5 Quick Tips On Creating the Best Home Office Environment
Working from home may conjure up images of freedom and independence, which, along with technology, have fueled the explosion in remote work options. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a gig contract worker, or an employee with the option to work remotely, creating the most inspiring, organized, and effective home office space possible is critical to the success of your work-from-home endeavor. If working from a home office is beckoning you, learn how to navigate this corporate alternative by setting up a home office that will increase efficiency and productivity while providing the personal freedom you crave.
1. Address Your Work-Life Balance
When creating your home office design keep in mind that working from home can test the boundaries between home life and work life. Too often, working remotely can blur those lines and lead to distraction and frustration, as well as lost productivity. With this in mind, setting up a home office should first and foremost be located in a designated room, alcove, or niche that provides peace and quiet, and privacy from other family members, as well as that 60” television. At the outset, create a plan with others who may also be at home that clearly delineates between work-time and family time. Honor this plan by stopping work at the specified time to allow for personal activities, fitness, and family time.
2. Creature Comforts
You finally have a work situation where you can address and implement all the various preferences you have always wished existed in a corporate environment. Effective home office design often rests on furnishings and lighting, but with the freedom of creating a home office you are free to take those basics to the next level. Situate your desk near a window for a boost in mood. Invest in an ergonomically designed chair for less back and neck fatigue. Buy a convertible stand-up desk to aid joints and muscles, and boost energy. Incorporate ample storage options to keep work organized and accessible. If there’s room, add a treadmill for short breaks during the workday. Paint the office in a soothing color—or a vibrant tone to spark creativity.
3. Put Your Personal Stamp on It
In today’s culture, creating and curating one’s private brand is an extension how we represent ourselves in this world. Take the essence of that personal brand and express it in your home office. If you are passionate about sustainability, stock your office in eco-friendly designed or recycled materials. If you are a bit quirky, here is your opportunity to express that personality freely in your home office using your vintage flea market finds or kitschy décor accents. If your personal brand shouts sleek, classy professionalism, create a modern, high tech home office that expresses exactly that—like a modern day Mad Men Don Draper.
4. Inspire Yourself
Working in a traditional setting allows for only touches of your personality to be on display, versus a home office setting where you can create a work atmosphere that is motivating and mood enhancing. At home, while having to rely on your own initiative to self-motivate, create, and remain on task, it helps if you have items within your workspace that truly inspire you. These can be framed motivational “meme” art, photos of individuals who inspire you, important books that resonated with you, or just some little token of inspiration such as your child’s artwork or handmade card. Having a bulletin board or inspiration board can offer a focal point of collected images or quotes that buoy your spirit and reignite daily your passion to excel in your work.
5. Take it Seriously
Not everyone is a good candidate for working from home. Some may need direct supervision to stay on track during the workday, versus a self-starter who can take the initiative. Some may miss the social repartee within an office environment, versus those who gladly ditch the office politics and annoying interruptions throughout the day. Some may be unable to stick to the job, finding themselves sleeping in or watching television when they should be working, versus the person who is disciplined and starts each day with a to-do list and time management schedule. If you decide you are a good fit for remote work, own it. Take it seriously. Get up early, get dressed for work as if you are in an office, and get the work done on time.
Working from home is clearly a significant departure from how corporate life was structured in earlier generations. Working remotely provides an exciting opportunity to create a home office design that melds your own personality with freedom, productivity, and creativity, and it is here to stay.
by Eileen Spatz