For anyone who works from home, the home office can be a lifesaver. It can give you a place free of distraction and a physical boundary for keeping that work-life balance. However, if it’s not designed well, it can be uncomfortable, distracting and even bad for your work. Freelancers, bloggers and work-at-home bosses have been working towards the best home office possible. So, how do you follow in their footsteps? I’ve collected tips that we think contribute to have a workspace that will make you work all the better and not feel terrible at the end of the workday. The right workspace can make your job a lot easier so read on.
Clutter is the enemy of organisation. Not just when it comes to physical spaces, but also for organising your thoughts. Doing your work in an untidy environment is far from conducive to creativity and productivity. Start off by cleaning and clearing away everything unnecessary. Then make sure you keep everything clutter free with lots of storage options and keeping a bin very near to your work station. You’ll thank me when you’re not having to do a clean-up every morning before work.
Whether you’re a blogger or a start-up, it’s great to have some kind of organisational space that isn’t on the screen. You’re bound to get sheets to paper you want to keep and records that you need on hand at some point during the day. Cork boards can be great, using pins or glue dots and glue dot dispensers to easily stick and remove stuff. Coloured post its are a great way to separate your paper into different sections so you’re not wasting time searching, too.
When you’re sitting at a desk for hours on end, you’re going to need to make sure you have a good seat. For one, it needs to be comfortable. You need to actually enjoy sitting in it for those long times. Anything that gives you a sore butt after a few minutes is no good and pillows aren’t going to protect you here. Secondly, think of your back and the strain it takes from sitting on the chair. Choose one suited for ergonomics to mitigate some of the danger from spending all day at a desk.
A desk needs to be adequately sized so that it fits everything you need consistently within reach. Choosing one with a good deal of storage space can reduce the amount of time spent rummaging around the room for stuff, too. Positioning is just as important, too. Having a good deal of natural lighting in the room is important for avoiding a glum dark space. However, don’t have your desk facing the window. That is, unless you want to be distracted by whatever’s happening outside every five minutes.
Light it up
As well as natural lighting, make sure your desk has its own light. Not only do you want to see what you’re doing and not feel tucked away in some dark corner. But you also want to fight the eyestrain of facing a computer screen all day. Contrast between light from a screen and its surrounding darkness is the primary cause of eyestrain. The resulting headaches can ruin a whole night. So light by giving thought to your eyes and your after-work evenings will be much less painful.
Keep it stocked
If you’ve got enough storage space, then make use of it. If you use a lot of stationary and have need of physical paper, make sure you stock up. Start with a big stock of all the office supplies you need and keep replenishing it when you go shopping. That will stop you from having to take time out of the day for supply runs. It’s also great for out of work stuff. How many times do you keep someone waiting on the phone while you race around looking for a pen? Never again, once you have your stock all organised!
Keep it creative
As well as space to keep all your essentials organised, it can be great to have space for keeping loads of creative thoughts, as well. Any entrepreneur or blogger undoubtedly has ideas they’re bouncing between. Without keeping it written, it can be easy to get distracted and forget a truly great idea. By giving yourself a creative space like a chalkboard wall, you can keep your creativity organised. Low maintenance and a great place for brainstorming, too!
Make it a little more fun
Sure, it’s a great place for getting work done, but part of work is giving yourself a space to get away from work, too. Taking breaks in your home office keep the boundary between work and home life. It also helps those breaks become more productive if they’re in a space you associate with getting your work done. Check out some tips on how people keep their offices fun. Little distractions you can turn to can really help you when your brain’s stuck on one thing or another.
Don’t let technology take over
No, we’re not talking about the rise of Skynet. This is more about the additional clutter that having tech in your office can lead to. Sure, you might have need of a hundred different things like laptops, printers, routers and coffee machines in your room. However, that means whatever started as a lovely, neat organised space is soon overrun with wires. The solution? Get ‘em outta the way. Make sure you keep your wires tidy. They’ll keep things uncluttered. More importantly decrease the chance of tripping over a wire and hurting both yourself and your equipment.
If you need to share
If you’re in a family home or have a partner who works at home, you may have need of a shared workspace. Same if you have contributors or employees at your home. However, that needn’t be the death of a professional space. Using the right tables, chairs and partitions, you can make a space that’s actually even more productive. Check out these examples and get inspired to make an awesome shared office.