For many, working from home sounds ideal. For those who actually work from home, working from home has its good moments, but it also has its challenges. There are those mornings when the bed feels way more comfortable than the home office. But designing an ideal home office helps these professionals get out of bed and get into a space that fosters productivity and success.
Claim your space. First and foremost, you must designate a space for your home office. Although you strive to be multi-functional while working, your home office should not pursue a similar goal. In other words, it should not also function as your laundry room, guest bedroom or storage closet. (An added bonus: The CRA benefits you if you follow this rule of thumb.) If you can swing a dedicated room, also ensure the home office only includes work-related items—computer, office chair, file cabinet, book shelf—you get the picture.
Protect your space. Once you have claimed your space, protect it. You want to secure a space that inspires you to work; often, this equates to having privacy. Be certain to draw physical and verbal boundaries with family members about if and when they are able to access your home office. If you co-exist with a particularly persistent child or spouse, consider hanging door signage that indicates when you are working or when entry is not permitted.
Stock your space. For better or worse, the modern professional spends a good amount of time doing these three things: sitting at the desk, working on the computer and accessing the Internet. That’s why an investment in a good office chair; an up-to-date computer; and reliable, fast connectivity are essential components of a productive home office. Build it into your business plan to make as-needed upgrades to your technology. Purchase reliable, functional office furniture that keeps you organized and propels your productivity. Invest in suitable organizational and storage options to keep your work materials manageable.
Decorate your space. You want to create a work environment that inspires you, reflects your personality and makes you comfortable. Introducing the right color and ensuring natural light help create an atmosphere of productivity. Select colors you like, ones that inspire calmness and concentration within you, and consider using bold colors as accents only. (Be thankful you’re not stuck with boring office beige!) If possible, have as much natural light in your home office. If natural light is a challenge, team a high-quality task light with decent overhead lighting for reliable visibility while working.
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