If you operate a business directly out of your home, you probably enjoy many benefits, including the convenience of accessibility, gas savings, reduced travel, less wear and tear on the car, etc. But how exactly do you maintain a work-life balance in your home office without feeling like you need to get the laundry done, answer the door, fend off the distractions of TV, or take the dog out? A huge solution to office productivity lies in the way your office space is designed. Here are 5 tips for a productive and functional home office space:
1. Create a functional workstation.
If you’re working straight from home, chances are you’re spending hours planted in your office chair. Be sure to invest in a comfortable chair that provides good back support! Also consider your workflow and decide which items you need within reaching distance, in order to be as efficient as possible. The key to creating a functional workstation is organizing your desk, printer, shelves, files, and storage in a way that serves you rather than the other way around.
2. Add your own personal touch.
Ideally, your office should be a space you love. Forget the traditional “office beige” if that’s not a color you like. Choose a color that puts you in a good mood and gets you into your professional groove. For some people, that color might be a cheery yellow while others prefer calming shades like botanical green or sea salt blue. The colors around us all have an effect on our moods and brain function, so choose a color that’s inviting to you. Learn more about color theory, here.
3. For bright ideas, consider good light!
Lighting is one of the most overlooked and important factors in staying focused and feeling inspired. Avoid eye strains and headaches by making sure your office has plenty of light and positioning your computer monitor so there aren’t any glares from windows. Placing a small lamp on your desk for small tasks can also be helpful for when there is not enough natural light.
4. De-clutter and purge often.
Take a look around. What things haven’t you used in awhile? If you find things haven’t been used in a year and can’t honestly think of the next time you will need them, it’s time to do an office cleanse. Empty, shred, and rid your office of the things you no longer use. Don’t overlook the knick knacks- if they are covered in dust and are contributing to the shabbiness of your workplace, then they are also fair game to remove! Try to avoid using your office space as storage and resist letting family members do the same. You will find that it’s easier to get into a focused work mode when your office isn’t surrounded by junk!
5. Establish a professional boundary within your home.
Try to create a routined work schedule at home, just as you would if you were going into a corporate office. Studies show that if you set specific “opening” and “closing” office times, as well as routine break hours, you’re more likely to stay on track and less likely to procrastinate. One of the toughest boundaries to create while working from home is between your professional life and family. Make sure your office has a door and consider making a sign to hang on the outside of it during your busy hours to avoid disruptions.