With work and life expectations being as high as they are, it can be difficult to maintain a semblance of sanity when you spend all day in an office. But with the countless benefits of working from home available to you, things can only get better.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that working from home is not only possible, it can also be more productive than working in a typical office. The right working environment for you isn’t too hard to achieve – it’s as simple as setting up your own home office.
Before we can get started, you need to decide where in your home you want your office to be. A lot of people like setting up their home office in their bedroom, but there are plenty of other options as well.
Some people like to go with a separate room for the office, and if you’ve got a spare room or even a purpose built “study” in your house, you’re all set. Alternatively, if you’re pushed for space, you might find yourself setting up your home office in the corner of a room, in a hallway or passageway, or even in a cupboard!
The most important thing is that you choose an environment that will be as productive and comfortable for you as possible.
Once you’ve settled on a location, the next thing is establishing boundaries between your work space and any other parts of the home. This will help keep distractions from the rest of your house from interrupting your work time.
It can be anything from a simple door to a full wall – just make sure it’s big enough for you to work comfortably in. If your office space is going to be a part of a larger room, you might like to consider screening off the office space with either some bookshelves or a room divider screen.
Using some sort of screen will help you define your work space from your living space and also helps to hide any work related clutter.
The next step is getting yourself set up with whatever kind of equipment you may need. This will vary greatly from person to person, so there’s no single answer. A desk and an office chair are fairly obvious requirements for a well set up home office space.
Choose according to your space and needs – do you need wheels on your office chair? Do you need plenty of storage (drawers and cupboards in your desk? Do you need a separate filing cabinet or set of shelves?
All of this will depend on the type of work you will be doing in your home office as well as how much space you have available to you.
Most people will need a computer, set yourself up with one that will be powerful and efficient enough for your needs – also consider whether you need a desktop computer or if a more portable laptop will be able to do everything you need.
If you don’t already have software on your computer or any other equipment, research what tools you may need and then purchase them (be sure they are compatible with each other).
For a full rundown on what we think is the best work from home computer setup, click here.
One thing you will need in order to be a successful home worker is a phone. Most people these days use cell phones instead of landlines, but you should choose whatever option works best for you.
It’s also a good idea to get a separate number for your work so that your personal calls don’t interrupt the workday. Some people even like to set up their computer with voice over IP services so they can have high speed internet and phone service all through one device.
One of the most important things to keep in mind, regardless of what you have your workstation setup with, is that you need a place to store your work notes. These can be anything from the date and time of your last meeting to memos that contain any unfinished tasks you had to drop in order to get some other pressing matter done.
If you’re gonna be working anywhere near longer than a day or two, these notes will help save you a whole lot of time.
Another thing to consider for your home office is what I like to call the “boring bits”! If you’ll be working from home long term, especially if it’s in your own business setup, you’ll need to look into things such as tax, insurance, and other expenses (AKA The Boring Bits!).
You’ll find some information to head you in the right direction for these things here.
Last but not least, there are plenty of things that can be done when it comes to making your office more efficient if it isn’t already. Things like having a light switch that allows you to turn the lights on and off with your computer is a good idea.
It can be just as important to have some handy desk accessories like a set of coasters, some sticky notes, and maybe even a printer. For a full list of stationery and accessories you might need in your home office, click here.
These are all small things that can go a long way towards making your workstation more productive. If you think about it, any time spent at work should be focused on the task at hand – not distractions or miscellaneous items.
By setting up a home office that is well-organized and efficient, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your working day and get everything done in as little time as possible.