A few months ago we had a new normal to get used to around here: my hubby started working from home full time! For us, the flexibility that offers is perfect with two little ones, but we’ve had some challenges, too. Like, keeping two little ones fairly quiet during the day so daddy can work! But one of the big things that has helped all the way around is giving him his own office space in which to function.
So when Ashley Wilson floated me a post idea on making working at home more enjoyable, well: I knew my husband FOR SURE would appreciate it! She’s got tons of tips – keep on reading for more!
When working from home, many people tend to improvise when setting up their home office. Many tend to skip the organizational aspects of the home office, and the comfort of the work area. All you need is a desk and chair, right?
Not really. You need to set up a working space that will help you get work done.
It makes sense to carefully plan your home office though – after all, you will be spending a good chunk of your day there. Before you determine your budget and start renovating, read the following tips.
Create a Designated Office Area
When you telecommute, you can curl up in a favorite chair or use your kitchen table to work from.
The problem with that is you may not be as productive as you would when working from a designated office, not to mention the back pain that you’ll start to feel after a while.
Set aside an area for your home office and you can notice several advantages including:
- Helping you get in the mindset of working. When you enter your home office, you will feel as though you have “arrived” at your job.
- Eliminating distractions. The right area will block out noise, pets, traffic, and other distractions as much as possible.
- Providing a place to store business files, equipment, and other items that are pertinent to your occupation.
- Giving you privacy by providing a place where you can go to get away from all the other things going on in your household.
- Changing the way others think about how you earn a living. Many times, those who work from home are taken less seriously by friends and family members because they do not have a “real job.”
A home office will help you keep family members at bay. It will be your productive little retreat where others won’t be allowed to go during your business hours. By having an official office and business hours, others will quickly change their mind about the type of work you’re doing.
Hide Unsightly Things
You should disguise computer cables whenever possible by running them through plastic tubes or tucking them through a cut-out in your desk. Use a zip-tie or cord to tie them all together so they are as neat and contained as possible.
Some other neat tricks that reduce clutter include:
- You can set up wall hangers for your headphones.
- Use a dual monitor stand instead of trying to place two monitors directly onto the desk.
- Use a wireless mouse or keyboard to eliminate some cables.
For those cables you can’t hide, make sure they are neat by using wire clips to keep them in place.
Working from home is more enjoyable when your office is neat and organized.
Take the time and organize your files. Store everything that’s over a few years old, and keep newer ones within reach. Choose good quality filing cabinets where you will easily find any file you might need.
If you truly want to eliminate having piles of paperwork, you might want to digitize most of them so you can access them from anywhere.
Find storage solutions for your books, publications, and trade manuals, and office supplies. Use colorful bins and baskets to hold smaller items in, or stackable drawers to make everything easily accessible.
Decorate and Design
Your home office should not only be functional, but it should also be a reflection of you. That means you will want to add a few personal elements as well. After all, you would want to decorate your own desk or cubicle if you worked outside the home, right?
Home renovation experts are a great source to look into. They are familiar with the latest design trends and can be of tremendous help when looking for office and home renovation tips and tricks. Don’t be afraid to visit their websites to get inspiring ideas on setting up your home office.
When you work from home, you have far more creative liberty than if you were in an office with strict regulations on what you can or can’t do. You could even design your own fitted wardrobe if you wanted to! Let your imagination run wild!
You will find that there are plenty of ways to enhance your home office, even if you are on a budget or do not have any construction experience.
Consider your Comfort
Your dedicated workspace should be as comfortable as possible.
- Choose a desk that is the right height and contains enough surface space for your computer setup, be it a desktop or a laptop, a printer, and any other equipment you might need.
- Select an ergonomic chair that provides adequate support for your lower back, can be customized to your preferences and will roll easily over the floor.
- Get a chair mat for your office floors to keep them scratch-free.
- Ensure there is adequate lighting in your room so that you do not wind up straining your eyes.
- You should have an optimal temperature in the room, as it plays a big role in how efficient you are with your tasks. You might want to consider investing in smart thermostat systems for your whole home somewhere along the way.
- Don’t forget to consider your noise tolerance. Some people naturally work better in a quiet environment, while others may want some background music.
If you prefer peace and quiet, look for ways to keep noise out such as sealing cracks around doors and windows. Alternatively, if you prefer music, make sure you won’t bother other family members with it.
An attractive, well-organized home office eliminates distractions and improves your focus well. If you feel overwhelmed, you can always get pros to handle the design for you.
Ashley Wilson is a digital nomad and writer for hire, specialized in business and tech topics. In her self-care time, she practices yoga via Youtube. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys trying out new food. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.
So many keys to a successful work-from-home setup! Thanks so much, Ashley!
Do you or any of your family members work from home?
It is not always possible for me to respond to each blog post comment. However, I absolutely do read them all, and if you’d like to address something specific, or have a question for me, please don’t hesitate to email me at Kristen@theroadtodomestication.com. I will respond to your email as soon as possible! Thank you for visiting the blog!