How to Setup a Home Office - 9 Tips to Stay Productive!
Whether you have chosen to work from home or the coronavirus pandemic has forced you to stay inside, setting up your home office is key to staying productive. Working from home offers a new level of freedom and personal responsibility, but it also brings challenges involving focus and time management. Setting up a professional home office can provide the environment and tools you need to efficiently complete your work in a new setting. Keep reading to learn valuable tips for how to set up a home office.
1. Select a dedicated area of your house
Where you put your home office is almost as important as what goes in it. For some people, the right spot in their house is easy to identify. Dedicated studies or offices with doors are a great place to set up your home office. However, if you are short on space, deciding where to set up your office can be a challenge.
Think through how much space you will need and the type of environment you want to create. Do you prefer minimalistic and modern or cozy and comfy? Choose an area of your home that is relatively quiet and less frequented by your spouse, children, or roommates. Spare bedrooms or rooms with doors are often best because they enable you to close the door.
2. Ensure privacy
Privacy is important for your home office and maintaining a balance between work and home. If you live with other people, set some ground rules for your work space. Decide on times when you would prefer not to be disturbed, and let everyone know your meeting schedule as far in advance as possible.
When you are on the phone or participating in a video call, keep the door closed. Investing in a quality pair of headphones is also a great idea because it can greatly improve the quality of sound for your calls. Headphones provide an additional level of privacy, especially if you are dealing with sensitive information.
3. Choose the right desk
Your desk is the cornerstone for your home office. Once you have selected where you will set up your office, measure how much space you have for a desk. Consider the size of your computer, phone, printer, or other devices that have to rest on the surface. Also keep in mind, how much space you need to take notes, stack paperwork, or conduct other daily tasks. For some, a simple desk with a moderate workspace is fine. For others, a separate desk for the computer and workspace might be necessary.
4. Get a comfy chair
If your desk chair is uncomfortable, you will not want to spend much time in your home office. When selecting a chair, make sure that it is the right height for your desk. You should also look for back and arm support to provide comfort throughout the day. Ergonomic chairs are often height adjustable, swivel 360-degrees, and feature lumbar support. Adding a footrest under your desk can also provide comfort and release some of the tension in your back, neck, and legs.
5. Make a list
With the bigger items checked off your list, you will need to fill your home office with the rest of your essentials. Filing cabinets, printers, dedicated phones, additional monitors, and storage are all common items for home offices. Make a list of everything you use throughout the day and ensure there is a place for each item in your home office.
6. Check your internet connection
From video conferencing to sending documents, a solid internet connection is a must. For many people, their home internet was not purchased to support a daily work environment. You may need to check your internet speeds and bandwidth to ensure you are fully supported throughout the day. Upgrading your internet may be necessary if you reach your bandwidth cap.
7. Optimize your lighting
Natural light is a great way to improve your focus and motivation when working from home. Try setting up your home office in an area near windows to reduce headaches and lessen the strain on your eyes. Warm lighting will improve your relaxation while cool lighting can increase productivity. Adjustable lights allow you to change the brightness and tone of the lighting in your home office based on your unique needs.
8. Organize your essentials
Keeping your workspace clean and organized can help you stay productive. Make sure that every item has a place, removing as much clutter as possible. A clean desk can improve your motivation while a messy or dirty office can drain your energy. Also, organizing your essentials reduces the amount of time you spend looking for important items.
9. Decorate your space
Adding a few personal touches to your home office can make the space feel more inviting. Plants, pictures, or fun knick-knacks add warmth to your space. A decorated home office can make you more excited to work, instead of dreading a cold or empty workspace.