While it may feel a little different in the beginning, a home workspace is no different than a regular office. You still need to be energized, productive, and focused enough to finish your projects and meet your professional goals. Whether you have an entire room devoted to your remote work or need to share a space with your family, you can find a happy medium between home life and a day at the office. The following tips will help you designate an area to devote to your work. Once you spruce it up, you’ll have an inspiring and comfortable place to spend your week.
1. Choose a Smart Space
Some places in your home aren’t appropriate for work. Your kitchen counter or living room couch may be convenient—but working in these rooms can quickly become distracting and overstimulating. Slouching and hunching over your laptop can also contribute to back discomfort and neck pain. When choosing your workspace, avoid high-traffic areas. Instead, find a quiet corner or a room that isn’t used very often.
The basement is an excellent space for remote work. Other ideas include your bedroom, the guest bedroom, or an enclosed back porch. Add a small desk and office chair where you can use your computer or laptop. Situate your desk near a window, where there is more natural light. If this isn’t possible, use a desk lamp or floor lamp to illuminate your working area. An area rug, throw blanket, or space heater can help to make things cozier. If you find that your workspace isn’t enjoyable or productive, don’t hesitate to relocate. A new spot may be what you need to feel more motivated.
2. Invest in Technology
Every home office, no matter the size, needs a reliable Wi-Fi connection. Work with your Internet or broadband company to choose the right speed and bandwidth for your needs. A slow connection makes it difficult to complete projects or attend meetings. Next, test your computer’s webcam and microphone. Many of the most popular meeting software services will help you check both tools in seconds.
After completing the basics, be sure that your company’s software is working properly. Test each system, including word processing applications, company communication services, and corporate servers. Checking each product ahead of time will allow you to address concerns before the workday starts. Otherwise, you’ll also want a quality headset with noise-canceling technology and a robust yet affordable cloud service for storing data and documents.
3. Reduce Glare
Glare makes it almost impossible to see your computer screen. You can reduce glare by selecting the right window coverings. Solar shades are an excellent choice because they let in plenty of natural light while blocking up to 99 percent of the sun’s glare. They’ll also help to make your room cooler and more comfortable. Their roller shade style looks beautiful and clean in any space, while the easy open-and-close design is convenient to use both day and night. Other designs that are friendly and functional for a home office include light filtering cellular blinds, eclectic bamboo blinds and woven wood shades.
According to the Mayo Clinic and their experts on eyestrain, there are many other ways you can reduce glare at your computer. Turn off overhead lights and let sunlight inside instead. You can also try adjusting your screen settings so the brightness level is most comfortable for you.
4. Decorate Your Area
If you’ve ever had your own onsite office or cubicle, it was probably decorated with different items from your home. Many professionals adorn their space with family photos, souvenirs, or inspiring words. Your home office should be just as inviting. Add your favorite pictures or positive affirmations and incorporate the ancient principles of feng shui to create balance. Situate your desk so that it faces the door. This is considered the “commanding position,” which is said to increase the positive energy in the area.
Declutter any papers or objects that seem out of place. Next, add objects that the home decorating professionals at HGTV say represent the five elements of feng shui. You can add the wood element with houseplants or natural materials such as bamboo. The fire element can be incorporated with pink or red colors. Candles are another relaxing option. Natural tones like green and brown or artwork of trees and landscapes can help you to add the Earth element. Metallic sculptures or gray furniture and stones are all symbols of the metal element. Lastly, the water element can be incorporated with anything from asymmetrical shapes to water features, like desktop Zen fountains.
5. Purchase Helpful Office Supplies
By now, you’re almost ready to work. Now, you need to buy the office supplies you don’t have at home. When transitioning to a remote workspace, some professionals realize they require common items such as a mousepad or stapler. Some people will need to invest in more expensive supplies such as a tablet or printer.
While you purchase a few different supplies, don’t feel pressured to get them all at once. Create a budget, then pick up the things you need the most. Once you go through a couple of pay cycles, you can grab more items.
Designing a Productive Home Workspace
Even if you’re used to working in a traditional office, your home workspace can be just as productive. Take advantage of the tips above as you get started. You’ll be more motivated and inspired in the first weeks or months. As time goes by, you’ll get even more comfortable. Don’t hesitate to experiment with new ideas or setups. As long as you have a focused environment, plenty of natural light, and the appropriate office supplies, you’ll have the right foundation. It’s an excellent way to embark on your new professional adventure.