This is an exciting point in your life. For the first time, you get a chance to work from home. Working from home sounds appealing, but you probably had a lot of people telling you that it will affect your productivity. Make sure it isn’t so, by setting up the right environment.
Working From Home: How to Set up Your First Home Office
Be in Charge of the Environment
The location of your home office is crucial. It should occupy a private and a quiet spot in your home. If you do not have an entire room to create the office, but have to find a suitable corner, go with your bedroom. The living and dining area usually have more traffic, while you can hope for some peace and quiet in the bedroom.
This way, you will have an environment you can focus on. If there are certain tasks you prefer performing with a background noise, you can choose what you want to play. A good thing about it is that you can switch it off when you no longer need it.
While designing an office, you will come across tips in lines of “make sure you have enough daylight”, or “bring in a plant”. Both of these are a part of the biophilic design which is meant to make us feel connected to nature and the living things even when indoors. Use natural materials such as wood, wool, leather, stone etc.
Choose the colors, shapes, and textures found in nature. And yes, definitely make sure you have enough daylight and/or full-spectrum artificial lights. This type of artificial lighting will complement the daylight and take over for it once it’s scarce. Also, pot plants, and perhaps even a bird as a pet will help complete the picture.
Declutter and Organize
Even if you are in the group of people whose stress levels are not raised by clutter, a cluttered room could still hold you back. Office clutter is taking up space so it can make you feel trapped. Also, it usually occurs in the form of mess which makes things difficult to find which can be time-consuming.
A decluttered and tidy office is easy to organize. Create a digital backup of the paperwork you need to keep. Use scanner to upload all of the documents you need, and have them available at a click of the mouse. You can archive the hard copies in a secured box in your basement.
Have Only as Much as You Need
This is adding to the previous point. You need a simple, yet functional office. Do not start off by getting all the office equipment available. Unless printing is required for one of your main business activities, you do not need a clunky printer or a copier.
If you are only going to use it for printing invoices and organizing, get a 3 in 1, printer/scanner/copier. Do not get a desk larger than what you actually need. In most cases, it should simply be able to accommodate a computer, a decent screen, a keyboard and a mouse, and a notebook.
Make It Personal
The purpose of your home office is to give you a private place to work at and set you in a work mode. However, even if you were working at an actual office, you would still have certain personal items surrounding you. Put up your children’ artwork, and family photos.
It won’t be too distracting, yet you will feel the space your own and not too sterile. Also, have a comfortable spot you can relax in when you are on a break. It can be a nice armchair with a footstool, a bean bag, or a window bench.
Something to Get You Going
If you want to be on a schedule you have to know your schedule. Use a display board for your to-do list. Having it right in front of you at all times will keep you aware of it. Create a series of lists and goals, leading to a big one.
A shorter to-do list and smaller tasks will be easier to go through and you can get rid of them, one by one. This will provide the sense of accomplishment and keep you eager and motivated. You can also use the board for the list of your contacts, motivational messages, and photos.
Working from home has its perks, but it definitely has its downfalls. There is no reason why you should see this incredible convenience as an issue. Create an environment which will boost your productivity and help your business thrive.