More and more people are utilizing home offices. Technology now easily bridges the gap between the main office and the home office. Home offices often allow for a better work/life balance and provide valuable flexibility. However, home offices do present a few challenges. How do you create a space where you want to spend time? How do you best set yourself up to follow a productive daily routine?
Below we’ll focus on steps that will help you answer these two questions and will set you on the path of success with your home office.
Prior to setting up your home office, you’ll have to ask yourself the following questions:
- What will you be doing in the space?
- What type of work needs to be done?
- Will clients ever visit the space?
- Will colleagues visit for work?
- What type of materials will you store?
- What kind of equipment do you need?
Once you’ve determined the answers to the questions above, it’s time to get started.
Choose your space
Select a place in your home that’s peaceful and quiet. You’ll want to avoid interruptions and loud noises.
Paint your space
Choose a soothing color that you like and paint your office. Gentle colors are usually better than bold ones.
Select a suitable desk
Select a desk that is comfortable and allows for plenty of surface space for work. Your desk is the center of your work day, so it’s best to invest in quality.
Buy a comfortable chair
Here, it’s best to get something ergonomic since you’re going to be sitting for quite some time during the work day.
Get high-speed internet
This is an obvious need. When working from home, internet is the lifeblood of your work. Make sure you have 25 Mbps at minimum.
Set up a private business phone line
Get a VoIP phone and a dedicated business line. You don’t want to run into issues with the family line.
Use a clock or timer to keep track of your office hours
Keep track of the time that you spend working in your office. It’s easy to let work creep into your family time. Use a timer or clock to ensure that you’re exercising the discipline needed to excel in a home office.
Add some greenery
A plant adds some much-needed beauty to a home office. Get something that will work with the amount of sunlight that hits your space.
Invest in good lighting
You’ll do a lot of reading and writing in your office, and the space needs to be lit appropriately. A good desk lamp and a stylish floor lamp will do nicely.
The last thing you want is to be staring at empty wall space for hours each day. Invest in some art that you like and hang it up throughout the space.
You’ll need storage for both your office supplies and your work documents. A bit of cabinet space will take care of your supplies, and a simple file cabinet allows you to organize your paperwork.
Overstock on office materials
Stock up on everything you might need in your day-to-day work. Items like Post-Its, tabs, stickers, stapler, hole puncher, calculator, calendar, pens, markers, highlighters, envelopes and stamps all need to be within your reach.
You’ll want to protect the electronics in your office. Be sure that you have everything connected to a surge protector.
A good printer and scanner is a critical part of your communication with the main office. There will be things you need to print and sign and send back to clients or co-workers. Be prepared for this by having a good printer/scanner combo.
By following the steps laid out above, you’ll be able to create a customized workspace that you’ll want to spend time in. Additionally, you’ll have everything that you need in order to be a productive employee.
What have your experiences been with a home office?