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Working at home can be amazing.
You get to be in your own space, be home with your family, and wear whatever clothes you want (if any). Studies have even shown that people who work from home are often more productive than their office-based counterparts.
But, sometimes the benefits of working at home can turn into roadblocks to productivity. All the ‘advantages’ listed above can become disadvantages if you start feel too comfortable or find yourself becoming distracted.
One of the best ways to address this issue is to create a space that is just for work. No more working on the kitchen table or dozing off while working on the couch (I can’t be the only one…).
How to Get the Most Out of Your Home Office
1. Get Organized
Built in shelves and accordion files are great ways to stay organized in small spaces. Amazon also has a ton of desk organizers in a lot of fun colors to help jazz up your space a bit too. An organized desk space can often lead to better work due to lack of clutter- both physically and mentally.
2. Have a Dedicated Space
If you have a spare room to spare then great but, if you don’t, try and carve out a small space in your home that is only for work. It can be a corner in a room, attic, or even the bathroom (just kidding- don’t put your office in the bathroom). Whatever the space is, make sure you can dedicate it to work.
If all you can spare is a small corner then consider using a wall-mounted Murphy Desk which can fold down when you need it and fold away when you don’t. You can even do one yourself- check out this YouTube video for a quick tutorial.
Health Tip: If you get a store bought version and VOCs or chemicals in the home worry you, open your package outside to let it air out. If you bring it in and it still has a “new” or chemical smell to it, consider a non-toxic sealer to help prevent continued off-gassing.
2. Invest in a Good Chair
I am all for cutting corners to save money but sometimes it’s worth it to splurge and a good chair falls under the second category. If you’re going to work for more than half an hour at a time, find a good chair to use. Being comfortable will help you improve your productivity and can look good too.
Searching garage sales, Let Go, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist are all great places to find a good, comfortable chair. Make sure to try it out before committing to buying and always keep safety in mind when meeting people.
Once you get it home, clean it, let dry and add it to your work area. You can even look for a chair cover or a nice throw to spruce it up a bit.
3. Decorate Your Home Office Space
Think of how you would like for your office area to look and feel. If you’re not sure where to start, check Pinterest for some great ideas. Look at color, design, and organization to discover what you like and then start piecing it together.
Colors: If you want to feel motivated go with bright colors. If you want a relaxing atmosphere to get the creative juices flowing use more pastel colors.
5. Have a Plant (or two)
As much as we fight it we are animals who have decided to build brick shelters for home. So it’s no wonder plants help make indoor spaces feel more cozy. Any plants and flowers can help a corner or desk feel a little more like home so choose something that fits you. Money tree, flower, cactus- the possibilities are endless.
6. Picture Your Why
You may think “I have pictures all over my home, do I really need them in my workspace?”
Yes, you do. We often display those who are important to us and those people often happen to be our why. They are why we work so hard to provide them with better lives. Even if you don’t have a why, picture reminders are a great way to stay connected with those in the outside world.
If you have worked from home for any stretch of time, you will know that it is not uncommon to start to feel secluded from the outside world. Pictures help us stay connected to those we love so take the time to find a pic or two, print them off, and put them in the frame for you to enjoy.
7. Let There Be Light
Take advantage of natural lighting in your home office or work area. If you are unable to, make sure you include lighting for your work area. Floor lamp, lamp, desk lamp, rock salt lamp- choose something to help light up the area where you are working. You want the area to feel bright and alive while you work.
Working at home has tons of benefits. Having a dedicated work space that is functional and enjoyable can make all the difference in the world.
Let me know if you try any of the tips mentioned above and how they worked out for you below.