An increasing number of people now able to work from home, either in a freelance role or working remotely for a company. This brings with it an undeniable touch of freedom, but also a sense of responsibility. But this, of course, requires a home office in order to guarantee your discipline and peace of mind.
Working from home was once seen as a risky business, but nowadays the opposite picture is starting to emerge. More companies are outsourcing to freelancers, and more work is available online. Meanwhile, ‘real world’ employees run the risk of being replaced by machines.
If you are going to be in charge of your own workload, it is important to keep productivity levels high. One of the ways in which you can do this is to create a perfect home-office space.
You can only work with what you have, so if you only have a kitchen corner then do not despair. What’s important is that you make that space your own, and make it suitable for working.
If you do have more space, be it an area in your bedroom, a full room or a little shed at the bottom of the garden, then be sure to fully utilize what you have. Whatever you have, the rest of the advice still applies to you.
An office is a place that is specifically used for working. It is not a great idea to work from the same sofa that you usually watch TV from. The mind functions better if it knows its purpose, and one way to activate ‘work mode’ is to have a specific space that you always use, and that you use for nothing else.
This defined workspace should encourage clarity and productivity so that you can maximize the amount that you get done, as well as the quality of your work. So, how do you gear up your home office for productivity?
In order for your home office to encourage clarity and productivity, you should take a minimalist approach. Try to have only what you actually need on your desk, and make sure it is all immediately accessible. Laptops, pens, and paper, important documents; whatever you need.
Clean your desk or office area daily, perhaps as a little wake-up ritual before you begin. This will ensure you don’t end up with dozens of cups and useless scraps of paper lying around and adds to the overall sense of clarity.
The ergonomics of your home-office should be perfect. You can adapt this over time, but the key here is that you are always comfortable, even during long hours. Your chair should be supportive and set at the right height, your monitor should not strain your neck or back, and you might want wrist supports too.
You can also play around with light and color. Basically, the more natural light you can get during the workday the better, so aim to set up your workstation somewhere near a window. If not, get yourself a lamp that replicates natural light. Colour also has a huge effect on mood. Blues and greens can be calming, for example. Experiment to find out what works for you.
Finally, you should set the boundaries of privacy for your space, and let your loved ones know that when you are in your home-office, it’s usually because you are busy at work.
No home office would be complete without adding your own personal touch. You have the privilege of being able to work from home, so you might as well enjoy it. Ideally, you should want to be in your office. It should be a little productive hub where you get stuff done, and feel good about it in the process.