Something that seemed like a luxury is now becoming the norm. The concept of a home office has always been around, but it was never normative or strictly necessary before the year 2020. Now, it is absolutely essential for the working populace to have a dedicated home office. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic essentially enforced the Work-From-Home culture, there has always been a need to distinguish between work and personal life. Productivity can plummet if you feel like you’re always at work, not to mention the toll it takes on your physical and mental health. A home office helps maintain that distinction during the pandemic. By having a proper working space, you can ensure a proper work-life balance and successfully boost productivity.
Not sure how you should go about setting up the perfect home office? Here are some home office setup ideas and tips that will definitely help you create a professional nook right within the four walls of your home:
1. Identify Your Needs
When coming up with home office setup ideas, it is important to identify your needs according to your profession. Do you need a desk? If yes, how big should it be? Do you have any use for a standing desk? Does your work require you to have a bunch of stationery on hand? How much space do you need to work?
Are you going to have clients visiting you frequently? Do you have a co-worker? Define your needs accordingly and make an inventory of everything that you’ll require.
2. Pick a Spot
You know your home best. You know the open spaces, where it gets stuffy, which rooms serve what purpose, who spends their time where and for what how long. When thinking about home office setup ideas, first identify the location you want to situate it in. Choose a spot that meets your specific needs for the kind of work you do.
If your work needs you to regularly meet with people, choose a spot that is near your front entrance and does not involve a path that traverses any personal spaces like bedrooms. If you’re a graphic designer, you probably need a secluded office that can fit all your equipment in it. Always consider all the factors under your control when picking the location of your home office.
3. Plan the Layout
Perhaps the most important thing to focus on when coming up with home office setup ideas is the layout. Deciding how your office is going to look affects not just productivity; it has the potential to make or break your business! Most people think that it’s just the worker’s efforts that determine success, but that is not true.
You need to have the perfect environment in which you don’t just work, you thrive! The position of your desk, the angle at which your monitor is, whether your seat is facing the door or not- a variety of such details influence your productivity. Planning the best layout for your home office setup ideas is crucial to making sure you don’t slack off!
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4. Welcome a Dash of Nature
Natural lighting, proper ventilation, a good view- all these factors matter significantly when you are coming up with home office setup ideas. Even an artificially well-lit room makes a marked difference in productivity- but the closer you are to nature, the better. It is important to be in an environment that allows you to work uninhibited.
Darker rooms and spaces make you feel lethargic, while brighter rooms and spaces make you feel productive. Similarly, a good air-flow and pleasant scenery around you makes for a stimulating work environment that does not stifle your workflow. A small plant or two on your desk or an adjoining shelf or window would not only improve the aesthetic appeal but help bring you closer to nature. The speck of green will provide much-needed relief to your eyes if you are constantly staring at your screen throughout the day. If you go for air-purifying plants like the snake plant, that is an added bonus.
5. Move the Clutter to the Attic…
Or any other storage area in your home. The office space you will decide upon will undoubtedly have a lot of stuff already taking up space that you will not be needing while you work there. This junk not only fills up your work area with obstacles, it also clouds your mind- remember, a clean and organized environment is the ideal workplace.
Group the things that are necessary, get rid of things that are not. Notice how an organized workplace instantly improves your level of productivity. Invest in innovative storage solutions to keep your workspace as minimalistic and clutter-free as possible, without sacrificing on functionality.
6. Don’t Underestimate the Value of Aesthetics
Most people tend to ignore the colour palettes, designing styles and other such factors pertaining to their workspace, but these actually play an important role in helping moderate your workflow. Different colours evoke different emotions. Red evokes anger, blue evokes sadness, and so on. The colour most associated with growth and productivity is green.
You can try including as much of it as you can- some potted plants or maybe green drapes. Having a calming, motivational colour scheme goes a long way! White, though it can come off as slightly clinical and sterile, is actually a minimalist favorite when picking a colour scheme. This clean colour story can be broken by pops of yellow or whatever bright colour you prefer, to add interest and dynamics without making the space overwhelming. If stark white is too bold for you, you can explore other neutral pale shades like beige and blush pink for a similar but slightly cozier effect.
7. Posh it up a Bit
The way you treat your surroundings and what you own tells a lot about you; or at least, that is how your clients would perceive it. When coming up with home office setup ideas, it is very important to treat your workspace as you would yourself- spare no expense you deem necessary when it comes to making an impression.
A good mahogany desk is always going to trump any budget desk you were going to buy. A lock and safe will convey the importance you attach to keeping things secure. Make the best choice for your line of work and always go for quality!
8. Comfort is Key
Your best ideas come to you when you are relaxed and open to innovation, and not bucking under pressure. Taking care of your mental and physical health is important. In a traditional office setting, this may be tougher to ensure since you have an assigned workspace and everything about your day has been pretty much laid out for you.
You cannot stretch your legs or take a breather as often as you might need to. Comfort is very important to improve productivity. An uncomfortable workspace will only sour your mood, thus affecting workflow. With the WFH culture, the ball is in your court, and you must make the most of it. Comfortable, adjustable chairs are one of the basic essentials of any home office. Maybe a few cushion to ensure lumber support. You have control over the height of your desk and chair, so make sure the set-up maintains an optimum angle to your keyboard and screen.
9. Keep Track of Your Time and Schedule
When you are working from home, it can be difficult to keep track of time. Every hour seems to fly by- not to mention the fact that most people choose to work from home to make time, not to lose more of it. This is the reason for having a proper routine chalked out, with a balanced division of working hours and off-hours.
It makes it much easier to maintain a work-life balance. It also allows you to become more productive, as it streamlines your concentration, allowing you to focus and produce more. Invest in a whiteboard so you can plan out your tasks and any information you need to complete them swiftly. This can also be a designated space to put up your sticky notes. Consider putting up a small calendar. Despite the plethora of virtual productivity solutions, having your tasks and the important information physically mapped out in front of you makes your workflow considerably swifter.
10. Privacy is a Must
The one thing you might get the least of at home is the most important factor to consider when formulating home office setup ideas. Having a clear distinction between your work life and your professional life necessitates privacy. Making sure that there are no distractions to your work from any source, including family, ensures max productivity.
Privacy is also important because, for many, being alone with their thoughts actually gives them better ideas than, say, a crowded living room. Meetings, important phone calls, keeping important documents safe- all of these essential business activities require you to have privacy in your workspace. Try to pick an isolated corner, preferably in a room with a door you can keep shut without inconveniencing your family. The more soundproof space, the better- you do not want a crying baby or noise from the TV to interrupt an important business call.
Your home office setup is what you desire it to be. With basic planning, organizing, and investment, you can easily turn even a storage closet into a fully-equipped home office! Keep in mind that this is your sanctum. As such, it should have everything that will allow you to maximize your output while comfortably juggling your personal life.
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