Working from home obviously has a few perks. However, there’s also a pretty big drawback. Outside of the office environment, you might find it difficult to stay productive. A grid of cubicles and managers leaning over your shoulder can be very spurring. I’m sure you’ll agree that you won’t be the best worker you can be sitting at the coffee table in the lounge! To get the most from your work, you should have a properly equipped home office. Here are some of the features you should consider.
The first, and probably most obvious thing you’ll need for a well-equipped home office is a comfortable desk chair. This is where you’re going to be spending a large chunk of your working day. Obviously, you don’t want a chair that will leave you with a stiff back every day! I know it might be tempting to drag a dining chair up to your office and use that. However, desk chairs aren’t called “desk chairs” just so they can charge you more! Office chairs are designed specifically to have people sitting in them for long periods of time. If you sit in something else, it can develop into all kinds of different spinal issues.
A separate seating area could be a good idea too. This is especially true if you have people coming into your office and discussing your work. Even if you’re all alone, a seating area away from your desk can be a good feature to have. If you’re stuck in the same position, with the same view, it may stifle your ability to work. You may be able to remember times when you’ve hit a problem in your work, and not been able to work your way around it. If you have somewhere you can sit down and think for a short time, it can help with creativity, and show you solutions you never would have thought of. At the very least, I’m sure you could do with an area where you can simply take a break!
Having enough storage to keep your home office tidy and organised is another thing to consider. You’ve probably got a limited amount of space in your office as it is. If you let things get out of hand, and all your professional clutter begins to build up, you’ll find it incredibly hard to work. If you’ve got a desk you’re planning on using, think about the storage available. You may want to buy one with more drawers and storage space. Another option would be to set up a shelf somewhere near your desk, for documents and files. Once you acquire this space, don’t just let it go to waste! Organisation isn’t just for comfort – it helps productivity too. When you’re not frantically searching for this or that document, you can be working instead. Don’t forget other features which might keep your head clear though. Get a stress ball, a picture of your family, or perhaps something like this zippy little desk fan. Getting into a routine for organising your home office is a good idea too. Personally, I take a few minutes at the end of each working day to sort out my files and folders.
My final tip is to keep the wires under control. Sure, a desktop might fit fairly comfortably in your home office. However, this is only going to be the tip of the iceberg. Your company may have kitted you out with a printer, scanner and so on. After that, you’ve got to think about rechargeable devices, Ethernet cables and other electronics in the room. Once it’s all set up, you might find that you’re struggling to make it from one place to another without getting tangled. Controlling your wires is not only convenient, but as with your storage, it will help to keep you focussed. Every time you snag yourself on a wire or have to untangle one, it’s a distraction from your work. Aside from that, can you think of any sight more chaotic and disorganised than a load of tangled wires? Tie as many of your cables together as possible, and your workflow will certainly be improved.
Once you cover these areas, you’ll have a home office you can really shine in. I’ll leave you with one final tip: make your office your own! You’re in there to work, but that’s no reason to keep your personal and professional lives completely separate. If you think you’d feel more comfortable, and it won’t distract you too much, make it as personal as you like.