Working within a home office space is a novelty for most people. The hours are flexible. Office attire is casual. The freedom is wonderful. However, while it sounds ideal, those who do work at home will tell you, don’t get too comfortable. You want to get things done, right? Here are a few tips to keep your head in the game when headquarters happens to be your home.
- Interruptions at HQ
A designated office space should be treated that way – like a real office. Home life is a distraction with the phone ringing, children crying, and the television going at full volume. Separate yourself from the din and close the door. It keeps out extraneous noise. It also prevents interruptions from any stray 2-year-olds looking for some sticky entertainment or the dog barking when you’re on the phone with a customer.
- Sitting down
There is a reason why the chairs in large offices are bulky, flexible, and occasionally unattractive. They’re comfortable! Sitting at a desk for hours at a time can do a number on your back if you don’t have a chair that is ergonomic. Although they can get pricy, it isn’t difficult to find one between $75 and $150 that provides reasonable support. Don’t skip out on getting a good chair.
- Get that paperwork off the table
The kitchen table may suffice for a while, but ultimately, you need a desk that keeps you organized. Why have piles of paperwork stacked on the floor or leave the printer sitting precariously on a plastic trash bin for lack of room? Buy a desk that complements the work you do. If you need space to spread out, buy an L-shaped desk. If you have a lot of books, find one with shelves. It’s difficult to be productive when work is scattered everywhere. You’ll wind up spending more time looking for things than getting work done.
- Take a look around you
Put yourself in a positive state of mind by designing an environment that is conducive to productivity. Everything from the wallpaper on the wall to the lighting in the room makes a difference. Paint the walls red or yellow. Both colors are proven to bolster creativity. Keep the space slightly cooler than normal to avoid drowsiness in the afternoon. Ensure there is adequate lighting to avoid eye strain. It all counts.
- Take advantage of technology
Some technology helps you work faster. Try the calendar and appointment apps offered through Amazon’s Echo, or quickly reference different subjects through Alexa without leaving the desk to do it. Handle teleconferences and presentations with platforms like Skype and Zoom. Use them to run face-to-face meetings with clients as well.
Everything from the furniture in your home office to the technology you use influences how well you work. Limiting distractions, having a comfortable workspace, and staying organized will increase your productivity. Try one or more of these 5 tips and see how much more efficient you become.