If you’re used to working in a formal office setting, transitioning to your home office can be both exciting and challenging. On the one hand, you have the opportunity to set up your home office workspace to be as comfortable and efficient as possible. Moreover, you get to work on a flexible schedule, since you’re essentially your own boss. On the other hand, maintaining professionalism and productivity in such a relaxed environment where you’re exposed to many distractions can be difficult.
To successfully work from your home office, it will take a bit of planning and effort to create an effective workspace that maximizes your productivity and minimizes the temptation to indulge in binge-watching, sport, socializing, house chores, and a myriad of other fun things you’d rather do.
Here are several ways to reduce distractions and improve your home office workspace:
1. Keep your desk organized
Researchers claim that, on average, workers spend about one week each year searching for misplaced documents and items. Since you’ll probably spend most of your time working at your desk, it’s important that you keep it organized to optimize productivity. Ideally, your desk surface should only have your computer and important work-related items organized in a neat manner, leaving you with a sufficiently large area to work on. For instance, you can have a cup to hold the pens and a tray or folder for your documents.
2. Personalize the space
If there are other things you want to display on your desk, like family pictures, calendars, artwork, sculptures, keepsakes, trophies, and so on, then consider hanging them on the wall or placing them on your shelves or cabinet if you have one. Personalizing the space helps you to claim that area of your house as your own, and can help to remind other members of your family not to interrupt or disturb you when you’re in your home office. Moreover, having these items on display can help to inspire you and uplift your mood while working. However, only keep the items that are absolutely necessary to avoid cluttering your workspace.
3. Creative storage solutions
A desk with in-built drawers and filing cabinets on each side can provide you with quick access to files or work items without cluttering your desk. This is particularly helpful if you have limited space. You should arrange your workspace depending on your flow of work so that items that need to be accessed regularly can be placed within easy reach, while those that are rarely used can be positioned further away, like on the floating or corner shelves. Mobile cabinets can also be effective since you can move them around as needed.
An untidy or messy office can undermine both your motivation and productivity. If you feel like your work area is overcrowded, you should find a more efficient system for organizing your things, and move any old equipment or documents to a climate-controlled storage unit.
4. Capitalize on vertical storage space
If you have limited space for your home office, you should take advantage of wall space and use storage options with multiple levels that start at the floor level to the ceiling. You can also add a corner bookshelf for more space-saving storage. Also, add a fire-safe box to store your important or sensitive documents at home.
5. Purchase an ergonomic office chair
Whether you’re working from home or your office, it’s important to have an ergonomic office chair that provides adequate support to your spine to avoid stress and back problems from sitting. The right office chair should evoke a proper posture so you can be comfortable, even when working for long hours. Make sure to choose the right size for your space.
6. Keep a paper shredder nearby
If you need to dispose of confidential papers regularly, having a shredder under your desk can help to minimize clutter from the papers piling up before you’re ready to get rid of them properly. Having convenient access to your paper shredder means that you can clean up as you go, making it easier to keep your home office neat and organized.
7. Seek natural lighting
Research shows that adequate exposure to natural light offers many health benefits, including improved reading ability or visual acuity, better mood and energy levels, enhanced immune system, improved quality of sleep, and increased productivity. It will also reduce energy costs since you won’t need to use artificial lighting except when necessary. Position your desk in front of a window to maximize natural lighting in your home office. If you don’t have access to natural lighting, invest in full-spectrum bulbs that provide a bright white light that’s suitable for reading and working.
8. Additional lighting
It may be necessary to supplement natural lighting, in addition to providing adequate lighting for nocturnal activities. Proper lighting not only makes it easy to work, but also sets the ambiance of your office. Some lighting options to consider include floor lamps and desk lamps that are dimmable and feature a rotating head for adjustments as needed. LED lamps are ideal because they don’t produce any heat; plus, they are long-lasting.
9. Invest in quality electronic gadgets
There are other factors that can affect your productivity besides distractions, such as frustrations. Consider a situation where you have slow Internet when you’re motivated to do some fast work, or you have a power failure before saving your work on a PC. Waiting for attachments to download, web pages to load, files to transfer, or to restart your machine also creates an opportunity for distractions, which lead to more time wastage.
To avoid such frustrations, you should equip your home office with the necessary technology gadgets and services, including:
- A reliable Internet service: consider that it will also be connected to your smart TV, laptops, mobile devices, and tablets in your house.
- A powerful network router: this will ensure strong Wi-Fi connectivity signal coverage around your home.
- Surge protectors: this will protect your computer and other electronics from voltage spikes.
- Printer, scanner, and shredder: these are necessary for optimal productivity.
- Telephone and/or VoIP: these are essential for reliable business communication.
10. Add more green
Researchers claim that the colours surrounding you can affect your mood and productivity. Interior designers recommend green walls for a home office because it’s the most relaxing colour for the eyes. Green walls will not only help to unwind your mind but also create a calming effect to alleviate stress. This will, in turn, enhance your comfort, concentration, and productivity.
Lastly, remember to set boundaries. The appeal of home offices is due to the freedom they give to work at your own convenience while being close to your loved ones. However, this can also be a source of distraction that reduces your productivity. Make sure to set some house rules and set aside clear working hours to minimize disturbances and maximize productivity throughout the day.
For more information on how to improve your home office workspace, please contact Abacus Self Storage here.