Working from home has a lot of advantages, including no commute to work and thus more time with family. However, creating a productive home office design is a bit of a challenge. It’s important to have that separate space away from distractions so that you can focus on work only during work hours. Productive offices have specific elements in common.
There are around four million people who work from home in the United States, but over half of employees are in positions that are compatible with telecommuting. The number of home offices is likely to increase in coming years. If you already work from home or are thinking about it, focus on the following elements for a productive, amazing home office design.
1. Light up the Room
Studies show that natural light results in happier workers. Bringing natural light into your workspace may also make you more productive. Better lighting is thought to reduce stress and increase alertness. An added bonus is that you’ll use less energy during daytime hours. If possible, place your desk near windows.
2. Create an Uncluttered Space
One of your first tasks is figuring out where your home office should go. If you live in an apartment, you may not have space for a dedicated office. For now, your location may need to be a corner of the living room. If you’re lucky enough to have a spare room, clear out the clutter and get rid of junk.
The key is to remove anything that isn’t related to your work. You’re trying to minimize distractions. If you place a stackable washer and dryer next to your desk, you’ll be tempted to throw in a load of laundry rather than focusing on the task at hand.
3. Listen to Your Body
Do you have aches and pains from hunching over a laptop for hours on end? Think about ways to alleviate the strain on your body. Options might include features such as an ergonomic desk chair, an adjustable height desk so that you can stand part of the day and even elements such as wrist support built into your mousepad. If you’re comfortable, you’re much more likely to work harder.
4. Get Rid of Distractions
Keep your personal phone out of your home office. When people know you work from home, they’ll be tempted to call you during the day to chit-chat. Instead, avoid this situation by turning off your personal phone or taking only emergency calls during work hours. You can always install a second phone line or get a business plan for your cell phone for business calls only.
Also, make it clear to family and friends what your work schedule is and that you can’t be interrupted during those hours. You may need to place a sign on your office door or wear headphones if you have family members at home during your work hours. Insist on focus on the task at hand, and your productivity will remain high.
5. Add Plants
There are many benefits to adding plants to your office, including the ability of some varieties to clean the air and add oxygen to your workspace. One study found that adding plants to an office space increases productivity by as much as 15 percent.
Productive Home Office Design
Creating a productive home office is about more than just setting up the area itself. You also have to surround your space with things that motivate you, such as inspirational sayings. In addition, you should get into the mindset of workspace versus relaxing space within your home. Once you separate the two, you’ll find that you’re much more productive at home than nearly anywhere else that you work.