Tips for Starting the Home Office of Your Dreams
If you’re a busy entrepreneur, you probably spend a lot of time working from home, even if you have a dedicated workspace outside of your home. Are you happy with your current at-home workspace? If not, you could be compromising your productivity and even your health.
Read this article to find out how you can design the home office of your dreams, so you can get more done, grow your business, and stay healthy in the process.
Choose the Right Location in Your Home
When you purchased your home, was one of the rooms advertised as an “office” space? Just because a room is meant to be an office doesn’t mean it’s ideal for you.
For example, if you need a lot of natural sunlight to feel productive and stay awake, you may want to choose a different room with more windows. In fact, we’d highly recommend that you do — studies show that sunlight has a massive positive effect on both mood and productivity.
If you need some quiet space away from the kids or other distractions, then you may want to create a soundproof space in the basement or attic. Or, if you simply need more square footage, you may want to swap a bedroom or garage for an office.
When starting a home office, you should choose your space based on your individual needs.
Plan Your Home Office Layout
You’ll be more efficient and organized if you plan the layout of your home office before you start moving office furniture and storage units into the space.
Consider the positioning of your desk in relation to filing cabinets or think about how sunlight coming through the window may cause glare on your computer screen. You’ll also want to assess the positioning of your electrical outlets and think about how you’re going to power all your technology.
After you plan your layout, you can arrange your chosen furniture and other items in a more relaxed manner.
Consider too the size of your office, and how that will affect both the room and your impression of it. Different sized offices require different tactics: a large office is going to need far more furniture, wall decorations, and office tools. It’s important to fill up a large office with work-related objects like bookshelves and dry-erase- or cork-boards. Your environment has a strong effect on how productive you feel, so make sure you’re crafting an office that is clean, industrious, and work-appropriate.
Select Ergonomic Home Office Furniture and Accessories
When you’re designing your ideal home office, you may be tempted to think only in terms of budget and aesthetic style. However, ergonomics trumps both of those concerns.
If you’re using the wrong office chair or keyboard, for example, you could be putting yourself at risk for injury and harming your long-term health, leading to big medical bills. Furthermore, you’ll be less productive if you’re in pain.
Take the time to research the most ergonomic office items, so you can stay healthy — and keep working without pain.
Decorate Your Home Office
What are the things that make you smile? What makes you feel motivated and powerful? What colors make you feel energized and confident?
When choosing colors, it might be worth it to look into the science and art of color theory as it affects psychology. If you find your mind tends to start feeling sluggish after a few hours of working, consider leaning toward the color green in your decor — it’s supposed to stimulate the mind. If you find your body or your energy levels tend to drop more often, a passionate, evocative red as your primary palette could keep you fueled throughout the day. If stress or anxiety is your nemesis, consider blues or neutral tones to help create a calming environment that will bring you down to neutral.
As for decorations, go with what inspires you. Love sports? Plaster your walls with all the memorabilia and Fatheads you can find. Music fan? Throw up posters of your favorite artists or set up playlists and devices to jump to your favorite tunes right when you walk in the door. Like Star Wars? Get a six-foot Mandalorian statue and pop him in the corner of your office. Who is going to judge you?
These are all things that you should include when starting a home office. As an entrepreneur, you get to decide how your office looks, and you’re not limited by HR’s rules and regulations — so take advantage of that!
Starting a Home Office with the Right Tools
Of course, once you’ve set up the office itself there are plenty of tools you can use to decrease your workload. Virtual assistants can save you from admin work at the dinner table if you have the budget. A transcription service can turn any client calls or video chats into text you can read later and organize more easily, saving you hours locked in your office when you could be with family and friends.
Even something like a guided meditation podcast or a sound machine can help alleviate your stress levels, which is doubly important when you’re alone, and there are no co-workers around to commiserate with.
When starting a home office, don’t be afraid to personalize it and make it your own.