Working from home can be good and bad. Good because you can eliminate the commute, stay close to family, and work at your own pace. On the other hand, working from home can be incredibly challenging because there are more distractions (even if they are the best kids or furry friends). You might struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation too. To take advantage of the good things about working from home and mitigate its challenges, a dedicated home office or space to focus on work is necessary.
If you’re wondering what makes a home office “perfect,” you’ve come to the right place. Here’s how to create your home office paradise.
Choose the Right Room or Space
The first step to creating the best home office is choosing the right room. Do you have a guest room available? Will you convert the garage into a home office? What about building a home office add-on?
Choose a suitable space if you don’t have an entire room to designate as your home office. For example, some people use their kitchen, living room, or bedroom. Others have found a closet or corner sufficient enough to create their home office. Take your time mulling over the options for where your home office will be.
You’ll also need to consider the environment. The home office should be warm enough during the winter but cool enough in the summer. Research ideas for windows, doors and conservatories can give you plenty of options if you want or need to upgrade your property to ensure it is the perfect place for you to work from home.
Choose a Colour Scheme
Once you’ve chosen your room or space, decide on a colour scheme. Use your favourite colours.
Find calming colour combinations to set the mood in your office. There are even specific colours known to incite productivity, like red, blue, yellow, and green. Use colour swatches to see which combinations go well together. Don’t be afraid to see how different textures work too.
Incorporate Decor That Makes You Smile
After you choose a colour scheme, it’s time to start decorating. Paint the walls or use wallpaper to bring life to the room. Think about doing an accent wall and keeping the others neutral. Then, add decor that makes you happy. This could be artwork from your favourite artists or movie/music posters. It could also be:
● A mirror
● Glass decor
● A bookcase
● A small table
● Colorful throw pillows
Include Lots of Pictures
Lots of pictures are also great to add to your home office. Sprinkle photos of your kids, spouse, extended family, friends, beautiful places, and any other memories throughout your home office to make it warmer.
Add Plants to the Mix
Plants can also spruce up your home office. Not only are they pretty to look at, but they’re also known to help reduce stress, increase productivity, and boost creativity. Furthermore, plants help improve indoor air quality by eliminating toxins, producing oxygen, and increasing humidity.
Start with small plants you can put on your desk and your window sill to get the hang of caring for them. If you find that real plants aren’t for you, fake ones can be just as pretty to look at.
Invest in a Solid Desk
Your desk is a staple piece in your home office. Most of your work will be done at your desk, so you want to ensure it’s sturdy and comfortable.
You may have to start with a sitting desk. However, it’s important to note that too much sitting can be bad for your health. It can lead to hip misalignment, slowed circulation, and metabolic syndrome.
So, plan to invest in a standing desk at some point to mitigate these adverse effects on your health.
Give Yourself a View
Once you get your desk, think about where you’re going to put it. We suggest somewhere with a view, like in front of a window. There’s something about looking up and staring out at an incredible view that gets the productivity juices flowing. If you’ve got the opportunity to set up a home office outside in your backyard for an even better view, go for it.
Choose an Ergonomic Chair
You also need a good ergonomic chair to go with your desk. Investing in an ergonomic chair and other items will save you money when working from home because you won’t have to spend on medical care for injuries to your neck, back, shoulders, and wrists.
An ergonomic chair will help you sit with good posture and comfortability. First, look online and see which ones are available that fit your budget. Then, when you make a purchase, test it out for about a week before deciding to keep it permanently.
Consider Putting in a Couch or Additional Seating
If you have an entire room to designate as your home office, consider putting a couch or additional seating in it. Although you’ll likely do most of your work at your desk, you won’t do all of it there.
Having a soft couch or comfortable armchair to sink into when you need it can be a great way to switch your routine and keep working.
If you can’t purchase a new couch or chair, visit garage sales or stores selling second-hand items to get a significant discount. Also, ask family and friends if they’re getting rid of any furniture to see if you can take it off their hands.
Set Up Your Technology
Your home office isn’t complete without your tech tools. Make sure your laptop or desktop computer is ready to go. Set up all of your software and security tools on your laptop or desktop computer too.
If you have an office phone, electronic whiteboard, tablet, or additional hardware, set these tools up as well.
Be Sure You Have a Reliable Internet Service
Reliable internet service is also crucial in your home office paradise. There’s nothing more frustrating than slow internet and glitchy WiFi when trying to get some work done.
Chat with your internet provider to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Let them know what kind of work you do, if multiple people will be using the internet at the same time, and any other details pertinent to ensuring you have the best internet service.
Set Up a Music System
Playing music is one of the best ways to make your home office more relaxing. Setting up a stereo system in your home office is a brilliant idea. If that isn’t affordable, see about picking up an inexpensive Bluetooth speaker to which you can connect your phone.
Use Natural Light
Lighting is integral in your home office. Not enough lighting or lighting that’s way too harsh can adversely affect your eyes and make it difficult to get anything done. You’ll absolutely want a desk lamp and an overhead light in your home office.
But it’s an excellent idea to design your home office around natural light. It will save you money on your light bill. It will also improve your mood and visibility. So, when you choose the room or space for your home office, make sure it has lots of natural light shining through.
Think About Soundproofing Your Home Office
Soundproofing your home office isn’t a bad idea. Hearing everything happening in your household through paper-thin walls can be incredibly distracting. Taking the time to soundproof your home office can eliminate some of those distractions.
Soundproofing doesn’t have to be expensive. Doing simple things like installing a door sweep, sealing holes in the wall, and adding rugs and soft wall hangs to your space can help soundproof it.
Control Your Climate
It’s essential to control the climate in your home office as well. It can drive you out of the room if it’s too hot or too cold. On the other hand, if you can control the temperature in the room, you’ll always be able to ensure it’s comfortable to work in. So, use your air conditioning and central heating units effectively. Fans, humidifiers, and space heaters can also help you control the climate in your home office. And you may want to implement a smart home thermostat if it’s affordable.
Make a Space for Exercise
If you’re going to spend a lot of time in your home office, make it more than an office. Designate a space in it for exercise. As we stated above, sitting down for extended periods can harm your health. So can staring at a computer all day and never peeling yourself away from work. You need physical activity and frequent breaks to work from home successfully and healthily. So, make a space in your home office to exercise. You can put your exercise bike or treadmill in there. Or, you could have a corner for your yoga mat, weights, and exercise bands.
Design a Relaxation Space
In addition to your space for exercise, you should also have one for relaxation. Sometimes, you need somewhere to go to calm yourself, reset, and relax during the workday. Design a relaxation space in your home office instead of going to your bedroom and risking a 30-minute nap turning into a five-hour sleep. It could be a corner with lots of pillows and blankets. It could be a couch or a comfortable chair. It could also be a mat and candles behind your desk.
However you design your relaxation space, do it with your unique needs and behaviors at the forefront of the process.
Keep Office Supplies Stocked
One of the best things about working in someone else’s office is unlimited office supplies. You’ll need these things in your office as much as you need them in someone else’s. From post-it notes to printer paper to pens to ink cartridges, it’s important to keep supplies stocked in your home office. Go on a store run once a month or do a bulk online order for everything you need.
One of the most critical parts of a home office paradise is keeping it organized. Keeping everything anywhere is a recipe for unproductive workdays and poor performances. Instead, master organization.
You should have a system for organizing paper files and physical documents, whether it be organizing them alphabetically or by client name. There should also be a system for managing your digital files.
Use drawers and bins for your office supplies. Put up shelves to display your accessories. Have a designated space for personal items like your cell phone and wallet. Cover up cables and cords. And keep clutter to a minimum.
Master Cleaning Too
In addition to mastering organization, master cleaning too. Your home office may start as the cleanest room in your home. But it will eventually get pretty messy if you’re using it as you should.
So, it’s essential to keep up with a regular cleaning schedule. Take an hour or so every two weeks to get rid of any garbage and declutter your space. Put things back in their rightful places. Also, use environmentally-safe products to deep clean your home office at least once a month. For more thorough and time-consuming cleaning tasks, consider enlisting the services of a reputable commercial cleaning company to ensure your workspace remains pristine and organized.
A home office paradise doesn’t have to be a dream any longer. Instead, create the most productive and peaceful home office with the tips above.