From saving money on lunches to eliminating stressful commutes, there are more than a few upsides to swapping a cubicle for a home office.
In order to make the most of your personal office space, however, you need to make sure it’s set up for success. Here are 10 things to keep in mind when creating your perfect home office:
1. Choose the Right Room
The first step to creating your ideal home office is choosing the right room in which to create it.
If you have a den, guest bedroom, or finished basement, you may want to take advantage of this extra space by using it for your home office. If not, the living room, kitchen, or even bedroom is ideal for those with limited space.
Make sure your chosen space is separated from the rest of the house, preferably with a door, so that you’re removed from distractions.
2. Take Note of Natural Light
If you can, try to set up your home office in an area that receives plenty of natural light. Besides boosting morale, there’s a scientific reason why natural light is important – according to a study by Northwestern University in Chicago, natural lighting actually improves office workers’ productivity and quality of life.
Make sure you can soak up the sun from your home office!
3. Keep Ergonomics in Mind
There are a few ergonomic rules you should keep in mind when setting up your home office:
- Your chair should be positioned so that your feet rest firmly on the floor, or a footrest.
- Your keyboard should be positioned so that your forearms are parallel with the floor.
- Your computer should be positioned so that the top of the screen is at eye level, or a little bit below.
4. Invest In Quality Seating
When it comes to outfitting your personal office space, don’t skimp on seating – your health is in question! Your office chair is where you will be spending eight hours a day: keep back pain, a cramped neck, and shoulder strain at bay by investing in a good quality, comfortable, ergonomically-designed office chair.
5. Get the Right Tech
When considering technology, make sure you get the options that best suit your needs. For example, if you do a lot of travelling to meet with clients, opt for a laptop rather than a desktop system. If you don’t have room for a printer in your home office, consider a Wi-Fi printer rather than one connected with a cable.
Your basic home office technology could include:
- A desktop computer and monitor (or a laptop)
- A keyboard
- A mouse
- A printer
- Digital camera
- A Surge protector
- A Scanner
6. Stock up On Supplies
Whether it’s in a corporate building or a cozy kitchen, no workspace is complete without office supplies. Remember, it’s better to be overstocked than understocked – there’s nothing quite as frustrating as running out of paper or printer ink right before a deadline!
Your stock of essential office supplies can include:
- Sticky notes
- A stapler
- File folders
- Printer ink cartridges
7. Maintain Good Lighting
While natural lighting is the best kind, it can’t be your only source of light. Make sure your home office space is well-lit: besides light fixtures on ceilings or walls, investing in some task lighting and small lamps will help reduce eye strain and make your workspace brighter.
8. Don’t Forget About Storage
The best way to keep your home office organized? Storage, of course.
Keep clutter at bay by investing in some solid storage solutions for your at-home office space. Shelves, a bookcase, storage boxes, and filing cabinets are all essential to keeping your workplace tidy and your workflow efficient.
9. Get Creative
While hardware and storage are essential, adding some personalized, creative touches will help keep your space fun and functional.
Attractive window treatments, rugs, plants or flowers, and even some simple DIY décor can do wonders to turn your home office from stale to stylish.
10. Keep it Dedicated
As tempting as it might be, avoid the urge to use your new office space for anything other than work. Studies have shown that using a workspace for non-work activities, even after “work hours,” can actually limit your extra productivity in the long run. Clear away distractions, such as a TV or game console, will help keep your home office a dedicated working space, so that you can focus on what’s important – getting your work done.