When you work from home it is easy to become distracted and lose focus. It is worth spending the time to create a home office that encourages productivity, comfort and concentration so you can work hard for the money. Here are a few tips for crafting a stylish and functional work-space.
Light Bulb Moment
Let there be light in your home office! Draw back the curtains and draw inspiration from natural light. Don’t put your desk in the darkest corner of the room. Hit the bright spot and move your desk close to windows but parallel to the panes. Give yourself a view and try to position the desk where you can stare at something more interesting than a blank wall when you look up from the computer. A window’s natural light is ideal, and when you let the light in, it will cut down on eyestrain and headaches and improve mood, energy, alertness and productivity. Position your monitor so there’s no glare from windows or overhead lights – the object is to create balanced lighting. Even with great natural light you’ll still need additional lighting for darker hours. Put a small lamp with a nice soft glow on your desk for task lighting or a floor lamp that can give concentrated lighting to your specific work area.
Ergo, Comfort is Key
You don’t get to choose the perfect desk height and chair at an office, but you do have this option at home! You spend hours parked in your office chair every day, so don’t hurt yourself by sitting in a non-ergonomic position every time you work at your desk. Your comfort is worth every dime, so spend the money and invest in your health and a stylish, supportive, comfortable chair with an adjustable seat and backrest height. Ensure that the top of your computer screen is at eye level or a little below. As you scan down the screen, your eyelids will naturally close a bit and moisten, which reduces eye fatigue. Position your keyboard so your forearms are parallel to the floor. Adjust your chair so that your feet rest firmly on something. Even if you sit perfectly however, you shouldn’t do it all day long. Move regularly – set regular breaks or take a stroll around the block.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this space, you want it to be a space you enjoy. Don’t hold back – create your dream office and add personality to its aesthetic. Paint the walls a color you love and one that creates the right mood – perhaps a cheery orange or a calming shade of sea foam blue. Get a great rug. Personalize thoughtfully and inspire yourself with a piece of framed art, a scent that makes you happy, a special photo, or a few cherished knickknacks. Add greenery to bring what’s outside your window into your space. Get creative with storage – if filing cabinets don’t tickle your fancy, consider organizing vertically and horizontally. Hang floating shelves and use vertical file folders on the desk to keep important papers within arm’s reach. Consider magazine type racks, bookshelves or wooden cube storage. Choose accessories that enhance a comfy feeling in your home office and decorate in a style that energizes your space.
You need the right tools to get the job done and being successful in a home office requires creating an office space that promotes efficiency in a non-traditional work environment. Master your technology and invest in the right equipment – a phone, a good desk with plenty of space, an ergonomic chair, computer with efficient memory and performance, a fast internet connection, a clock, and any specialized equipment, tools or software that are key for performance in your area of expertise. Take the time to organize your equipment properly – hide unsightly cords by running a power strip behind your desk and plugging everything into that. Tame the cord jungle on the floor with cord winders, tubing or an organizer that’s attached to the desk and lifts cords off the floor. Keep all your office supplies handy and stocked, so you don’t need to dart out of the office every few minutes.