its perks (like no commuting) but it also can have its downfalls. It’s important to create a workspace where you will feel productive and motivated, and not be tempted to get back into bed. This can be easier said than done. However, one of the beauties of working from home is that you are in control of your work area. You can design it to suit your own needs. Here are some ways you can make your home office work for you.
When deciding what room or space in your house you’re going to use as your office, make sure you’ve considered a few different things. You need to think about privacy, noise levels, lighting and climate control. Don’t recreate that gloomy corporate cubicle! Take advantage of the best parts of your home and find an area that is going to make you want to get up and work every day. Ideally, you want your office to be in a quiet area where you can have a certain level of privacy if needed. Often this can be as simple as being in a room with a door you can close. If you’re likely to be meeting with clients, a room toward the front of the house means that visitors don’t have to walk through your whole home before the meeting and helps to ensure that other members of your household have some privacy. Just like in a regular office, natural light is important and can help to boost your productivity so consider picking a space with windows or skylights.
As well as being well-lit and quiet, your office needs to be an organised space so that you feel as if you are on top of your work. A cluttered space means a cluttered mind. Take some time to properly declutter; decide what you need in your office and what paperwork or material is unnecessary. Consider what is really essential to have in your workspace and strive to keep the area as simple as possible. Doing this can help you decide what storage solutions you require and try to use digital spaces to your advantage. Keeping your documents and invoices in cloud storage makes managing them a lot easier. If you have a small space or are low on storage, then don’t overcrowd your office with filing cabinets and bookshelves. Instead, you can use community storage platforms to find local storage in your area for anything that may be taking up useful space in your office. To maintain a tidy office, dedicate some time at the beginning or end of each day to sorting through your files and putting the space in order.
No matter where you are working your health, safety and welfare are critical to consider. In an office environment, whether it’s a home office or not, you should be using products that are ergonomically designed and make work comfortable for your body. Make your office work for you by carefully selecting your office furniture. If you’ll be sitting for a large portion of the day, consider a standing desk or a chair that will help keep your posture aligned. Position your keyboard and computer so that your screen is at eye-level and your wrist sits in a comfortable position.
You want your office to feel like a professional working environment so try and separate your work from your home life while you’re there. You can do this in a lot of different ways. One is to work in office hours and to have the attitude that you need to get up and go to work. This can be by getting up, getting dressed and starting at the same time every day. Another way is to take meaningful breaks. While it can be tempting to get up and go to the pantry everytime you feel a pang of hunger, this isn’t good for your health or productivity. Don’t just wander around your house or move your laptop in front of the TV. Instead, set aside time for a break and take a walk or get out of the office. Go to a space, like the living room or the garden, that you associate with relaxing, rather than just going on Facebook for a few minutes at your desk.
Your office is yours and yours only, which means you can decorate it how you see fit. While it is first and foremost a workplace, you can still make the area feel like you. Add personalised touches, such as photos and artwork, and create a pleasant environment by adding greenery and plants. Use colour to brighten your office because the brighter and more fun your working environment the more excited you will feel about starting work each day.
Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and part of the team supporting Spacer, a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a passionate supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.