Whether it’s a grand, purpose-built room with built-in shelving or a converted cupboard under the stairs, the home office has become a big part of many people’s lives. With increasing numbers of us working from home either on a part-time or full-time basis, organising a workspace away from the office can really help you stay focused.
Getting your home office in shape for you to work at peak productivity can really pay off. With a bit of ingenuity and a few carefully-chosen purchases, you can quickly turn your home office into a truly creative and productive space.
You don’t need to spend a fortune, but having a comfortable chair to sit on while you work is important and could save you from back trouble. Buying an ergonomic chair and making sure it’s at the right height for your table or desk is essential.
Look the part
Sitting in your spare bedroom wearing your best suit is not necessary, but working in track suit bottoms probably won’t bring the best out of you in the working day. Keep a wardrobe of clothes that are suitable for working at home, and get dressed for success before the working day starts.
One for work, one for play
Smartphones are one of the top distractions of the working day and, if you work for yourself, having just one phone for your home life and work is going to make distractions all the more common, so it’s best to get one for each.
Home office-home life split
Not everyone has a huge house with space to dedicate a whole room to a workspace, but even in the most minuscule home office, it’s important to try and keep work self-contained and not let it bleed into other aspects of your home.
This is where working at home comes into its own. In the conventional office, some colleagues won’t appreciate you playing music or even hearing the tinnitus-inducing sound leakage from your headphones. Yet many of us work better to music – your home office is the perfect place to indulge your musical tastes and benefit from the creative boost that a great playlist can offer.
Lighting and colour
You will need to have the right lighting and a colour of pain on the walls to aid concentration, focus and creativity. Yellow, for instance, is said to make people argumentative (although if you’re working by yourself at home that might not be too much of a problem). Invest in a good desk lamp to avoid eye-strain.
A tip for all the creative workers. When every corner of your physical and digital space is crammed with potential time-stealers and visual distractions, using a productivity-boosting app such as WriteRoom instead of your normal word-processor can enable you to get stuff done in half the time. By stripping away all the toolbars and rulers, and giving you an eye-friendly white-on-black screen to write on, it can help you tackle that report or write that article in half the time.
Keep it clean
Particularly if you have limited space, having a clear, well-organised set of files and folders to store your paperwork in is a must. Since this is your space, go wild and choose folders in funky colours and styles, bringing some fun into filing.
Following these tips and putting a bit of thought and imagination into creating a comfortable home workspace can help you get the most out of your office-away-from-the-office.