By Guest Blogger Marcela De Vivo
Working from home has major perks…and pitfalls. With so many comforts and distractions available right around the corner, and no boss watching over your shoulder, a good home office space is necessary to keep you on track and productive.
From storage to organization to lighting, here are some tips to help create a more effective home work space.
Set Aside a Dedicated Space for Work
Ideally the location of the home office space will be set away from a busy, well-used path so that family members won’t be able to easily wander by and distract you.
If you are unable to close a door to signal work-in-progress, try hanging or folding screens that can be set up around the perimeter of your workspace to indicate that you are not available. The physical barrier also helps establish in your mind that wandering to the kitchen for another snack while catching up on TV shows in the queue is off limits.
Must Follow Tip: Minimize the chances of distraction by not allowing home tasks and clutter to enter that space. Keep all non-business bills, letters, kid’s homework, unfinished crosswords, etc. outside of your working area. Not only does this help you create a mental boundary whenever you set foot in the area, but it also keeps your business paperwork like billing, taxes, etc. clearly separated and easy to find.
Home offices are generally small spaces, especially if you are squeezing into a closet or a corner of a room. Keeping all your office supplies, cords, paperwork and other business essentials organized is key. Not only will clutter overwhelm the small area very quickly, creating a sense of disorganization, but can lessen productivity by making it harder to find things.
Paperwork is inevitable with businesses, even if you share most of your files online and communicate mostly by email and phone. Ultimately, just make sure you have a system in place that allows you to find your office supplies and important paperwork easily.
Must Follow Tip: To save on space, consider buying furniture with built-in storage. Add shelving to walls (if available in your workspace) and buying small boxes to hold various small supplies.
Let There Be Light
While you will not have to deal with the unflattering and institutional fluorescent lighting of so many business offices, make sure that there is enough light to work. Most home lighting tend to be dimmer and warmer than traditional offices due to the nature of activities that take place at home.
Ideally, your work space would be located by a window for natural light (a hot commodity in many office buildings). Then ensure you have plenty of bright light for evening work sessions—you want to keep the productivity up and not get drowsy due to the low light in the room.
Personalize Your Space
Finally, make your office space yours! Whether or not you entertain clients in your home office, you want to design the home office so that it reflects your brand and your aesthetic. Keep samples of your work available to remind yourself of your accomplishments and what your focus is while in your office.
Must Follow Tip: While designing the space for personal appeal, try to keep patterns and colors streamlined and to a minimum. The beige and grey of so many office buildings is not necessary at home—but soft neutrals are less distracting than brighter colors. Add an inspiration board to keep helpful photos or clips but also minimize clutter on your desk. If you have the space, add a green plant or two to brighten up the space.
Working from home can be an excellent experience, but for the attention-challenged, productivity can fly out the window while in a home office. Creating a workspace in your home with these tips will help redirect your attention and improve your work.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. Her background is in marketing and health, but she’s covered everything from music, travel, gaming, and home safety — all of which she writes from her own home, so she’s learned from personal experience of what it means to cultivate a good working environment in any scenario.