A home office is a great addition to any home, including people who work outside of their homes. You will appreciate this quiet and functional corner every time you have to revise your work or continue working on a project off schedule.
The big question is: How do you make a working home office? It means that you need a place that suits your needs but looks nice and comfortable at the same time, and that’s not that easy to get to.
Once you start planning to furnish a home office, you face all sorts of challenges (from space and location to getting the right setup) just like any other room. To make the process run smoothly, we have put together a list of the most important tips for setting up your home office:
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The first critical decision is placement. Even though you can afford to choose between different rooms, you need to make sure that you have chosen the right one to complement the productivity of your work.
We recommend a place that is very quiet, ideally far from your children’s playrooms or living room. Outlets are a great idea as they make your office accessible to customers.
Image source: Lori Gentile interior design
For people who work this full time, the office is just as important as any other room in the house. You will be spending a lot of time indoors, so instead of treating it as second class accommodation, it should be given due attention.
The office also holds valuable supplies and work information, and you need to keep them locked while you are not using them. What you certainly don’t want is for your children to build paper airplanes with your annual reports.
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If you are aware of the hours that you will be in your office (including the hours after the “official” work day), you cannot allow the comfort to escape your attention.
Proper ergonomics will help you avoid common physical problems and protect yourself from repeated injuries such as posture, back pain, carpal tunnel syndromes, or eye fatigue.
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The first thing you need to bring in is a comfortable chair. Choose one that will not stiffen your body after a few hours and that will allow your back to lean comfortably and feet to rest firmly on the floor while sitting. Armrests are also a good idea.
Remember that the chair has a crucial say in the consequences that work could have on your body. So don’t hesitate to buy the best one (if you skip it you will save one arm and leg price, but if you buy it you will save your whole body price!).
The best ergonomic chairs should be large upholstered, with a mandatory backrest and a height-adjustable mechanism.
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If possible, move the office near a source of natural light. Bright workspaces are the best in terms of productivity, so you’ll need to do whatever you can to let in light (enlarge windows, remove curtains, etc.).
On the other hand, rooms that have limited or no access to daylight should be reinforced with strong ceiling lights, desk or floor lamps that illuminate certain work areas.
The location of your computer screen is also important and you need to rotate it so that there is no glare. The light needs to be in constant balance because this is the only way to ensure that you are doing the best to maintain your eyesight and overall health.
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From now on let’s get one point straight: a crowded office is not a functioning office! The place needs to stay airy and clean all the time, and you need to know where each item is kept so that you don’t lose valuable time trying to find it.
Assuming your workload doesn’t keep files organized, you can use 10 minutes after work for daily office cleaning.
Storage is vital to any home office. You need to keep the place well organized and with drawer cabinets or large shelves so you can record and view all your important files.
Still, there are people among us who love their chaos, and that even makes shelves behind doors sound like great ideas.
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Full-time home workers know exactly how important the style of their office is: they use it over 40 hours a week, which means they are in the office much more often than in any other room in the home.
This makes the office a top personalization priority and should motivate you to make it beautiful, fun, and inspiring.
Of course, decor can range from repurposing old pieces to buying expensive sets of modern pieces. It all depends on your budget. The truth is, you don’t have to spend top dollars to get it beautiful: chevron wallpaper and mid-century antiques aren’t mandatory!
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Think about the things that inspire you the most to make a decision. If it’s books, get a cute bookcase and paint it any way you see fit.
If you’re a movie buff, buy a collection of avant-garde posters and hang them in modern white frames. If you are passionate about working in a coastal setting, decorate it with seashells and beige pillows with sandy textures. See? Everything goes! You just have to keep it personal!
Don’t forget green
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There is no cheaper solution to keeping brain cells stable than bringing plants into your office. Green refreshes the air with more oxygen and makes people relaxed and happy just looking at it. If you feel that you don’t have time to look after plants, you can choose ones that require little attention to look wonderful and fresh.
Assign a phone line to your company
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Yes, you work from home and that’s great because you don’t have to worry about big teams, traffic jams, or break plans.
However, having a home office means that you share your work space with the whole family. This includes busy phone lines, slow connections, or even serious distractions that can’t wait.
While you will surely have trouble making kids realize that you don’t have time to play, there is actually one thing you can do to make life easier – you can set up a legitimate division of business.
Doing this will do wonders for your job: you won’t be afraid of someone taking the line while you wait for an important call, and you will inspire clients to trust you, which is not so likely with a normal home line .
Nobody will have access to your voicemail, and customers will never be confused as to why they had to make an appointment with your five year old son. If this is not an option for getting your business credible, we recommend a cell phone or an internet based (VoIP).
Comfort is important
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That’s right; You need an office to work instead of relax. But has it occurred to you that you need a place to read or just lean on during a break?
Because of this, any office can use comfortable chairs, especially those with footstools and cute coffee tables nearby. Colorful, richly patterned throws and pillows are great for encouraging creativity, and you will love every second you have to use them.
When you are surrounded by colors, you can definitely think about it and find innovative solutions. Don’t you think that the best ideas come when they are least expected? Make yourself comfortable in your office and try this theory out!
Functionality is your main concern
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Let the office be what it actually is: an office! Just as people with insomnia are advised to avoid bedrooms when they are not sleeping, it is advised to use the home office to work and nothing else.
Define the place correctly and it will work: even a small desk in the kitchen can make a nice office if it doesn’t disturb you while you work.
All you have to do is pick a corner and just repurpose it with a tall bookcase or filing cabinet so you can focus on your work.
Another thing to consider is getting rid of clutter. Most people are unaware of the negative impact of overcrowded desks on their productivity.
So keep it clean: remove all unnecessary papers, pens, chargers, and candy wrappers. and start over. Keep the place well lit as this can also sharpen your focus and effectiveness.