If you are one of the millions of Americans who work from home, whether you run a 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. You can wake up without having to rush to eat your breakfast or finish your morning coffee. Next, you are saving time and money by not driving to and from an office each day. Lastly, your workdays are devoid of office distractions like noise, unnecessary small talk, browsing the Internet, prolonged coffee breaks, and too many unproductive meetings.
Another benefit of working from home is being able to create an office that is comfortable, organized and stylish, and that can actually help increase your productivity. Designing or expanding a home office can be difficult and expensive, but there are ways to do it rather quickly, and without breaking the bank. This Balboa Capital blog article features tips on how to create a productive home office, and we think you will find them to be very helpful.
Pick the best space for your home office.
In order for you to remain productive and complete your daily tasks in a timely manner, 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 that offers the most privacy, and that has the least amount of foot traffic. This is especially important if you are going to 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 you are discussing business on the phone, or see people in the background during your webinars.
A spare room with a door is an ideal spot for a home office, especially if it is located away from noisy areas. If you do not have one available, there are other options to consider. Home offices can be set up in storage rooms, closets, basements, and family rooms. 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 different sizes and can be purchased at office supply stores.
Make your home office comfortable.
Every morning, you wake up motivated and ready for the busy day ahead. However, if your home office is too small, or if the lighting is bad, you will become frustrated and feel uncomfortable. Do not let this happen. Rearrange your space so you can work comfortably and efficiently. Move your desk to an area that has lots of space and good lighting. Natural light is preferred, so position your desk near a window, if possible. 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 they are available for recessed light fixtures, desk lamps and floor lamps.
Next, organize your office furniture so that 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 all fighting for real estate. This amount of clutter can make it hard to find what you need, not to mention reduce your productivity.
Put your health and well-being first.
You will sit at your desk between six and eight hours a day. Therefore, it is a good idea to invest in an ergonomically correct chair that can reduce or even prevent the onset of back pains. In a nationwide study conducted by a leading office supply retailer, 7 in 10 workers said their chairs caused some form of discomfort. The right chair can maximize your back support and help you maintain good posture while you are working. There are many different types of ergonomic chairs available, and some of them 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 having to raise or lower your head. This can help reduce strain on your eyes and on your upper spine and shoulders. Lastly, purchase a floor surface mat to place under your chair. Floor mats can eliminate the difficulty that comes with trying to maneuver an office chair on a carpet floor or a rug. Mats are available in a multitude of sizes and colors, and 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 come up with 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 you simply want to spice up your space, you can add wall art, plants, family photographs, custom window coverings, and decorative hardware on your office desk and furniture. If you have enough room, a small accent chair with a throw pillow might be a good option.