Working from home seems to be trending more and more in recent times. Especially as roles are becoming increasingly mobile and on-line, work can be on-the-go nearly anytime of day. In the event you are a small business, your home office may be your only real workspace.
So, you know you need a home office, but what can you do (before buying anything) to make sure you stay on task and work comfortably?
Dedicate your home office as a work space only. You don’t necessarily have to have a separate room. You can choose to have a small area designated as a working area. Like the cubby below the stairs or a corner in a room can work really well. Any hobbies or other aspects of your personal life work should be conducted elsewhere. With a dedicated workspace, you can focus on tasks, maintain discipline, and ensure you always have enough space to work with all the materials ready to hand.
Simplify the furniture. The workspace should always be organized and clutter free, so make sure there will be plenty of drawers and open desk space. You do not need several pieces of furniture to create a complete office. With a table and chair, some cabinetry and a good filing system, this should be sufficient. All items must be easily returned to their places regularly. With the right furniture, you really can work efficiently and effectively.
If you need to store books or large binders as part of your office space, you can easily place a small cabinet or shelving unit just above your table. The space need not be wide. A small enough landing can do the job well. Just make sure the space you choose is not invaded by anyone else who may add clutter. Everyone should understand this is your personal work space and yours alone.
Sit comfortably. Do not use just any old chair! If you need to work in long stretches sometimes, a comfortable seat is not just nice, it’s a necessity. The chair should be the right height or adjustable, with sufficient cushioning. Your back should always remain straight and supported. Consider investing in a proper office or ergonomic chair. Keeping a healthy posture is simply good office preparation.
Get good lighting. Poorly lit spaces can only lead to lack of concentration. Find a table or desk lamp that will brighten up the workspace, using white lighting. Avoid softer lighting with yellow or pink hues, because when you need to work in the evening hours, those colours will only lead to drowsiness!
Measure everything. Many people, once they find the perfect home office furniture, discover their pieces will not fit the space or doorways. Check all the measurements before even thinking of buying anything. The furniture itself should be able to move around, in and out of your home, fairly easily. Built-in home offices can be limiting over time, especially if you need to move your workspace in future. If you keep the furniture more mobile, your furniture can move with you, especially when you expand!
Conduct research. Bearing in mind all the recommendations given above, think about and research a few suitable options that may work for you while remaining in your budget. Check out some online sources and browse through images for different kinds of styles and configurations. Make notes and a few drawings yourself. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Referrals are always really helpful.
Alright, now go on out there and have fun shopping!