Just like everywhere else, workplace trends are ever-changing. Currently, we’re seeing more and more people working from home - both part-time and full-time. It’s not always easy to find the best space in your home for your work-from-home office. You want something where you can focus and be productive without the distractions of the rest of your house (that ever-present temptation to get some housework done or pop in a quick load of laundry). That is why it’s so important to create an office space that works with you and not against you.
 
Working from home does have many advantages; from having the flexibility to set your own schedule, avoiding the daily commute to work (which can be a traffic nightmare), to allowing you to enjoy your own home in a different capacity. When setting up your work-from-home office it’s important to create a separate space that promotes efficiency where you won’t be disturbed. Your home office is still your office, so it’s a great idea to make it as comfortable and also as professional as possible.
 
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your home office that will help you work from home efficiently and effectively.
 
  1. Decide which room or space will be your dedicated home office area. When choosing your space, create a list of all the things that are a priority for you. For example, do you prefer a well-lit space or a den? Do you want to be close to the kitchen or tucked away where it’s quiet? We all work differently and some us enjoy having a big beautiful window, while others may be more productive with a more cozy space. Remember to keep your office space practical, ergonomic, comfortable, and clean. Otherwise, you may end up working in your kitchen!
  2. Make sure your space has proper lighting. Whether you have natural lighting or several lamps, lighting can help us remain focused. Lighting that is too soft can make you feel sleepy, especially during midday. It’s also good to position your computer to avoid any glare. This will help alleviate eye strain.
  3. Paint the walls. Use a colour that soothes and calms like a blue or neutral cream. It doesn’t have to be the latest colour trend, but make sure to pick a colour that you like. You can have a bit of fun with matching coloured furniture too!
  4. Decorate your wall space. Hang a map or a calendar on the wall. Add a whiteboard and some Post-It Notes. Throw up some of your favourite photos to make you smile or some feel-good quotes that will motivate you.
  5. Breathe some life into your space. Whether you like traditional or modern, your office space should be a reflection of your personal design taste. Add a touch of flair with some personal items such as plants or flowers. Plants can help give you a calm feeling. If you don’t have a green thumb you can always add some fake ones.
  6. Your desk, shelves, and storage should function for you. Keep in mind how you work through the day and what items you need at your fingertips. Invest in furniture that is both beautiful and functional. Remember, your home office furniture should complement both the design of your other pieces and the way you work best.
  7. Keep things in balance. Make sure that you have enough storage as well as enough comfortable desk space to work in. You want ample room for your laptop and your notepad without too much clutter.
  8. Add a rug! This can add colour as well as making your space feel cozier and warmer.
  9. Consider traffic. Yes, traffic! If you have little ones running around or coming home at a certain hour from school, you’ll want to make sure that they don’t disturb you when you’re focused. Your home office may need a door. Invite your family to understand that when you’re working from home, they also need to be respectful and treat you as if you’re at the office. Great productivity can be accomplished from the comfort of your home if you plan right!
  10.  Finally, make sure you have the right equipment. There’s nothing more frustrating than needing to run to Staples to print something because you are out of printer ink! Keep your inventory well stocked and consider what supplies will help you be more efficient. Maybe a corkboard or a second monitor? You also want to make sure you have a really good internet connection. You certainly don’t want to be suddenly disconnected when you’re on an important video conference!
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