Working remotely offers a lot of flexibility and freedom that traditional work can’t provide. As technology continues to advance, our options for remote work become greater and more appealing. We’re in a time where we have the ability to do presentations, conduct team meetings, and have our reports done before the deadline, all from the comfort of our own home.
Working remotely has many great benefits. From saving time on commuting to saving money on gas and wear and tear on your car. It also gives you space to be more creative, have fewer distractions, and waste less time on chats around the water cooler.
And who doesn’t love working in pj’s while drinking their coffee from their favorite mug? Amirite?
But, to work from home effectively, it’s important to have a solid home office that provides a space for creativity and productivity. While a home office doesn’t have to be an entire room separated from the rest of your house, you do have to have a space that is dedicated to work. It should be a space that shifts your mindset from home to work mode.
So, how do you create a home office in your home that works?
Here are some tips to help you create the home office that’s perfect for you.
1. Don’t bring your work to bed
Your bed is specifically designed for comfort so you can sleep better. Sitting up in bed with your laptop blurs the lines of work and home, which should be separate. Working in bed doesn’t provide the change in atmosphere needed for your mind to change gears from sleep mode to work mode. You’ll find yourself too relaxed to get productive.
Yes, you may actually get some work done, but you’ll get much more work done once you get out of bed.
2. Create a dedicated space
You don’t have to have a spare bedroom to have a dedicated home office. But, it’s important that you create a space that is specifically for working. When I started working from home, I worked from the kitchen table.
What made it a dedicated workspace was that I sat in the same place every single time. I knew exactly where my laptop would be, where to place my mouse and where to place my pen and pad.
While my laptop didn’t permanently stay in the place, it was ALWAYS the place that I used to work from home.
Now, I have a desk in the den that has the same functionality, but I’m able to close the door and make it more private and quiet.
The idea here is to find a space that can function well for your working needs. Whether that is your kitchen table or a desk in the corner of a room, find a space that works for you.
3. Invest in high-speed internet
When working from an office, we’re used to working on high-speed networks, which help us work faster and with minimal wait time.
When you work from home, you should try to have the same experience. If you’re on a Zoom call meeting with your team, you don’t want to cut in and out because of your low-grade Wi-Fi.
Likewise, if you have to do research for a presentation or need to open several screens at once, your efficiency will depend on how fast your internet is. So, be sure to get the fastest internet package you can afford. Some employers may provide an internet stipend if you work from home on a regular basis, so check with them to see your options.
4. Use a wireless mouse
Working from home often means that you have less space than your work office space. It’s essential to create a home office that is highly functional so that you can get your work done faster with comfort.
Using a wireless mouse means you’ll have fewer wires in your way, which gives you a cleaner space to do your work effectively.
5. Keep it lit
Your working space that is. Make sure that your home office has proper lighting so that you are able to comfortably view your documents and your computer. The more comfort you have in your home office space, the more productive you will be.
Poor lighting can affect your morale, and can actually lead to lack of productivity. It can also put strain on your eyes and cause headaches.
So, it’s critical to have good lighting that gives you energy and allows you to see everything clearly.
You can keep your home office well lit by moving your desk in front of a large window, having a desk lamp with natural daylight bulbs, or placing your desk in a well-lit room in your home.
Don’t underestimate the power of good lighting when setting up your home office, it will make a big difference in your overall output and comfort.
6. Keep it tidy: Dedicate a place for paper storage
Keeping your workspace tidy and organized will make a big difference, not only in finding items quickly, but in your overall stress level. Having a clean desk actually provides stress relief, according to smallbizdaily.com.
Keeping your paperwork organized by task or project will give you momentum in your work since you’re not having to stop working to find that contract your boss randomly asked you about.
Perhaps, have a place designated to store your files and paperwork. This will keep your papers neat and it will not take away valuable workspace on your desk. Think of your desk as precious real estate. You want to keep it open and inviting for work.
A simple Dollar Tree or Target document bin can be sufficient. If you don’t want to buy a storage compartment, perhaps find a drawer where you can neatly put away your paper files.
7. Add some greenery
This is not a requirement for a good productive workspace, but it does provide a calming effect and freshens the air at the same time. It also tends to be aesthetically pleasing and can make you feel happier while you’re working in your space. A happier you means you’re more energized for a good day’s work.
Having live plants also has amazing benefits like reducing stress and even reducing noise pollution. Did you know that plants can help reduce noise distractions? Yeah, it’s a real thing.
If you’re working from home, having a home office is key to success
Working from home can be a great opportunity to feel independent while still working with a team. It gives you flexibility when you need it, and provides a lot of great benefits. But, to be effective at working from home, a dedicated office space is a must. The most successful people who work from home create a space that’s inviting, energetic, organized, and functional.
These tips will help you create a home office that works for you so that you can do better work. Whether you work from home on a regular basis or sporadically, having a dedicated workspace will optimize productivity.