27 Apr Home Work: Setting Up a Great Home Office
We wrote some time ago about telecommuting and how to make that work for you. But key to working remotely is having the right set-up at home to be able to be productive and the best way to have a dedicated space for your work.
Here are some tips for setting up a great home office:
Get lit. Natural light is such a mood enhancer, and if you need to work early, will also cue your body that it’s time to get started. But a lot of people set up desks inside closets, or other cubbyholes, that are far from windows.
[bctt tweet=”While it can be the right instinct to save space, it can be a real downer when you actually have to work facing nothing but walls.”]
And regardless of sunlight, be sure to have sufficient reading light as well. Unless you are particularly fortunate to have long, sunny days, you’ll almost certainly need a solid desk lamp in addition to the sunshine.
Save a (good) seat. Invest in a real, ergonomically-built office chair. You can have a makeshift desk, or cheap storage, but you want to treat your back properly.
It’s easy to think of work from home as naturally more relaxed, but your body won’t know the difference. So give it a break by making sure that your time at a desk in a home office is just as solid as the one at work.
Stock up. When you’re at work, you’re never far from the supply closet and an endless stock of paper, pens, folders, etc. But for a great home office you will have to plan ahead.
There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of printer paper (or ink or staples or whatever) when you’re up against a deadline. It’s the little things that matter, and a little planning will make a big difference.
Keep it professional. The challenge with creating a great home office is, well, it’s in the home. Before you know it’s easy for bills, kids’ homework, grocery lists and everything else domestic begin to drift into the workspace. You’ll need to make a conscious effort to make sure this area is dedicated to just job-related activities.
But it’s ok to get personal. On the other hand, you don’t want your home space to feel sterile. Just as you might in an office environment, it’s ok to have a photo (or two), a favorite slogan, or something else that makes it your individual area.
There are tons of fun designs at places like The Container Store, that offer everything from colorful file folders to offbeat staplers that can help personalize your home work environment.
Fight the chaos. It’s bad enough when your desk at the office gets messy, overflows with files and has stacks of paper. But you can leave that and go home at night.
Usually a home office is confined to a much tighter space, and if you let it get out of control, the overflow is into your personal area (and that of your family’s). Then the line between work and not gets blurred, and you’re likely to feel frustrated, and surrounded by your job day and night.
You can have a great home office that’s as productive as the workplace.
You just need to be sure to plan a space and make it a dedicated area. Make sure that your family members also respect the area as a work-only zone. Have good lighting, great storage and keep it neat. All you’ll miss is the water cooler.