What kind of home office you need depends on the work you do. If you’re a graphic designer, you’ll need a small laptop desk and a larger table for your design work. A consultant may need more room for filing cabinets or a space cleared out and reserved for videoconferencing with clients. A photographer, on the other hand, would need a home studio and storage space for tools and equipment. With all of that said, if you’re a student, a standard desk would suffice.
In any case, make a list of your work needs and find a space around your home that’s big enough. Don’t just randomly pick a corner in one room.
Ideally, a quiet area with some privacy. This is even more important if you live with other people.
For example, a guest bedroom with a closed door might give you the privacy you need for your work phone calls. If you’re welcoming clients at home, you’d want to pick a room near the entrance of the house. Furthermore, if you need space to store technical equipment, you’d do best to use a designated room separate from the rest of the house.
Lighting in your office matters. Studies show that warm light has a calming, relaxing effect – which isn’t great for productivity. Cold light, on the other hand – such as daylight – makes you alert and boosts your productivity. That’s what you want in your home office. Having a window that lets in daylight can have a significant impact on your mental well-being. Natural light also helps with headaches and eye-strain, making you healthier in the long-run.
Bonus tip: have a few plants in the room. Research has shown that having plants around an office has a positive effect on employees’ productivity and happiness.
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to get distracted. Smartphones are an enormous drain on your productivity, especially if you’re used to using yours a lot. Even if it’s on silent, just having it nearby can be a distracting temptation.
It’s best to take your smartphone, tablet, and any other gadgets you enjoy, and put them in another room.
Make sure there’s a clear line between your work/studying and your personal time. Keep professional documents, study materials, equipment etc. in its designated spot, away from personal documents and free-time activities.
Research shows you’re more productive if you stretch and move around every once in a while. Quick mental health breaks help break up the monotony of the workday and can keep you focused. Especially when working from home, it’s easy to lose track – before you know it, 14 hours have passed and you haven’t looked away from your work laptop.
Home workers are more likely to work overtime than people in the office. Come up with a good way to stick to your schedule, be that a clock on the wall or an alarm on your phone/ laptop.
Managing your time correctly will encourage you to take breaks and help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
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