With more and more companies allowing for remote work and the rise of the “digital nomad” lifestyle, it’s important to create a dedicated home office space.
When you have a specific location for work, it helps to maintain a healthy work-life balance and eliminate household distractions for maximum productivity. Here are some tips for setting up the perfect home office:
Identify the most productive area of your home
Tempting as it may be to just plop yourself in front of the kitchen counter, having a specifically designated space for work can help boost productivity and focus.
Take some time to find a room or corner in your home that caters to your specific needs. If you need complete silence to concentrate, pick a room with a door that you can close.
But if you prefer a little background noise, setting up near a window or close to the front door could be a great option.
Make sure you have what you need
While a laptop and smartphone may be all you technically need for remote work, investing in other items to build out your home office can pay off in the long run.
Whether you’re running a home business or working remotely full-time, investing in a desk and comfortable office chair will help you avoid the temptation of working from bed.
Other items commonly found in offices such as organizational drawers, a printer, or a second monitor can also be worthwhile additions to your home office setup.
Declutter your workspace
To avoid your home life from taking away from your work time, make sure to keep your workspace and the area around it tidy.
Take the time to organize your desk at the end of each work day so you can come in with a clean slate the next morning. Additionally, pick up anything that could be an interruption such as children’s toys or dirty dishes from the night before. This way, you won’t be tempted to clean instead of work.
Prioritize natural lighting
The lack of social interaction with colleagues is a major concern for those who work remotely.
To counteract this feeling of loneliness, it is important to make your home office inviting and comfortable, with natural light playing a key role in this. South-facing windows are the best option for maximum sunlight, resulting in a brighter, improved mood and, according to studies, increased productivity.
In addition, natural light also works wonders for screen-strained eyes, making it an even more compelling choice.
Liven up the space
In addition to natural lighting, adding your personal touch to the decor in your home office can help make it a more comfortable and productive work environment.
A study from the University of Exeter found that when participants designed their own workspace, their productivity increased by a significant 32 percent.
You can use this as an opportunity to inject some of your own personality into the room. Take a trip to your local home goods store and browse for a few items that reflect your style. Plants, candles, artwork, or even a small fish tank can all help to make the space feel more inviting.
You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference having a few personal touches can make.
Invest in an office phone
Having a dedicated office phone, rather than relying solely on your smartphone for work-related conversations, can be a great way to separate your home and work life.
You don’t have to worry about taking work calls during your personal time if you have a separate phone line for your home office.
Furthermore, having a dedicated office phone is likely better equipped than a cell phone for extended conversations with clients and teammates. Plus, the added bonus is that your company might cover the cost of a work-exclusive line.