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If you are one of the millions of Americans who work from home, whether you run a small business or have an arrangement with your employer to work remotely, you know how beneficial it can be. For starters, your schedule is more flexible. For example, you can wake up without rushing to eat breakfast or finish your morning coffee. Next, you save time and money by not driving daily to and from an office. Lastly, your workdays are devoid of office distractions like noise, unnecessary small talk, Internet browsing, prolonged coffee breaks, and too many unproductive meetings.
Another benefit of working from home is creating an office that is comfortable, organized, and stylish, which can help increase productivity. Designing or expanding a home office can be difficult and expensive, but there are ways to do it quickly and without breaking the bank. This Balboa Capital blog article features tips on how to create a productive home office.
Pick the best space for your home office.
To remain productive and complete your daily tasks on time, you need to work in an area that is private and quiet, and that does not have anything that might distract you. For example, working in a space that has a clear view of your flat-screen television is not a good idea. If you share the house or apartment with a spouse, children, or roommates, pick an area with the most privacy and least foot traffic.
This is especially important if you make business-related phone calls or participate in web conferences. You do not want your co-workers, clients, or prospects to hear background noise when discussing business on the phone or seeing people in the background during your webinars.
A spare room with a door is ideal for a home office, mainly if it is located away from noisy areas. However, if you do not have one available, there are other options. For example, home offices can be set up in storage rooms, closets, basements, and family rooms. In addition, portable standing divider walls, partitions, and barriers present you with an affordable way to block your work area and provide you with privacy. They are available in many sizes and can be purchased at office supply stores.
Make your home office comfortable.
You wake up motivated and ready for the busy day ahead every morning. However, if your home office is too small or the lighting is bad, you will become frustrated and feel uncomfortable. Do not let this happen. Instead, rearrange your space so you can work comfortably and efficiently. For example, move your desk to an area with lots of space and good lighting. Natural light is preferred, so position your desk near a window.
In terms of office lighting, you want to select an option that provides the right ambiance, prevents eyestrain, and minimizes glare on your computer screen. Neutral-white LED bulbs provide warm, natural light and are available for recessed light fixtures, desk lamps, and floor lamps.
Next, organize your office furniture, so your printer, telephone, and files are easily accessible. File cabinets, side tables, and shelves can be located in a manner that keeps your workspace organized. Next, your desk is where you will spend the most time, so keep it clean and tidy.
The last thing you want is for your desk to have a computer, modem, telephone, mobile device, printer, pencil holder, business card holder, trays, picture frames, and piles of paperwork and office supplies fighting for real estate. This clutter can make it hard to find what you need, reducing your productivity.
Put your health and well-being first.
You will sit at your desk between six and eight hours a day. Therefore, investing in an ergonomically correct chair that can reduce or even prevent the onset of back pains is good. In a nationwide study conducted by a leading office supply retailer, 7 in 10 workers said their chairs caused discomfort. In addition, the right chair can maximize your back support and help you maintain good posture while working.
Many different types of ergonomic chairs are available, and some have extra features like headrests, seat-depth adjustments, height-adjustable armrests, and different lumbar support settings.
Once you have purchased a chair for your home office, adjust its height settings so you can see your computer monitor without raising or lowering your head. This can help reduce strain on your eyes, upper spine, and shoulders. Lastly, purchase a floor surface mat to place under your chair. Floor mats can eliminate the difficulty of maneuvering an office chair on a carpeted floor or a rug.
Mats are available in many sizes and colors; you can even choose one that is non-toxic and made from 100% recyclable materials. This is a great way to keep your indoor work environment as healthy as possible.
Add a personal touch to your space.
Once you have finished creating your ideal home office, you will be highly productive and enjoy your workdays. The last order of business is to add a personal touch to your home office to make it fun and inviting. You can incorporate your favorite color combinations and personal interests and develop a theme. For example, if you like the ocean, you can hang framed nautical art on your walls and add related accessories and decor with similar colors to bring it all together.
If you do not have a specific theme and want to spice up your space, you can add wall art, plants, family photographs, custom window coverings, and decorative hardware to your office desk and furniture. A small accent chair with a throw pillow might be a good option if you have enough room.
Finally, some home office tax deductions might benefit you when tax season rolls around if you run a home-based business. Of course, every home-based business owner’s situation is unique, so talk to your accountant to see if you are eligible for tax deductions.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.