How to Set Up a Home Office
A lot of people think working from home would be a dream come true. They picture themselves waking up, grabbing coffee and being ready to work in under 10 minutes. There’s no doubt that working from home has its benefits. Comfortable clothes, less distractions, a flexible schedule and no commute are just a few that come to mind. But working from home often creates an entirely different set of obstacles most people don’t think about. A big one is your office space. It may sound great to work from your living room couch, but in reality, it’s not the most productive work environment. Read on for some great tips on how to set up a home office (with the perfect office furniture) that will make you eager to wake up and seize the day!
Ideally, your home office should be a completely separate space wholly dedicated to the work you do. This is important so you aren’t tempted to get a jump on household chores instead of finishing that spreadsheet your boss wanted by 11:00. Think about the type of environment you’ll need to be at your best. As the saying goes, Location, Location, Location! Do you want to be right in the middle of the action or would you rather be tucked away in a part of the house with less distractions? Are you the only one that will be home? Do you have pets or children to work around? All of these are factors that can impact your daily workflow. If you don’t have an entire room available, find a place where you can commandeer a single wall that you can make your own.
The Chinese have been practicing the art of Feng Shui for over 3,000 years. It’s defined as paying attention to how humans interact with their environment. When deciding how to design your office, think about your ultimate goal. If you are looking to foster creativity, your furniture choices and layout may be different than if you are promoting focus and productivity. It may help to sketch out how you spend a typical workday. How often do you need to reach for files? Will you be going back and forth between your computer and printer? Do you need a whiteboard? This process will help organize your thoughts as you start to flesh out the items you need. Don’t forget to steal some ideas from your actual corporate workplace as well! We spell out different types of office arrangements in our article on how to layout office furniture so check it out!
When you start working from home, there are four items that are crucial for success: your desk, chair, lighting and storage space. Remember, you are likely going to spend at least 8 hours a day (and sometimes more) utilizing these pieces. Taking time to choose the right ones for you is especially important for your home office. Whether you choose more traditional, Amish-made solid wood pieces or a sturdy modern alternative, Amish Outlet Store has you covered!
When first thinking about how to organize your office, the desk is probably the biggest piece of the puzzle. You may think that any old desk will do as long as it has a flat space and some drawers, but nothing can be further from the truth. The first thing you’ll need to consider is how much space you have. How big can your desk be? Next comes the question of what you’ll be using the desk for. Will you be working mostly on a computer, and if so, is it a desktop or a laptop? Maybe your work leans more toward paperwork or you do a lot of writing by hand. Did you know that there are different desks specifically designed for each of those scenarios? Also, will you need quick access to files? If so, you may want a desk that comes with file drawers built in. As you can see, there are a multitude of circumstances that have bearing on the type of desk you need. For more in-depth information our article on how to choose the right desk will give you a ton of great ideas.
Your desk chair is probably the one area where it’s important not to compromise. After all, you will be sitting in it for hours at a time. A bad office chair can lead to a host of problems, including stiffness, back pain and impeded circulation. This in turn can lead to a lack of focus and may take a toll on your overall productivity. A fully adjustable chair with a full back will allow you to customize the fit while providing good back support. Adjust the chair so your hips, knees and ankles naturally fall at 90-degree angles to ensure good circulation flow. If you have the option, choose something with a breathable fabric that will be comfortable against your skin at a variety of temperatures. There is no doubt that a quality office chair will increase productivity. If you need some ideas our selection of desk chairs is the perfect place to start browsing.
Good lighting is essential when working from home. An overhead light can often be over-bright and create annoying shadows in your workspace. To avoid this, you can add one or two task lamps to your desk, allowing you to move the light exactly where you need it. Having enough light reduces eye strain and helps keep you focused. If possible, locate your office near a window or door and let in some natural light. Not only will it boost your mood, it will increase your energy and even improve your sleep!
Storage is something that often gets overlooked when setting up a home office. According to studies, the average employee spends 90 minutes a day looking for things. This can be even more of a problem when you are working from home, because you don’t have a ready-made space that is set up for office work. Most of staying organized while working from home is managing paper. Paper files, print outs, and mail can quickly pile up and turn an otherwise organized space unruly. When working from home, clutter is the enemy! Try and think beyond a traditional file cabinet. A credenza is a beautiful piece of furniture that not only gives you storage space but offers another flat surface which could come in handy. And of course you can never have too many bookcases. Tight on space? Don’t forget to organize up! Pinterest has great home office ideas to utilize wall space for the storage of binders, books and office supplies.
The Extras and Nice-to-Haves
Once you have your essentials in place, it’s time to think about the little touches that really make the space your own. Decorate your space with pictures that remind you of happy times, or personal knickknacks that hold special meaning. And don’t forget color! Research shows that the color green encourages calm and brings a sense of harmony and hope. Consider painting a favorite shade of green, or simply add some plants to keep you grounded. On a more practical note, there are technology items that can make your life easier when working from home. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, invest in a good set of headphones or a high-quality speakerphone so you can work hands-free. A standing desk that converts between sitting and standing gives you the flexibility to move around during the day. A Bluetooth speaker sounds better than playing music directly through your phone. Do anything you can think of to personalize your space into somewhere you enjoy spending time.
Working from home is extremely productive and can be more so when you take the time to set up your office to your specifications. Once you have all the essential items in place, you can look forward to a happy and productive workday.