In this day and age, about 45 percent of all employees in the U.S. work from home, at least as a part-time. Even people who have full work hours are often forced to wrap up some tasks back at home. Unfortunately, they soon find out that their productivity tends to plummet in such comfortable environment, especially one that is not optimized for work. Therefore, people working from home, especially those who see this as their main source of income, need to learn how to set up a productive office.
Picking the right room
The first thing you need to do when picking the right room is considered the number of home’s current inhabitants. Sure, not everyone is easily distracted but in a case where you have more than a single roommate or a family member, you want to go for the most remote room in the house. The less foot traffic in front of your door, the better. Same goes for your window, as well. In other words, you want a room facing the backyard, rather than the one facing the street. Finally, the issue of noise mostly depends on your agreement with other inhabitants, which is definitely not a design feature but it is vital for the successfulness of your home office project.
Will you greet clients in the office?
Another thing you need to think about is the issue of clients. Freelance copywriters, ghostwriters, and designers seldom meet their clients in person, which means that their home office can be designed for their eyes only. Moreover, it means that they require less space, which makes some even opt for a dual-purpose room. A bedroom/office is a common combination that you might want to consider. As for the office where you expect to greet clients, you might want to set up some extra seating, position your desk differently and even consider getting some brochure holders.
Preparing the room
The next thing you need to keep in mind is the issue of properly preparing the room. Before you even start, you need to think about all the tasks that you will have to take care of in this room. For instance, for designing and copywriting all you need is a computer (possibly with two monitors). On the other hand, for podcasting, you might have to find the room for a proper audio equipment, as well as soundproof the walls. This isn’t that expensive, yet, it requires a bit of extra work. Either way, neatness, and hygiene need to be a priority. This is why hiring some help or investing in an extraordinary vacuum cleaner might be your safest bets.
Leaving personal mementos is something you would do in an actual office. This isn’t prohibited (or even unwise) here, either. On the other hand, TV has no function in the office whatsoever. Even when it comes to your computer, you have to be as strict as possible. It would be much more efficient if you were to have a separate Google account for work. This way your social media bookmarks won’t become a serious distraction. Ideally, you would even use a separate computer for your job. Otherwise, you might get tempted to start a video game you’ve just installed or go to your movies folder. A low-cost alternative to this would be to install a virtual machine (VM) and use it instead.
Focus on the ambiance
Finally, creating a work-friendly environment is about more than simply furnishing the room. In order to make it work-friendly, you need to ensure that your home office stimulates all your senses. For instance, you might want to light a scented candle or two, place some fresh flowers in a vase on your desk or even try playing something on your speakers while working. Some companies go as far as to create park-themed offices and this idea might be something you could try to utilize.
Of course, music can sometimes be distracting but you can feel free to go with some instrumentals or even work-stimulating recordings (a noise made by a crackling fire, the sound of rain or a waterfall). All in all, by feeling more at ease, you will significantly improve your efficiency. This also helps you make a better first impression on your clients you expect to greet in your home office.
At the end of the day, creating a proper work-environment is not just about design, in fact, it’s more of a lifestyle. Sure, you can remove the TV from your home office but there’s nothing stopping you from going to the living room next doors and enjoying your favorite TV show there. What you need to do is make an ambiance that will help you adopt the right mindset. Only in this way will your home office be truly productive. Luckily, with the above-listed five techniques, you can get just that.