Did you know that freelancers make up 35 percent of the current U.S. workforce? And most conventional workers telecommute at least one day a month. It’s a benefit companies are affording their employees, as it cuts down on commuting and helps with work-life balance. But one of the least recognized benefits of working from home is the ability to design your home office the way you want it. Think about it—organizing your own work space without restrictions has an empowering effect. Researchers suggest that control of our work environment has been linked to improved professional performance. If you find yourself working from home, check out these ideas to create a productive home office environment – one that’s comfortable and enhances your productivity.
1. Find the right location.
Ideally, you’ll want your home office to be well-lit, quiet and separate from where you sleep. Studies have found that your brain associates specific places with certain actions. If you try to put your home office in your bedroom, it could impact you negatively, as your brain associates your bedroom with sleep. So, you’ll want to keep your work space and living space separate to enhance productivity. And remember, if you can’t find the right space, consider remodeling your basement or attic to create a new space for your home office.
2. Choose the right color.
Once you find the right location, you’ll want to choose the right color. There’s a lot of research out there about which color is the best for your home office. But really, it’s up to you! What color energizes you, helps boost your mood, and gets you ready for work? For some it could be a calming color like blue or an energizing color like orange. Think about what works best for you and try it out.
3. Get the right equipment.
The next step is to purchase equipment that works for you.
Definitely include a comfortable, ergonomic chair and traditional desk for heavy creative work. But also consider a standing desk.
Sitting too long and too much bad for your health and leads to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. There are many benefits of having a standing desk, including improved productivity and focus. Standing helps burn more calories, helping you reduce or maintain your weight.
You also don’t want to forget a second monitor. The second screen facilitates multi-tasking and goes a long way in increasing efficiency. Some people say, double screens equal double the productivity. Try it out!
4. Organize the space.
Once you have the right equipment and accessories, it’s time to organize. Your work space needs to work for you. Consider how you work and what you need. Remember to tailor your home office to your unique work habits and tastes.
Will a tidy office keep you from getting distracted? If yes, then invest in a filing cabinet or build shelves to free the clutter from your desk. Or do you thrive on sticky notes and loose papers at your fingertips? If yes, then buy some baskets to organize your piles.
5. Make it personal.
Create a work space where you enjoy spending time. Add personal items like pictures and artwork. Include some plants that not only add color and style but are known to increase productivity and happiness while reducing stress.
Lighting is key to your office. Get as much natural light as possible as natural light improves moods and reduces stress. But you can also supplement with rope lighting around your desk area and a tall floor lamp nearby. These accessories will make your works pace inviting and will draw you in to roll up your sleeves and start working!
Don’t expect to get everything right on your first try. Be willing to experiment and let your office space evolve. If you don’t love the color you chose after a few weeks, then pick a new one and repaint. If your new chair isn’t as comfortable as you thought it would be, then bring it back and get a new one. Or try that standing desk. Try out different rooms/spaces, accessories, room formations, etc.
The goal is to be comfortable and productive so don’t lose sight of that and enjoy the freedom to create your own space!