Working from home seems like the perfect dream come true, but don’t be fooled, it can quickly turn into a nightmare—one that will hurt your productivity and your life-work balance.
For many of us, our home is our sanctuary where we seek refuge at the end of a demanding day at the office. For many, home is about family, snuggles, and bedtime kisses or a long, hot shower, Netflix, and a glass of much-deserved wine. How do you even start a home office?
Turning a personal space into a professional environment can be overwhelming, but not if we can help it.
Here, we gathered 5 easy tips to help you set up a home office that works for you, because at the end of the day, no matter how Insta-worthy your work area is, if it doesn’t inspire you, why bother?
Let these 5 essential tips set you up for good.
Choose a location that you can call your own. Your workspace is the most important factor to a successful long-term work-from-home setup. It’s tempting to work in front of the television or on your bed, but be warned: doing either will extremely hurt your back and your productivity.
You need to sit properly and stretch your arms and legs regularly without reaching for the remote control or giving in to your inviting sheets and dozing off every thirty minutes. Everybody dreams of a spacious room with wall-mounted shelves, a beautiful wooden table fit for a kick-ass boss, and maybe an area rug to tie up the look. But, hey, don’t despair if that’s not you right now.
If space is limited in your house or apartment, be creative. Find a corner where there are minimal distractions and less foot traffic. Repurpose a good table. Don’t complicate this simple requirement: designate a space where you can zone in and focus on your to-do’s.
If your kid’s mess in the living room takes away your focus, you’re better off facing a wall or cooped up in the laundry room. Let’s face it—chores can drag on and on, family members can be demanding, and deadlines can be unforgiving.
Set a time for work and go to your area. When you’re ready to join the rest of humanity, leave your home office without feeling guilty of compromising your work-life balance.
Studies show that lighting has a significant effect on a person’s mental and emotional processes. Natural light affects the mood and energy of a person. Someone who is exposed to natural light is more alert and productive compared to someone who spends more time under artificial lighting conditions.
Ever wonder why the corner office is such a big deal? Well, aside from the usual perks we assume go with it, the natural light that fills a corner office is simply to die for. Natural light makes a space bright, airy, and a thousand times more gorgeous.
The great news is, no matter your actual work title, at home, you have the power to get as much natural light as possible. Simply look for an area that gets lots of sun, position your table the best way that works for you and your routine, and you’re good to go.
Now, if there’s little natural light to be had, a mirror is your fail-safe home décor. It reflects light and helps expand a space. And lucky you, mirrors come in a gazillion different looks these days. Explore your options and find a design that resonates with you.
Oh, we get it. Some people claim to work better in cluttered situations—actually, no, we don’t get it. Clutter is something we are better without. No exceptions. Especially you working from home. Don’t beat yourself for it, but as much as possible,set up a system that will help you manage clutter in your home office.
There are many scientific researches that show why clutter does no one any good, but we’re going Japanese on this one: clutter is negative energy that sucks positive energy right in. As much as possible, keep the flow of energy flowing freely throughout your office, and your productivity will thank you for it.
It helps to have bins or baskets for storage. Basically, know where you want to put your office supplies and how to incorporate knick knacks to personalize the space. And the tangle of wires usually found below or around the work desk? Eyesore!
Don’t let wires cascade down to the floor. Attach power strips and hooks to the underside of your desk or use a roomy box or basket to contain the wires. It makes sense to label the wires so you know what goes where.
Clutter accumulates really fast, so take control before it becomes overwhelming.
Like lighting, color plays an important role to achieve the ideal home office setup. Men and women react differently to colors, but one thing is for certain, colors affect our day-to-day activities. So don’t be quick to disregard the color on your walls.
If you have an all-white interior, it’s not a bad idea to choose a bold color to break its monotony. If you’re itching for a cerulean or a tangerine wall, the least you can do is paint one accent wall.
But if you’re feeling extra creative, why not DIY geometric patterns on the wall? All you’ll need is painters tape and your choice of colors and you’ll most probably end up with a nice personalized wall art. Most probably.
Seriously, choose curtains, carpets, paintings, vases in pretty hues to make your home office vibrant.
So you ticked off the basic requirements of a home office:
Now, what next?
You—yup, don’t forget about you. After all, it’s your space, so season according to taste.
If you’re a plant lady, by all means bring in the greens and you will instantly breathe life into your work area. If you prefer working with a pet nearby, allow your furry friend entry to your professional haven. If you’re all about comfort and coziness, there are ways to achieve the hygge vibe without sacrificing professional aesthetics.
Go ahead and explore.
There is a wide variety of office decor that lets your personality sparkle and shine. Some hanging wooden signs, for example, feature humorous quotes; others, inspirational quotes perfect for the office. Get one or two and hang them up a wall.
In essence, make sure you’re happy and comfortable in your home office. It should allow you to work efficiently. So go ahead and get started. We’re so excited for you!