As more people turn to freelance work and self-employment, the home office is fast becoming the new norm. Working from home welcomes the luxury of freedom that’s hard to find in a conventional office setting. However, the comfort of your own home may also act as a distraction, so it’s important to design a fully functional workspace that is both stimulating and inspiring, to boost your productivity. Here are five tips on setting up the ideal home office, for maximum comfort, style and efficiency.
Home office photo from Shutterstock
Jethro Grainger-Marsh is a digital marketing manager currently working for Fuji Xerox.
#1 Create a functional space that's tailored to you
You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home office, so crafting an area that is suited to your needs is key. The desk, shelves and storage you choose should fit your professional requirements. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you may want to create an open space with ample natural lighting, to welcome creativity. You may also want to invest in organisational accessories to help you manage deadlines. If you’re a freelance graphic designer, illustrations and wall prints may be worthwhile to spark inspiration. If you’re an accountant, investing in smart storage would be imperative, in order to organise all the paperwork you may accumulate for different clients.
Tip: You’ll be spending hours in your office chair so don’t sacrifice quality on your seat. An ergonomically correct chair is a home office investment.
#2 Ditch the clutter and opt for smart storage
Nothing kills productivity like a messy desk that’s overflowing with paper and office supplies. Ditch the clutter and simplify your workspace by setting up an effective and orderly filing system so you never have to waste time searching for what you need. Be smart with your space by including built-in shelves above the desk, cabinets or baskets to store files and labels to clearly distinguish and separate. If you’re short on square footage, be creative and work with what you have. Don’t waste empty spaces or corners – they can all be transformed into storage or decorative areas to enhance your home office environment.
Tip: Inject some style into the setup by sticking to a consistent colour theme and having that theme overflow into your choice of furniture, shelving and file organisers.
#3 Go green
Bring a slice of nature into your work space by adding some greenery or flowers. They can help add a pop of colour and bring energy to the room, helping to spark creativity. It’s a simple and cost effective way to kick start your home office décor. Keep it small and simple with pot plants suited for indoor environments and watch your output grow as your plant does.
Tip: Peace lilies, ivy and even the humble cactus are great indoor plants. You can also get silk flowers that look remarkably real.
#4 Invest in professional home office equipment
Treat your home office equipment needs as if you were in a professional environment. Investing in long lasting and efficient products like copiers, scanners and printers will provide technical convenience in the long term and can help to minimise unnecessary stress. The last thing you want is having to run out to the local printer every time you need something printed or photocopied for a meeting appointment. That’s valuable time wasted!
Tip: Opt for products with a broad use rather than niche faculties. The stress of a lousy printer for example can be frustrating, especially when you no longer have access to IT support. So consider efficient options that can print on demand, at fast speed and can be connected to wirelessly.
#5 Be creative with the décor
Becoming accustomed to the routine of working from home can stunt your productivity, so brighten up your home office with an aesthetic that’s to your liking. The ability to freely accessories your space is one of the perks after all! Add to the décor with elements and accessories that can inspire and motivate you. Whether it’s paintings, printed quotes, inspiration boards or colourful stationary, injecting personal style into your home office design can make the everyday work more enjoyable.
Tip: Don’t go overboard as too much decoration can become distracting. Consider multitasking pieces that look good and can help you stay organised, like hang corkboards and calendars. A home office shouldn’t just be functional. The work space should inspire and motivate, so you can maximise your productivity and efficiency. From the furniture, to the storage, lighting and accessories, get creative and design the ultimate home office that reflects you.