7 ways to make yourself actually work in your home office
Young professionals set on bringing in peak profits home are in love with in-house offices that offer greater flexibility compared to the traditional workplace. Still, when I first set out to create an at-home workstation, I quickly realized that a generous budget will take me only halfway on the quest for blogosphere stardom. Having survived several home office redesigns, I think I have finally come up with the winning productivity formula for my house-based workplace.
1. Keep it away from private quarters
Even if you live alone, designating a part of the living room for the office is a really bad idea, as reminders about your private life will be constantly popping up and disrupting your focus. If possible, move the office as far away from the living area as the home perimeter allows. After a few experiments, I eventually redesigned the guest room overlooking the garden into an in-house workplace. That way, I am still at home when working, but distractions are nowhere in sight, and I do not feel like I am piled under take-home work when I should be having fun or resting.
2. Quality furniture is a lifesaver
Working from home means flexible work hours, and once your career takes off, you may wind up spending more time in your home office than you originally bargained for. For this reason, quality furnishings such as sit-to-stand desks and height-adjustable chairs are a godsend, and I believe they are worth every cent. As a blogger, I sit at my computer for 8-10 hours a day, and until I discovered the bliss of ergonomic Jason L. furniture, I often ended my work days with severe neck pains and an aching back. Trust me, the cost of a good chair is a small price to pay for long-term health. I had to learn it the painful way, but at least you can save yourself the trouble.
3. Updated lighting for eye health
When picking the room to transform into the office, bear in mind sunlight intensity at daytime and consider updating light fixtures for optimal luminosity for all-nighters. When renovating the guest room, I decided to keep the old chandelier because it is a part of the family heirloom, but I did add a couple of Ikea desk lamps to reduce eye fatigue when typing away until late hours. (This lesson I learned the hard way too: Eye strain gave me many a headache after all-nighters.)
4. Modular designs are not a good idea
You would think that all that buzz about modular furniture has a grain of truth, but in 9 out of 10 cases, multifunctional pieces are just cool to look at. When furnishing the home office, stick to conventional, sturdy designs: A daybed or ottoman is comfier and lasts longer than a convertible sofa, so if you want an office spot to lie down on during a work break, opt for bedding that will not go to bits after a few months. The same goes for multifunctional workstations: High-end, adjustable-height desks are stable and durable, but cheap workstations with multipurpose labels are usually a waste of money.
5. Invest in tech upgrades on time
I am not much of a computing expert, but this I know: If your internet connection is prone to unexpected AWOLs and the PC system takes years to start, you need to have it checked ASAP. Nothing can shatter your success as a would-be home-bound online entrepreneur like a page that takes half an hour to load, so do not let outdated software or sluggish Wi-Fi rob you of profits because you can — and should — help it. Regular tech upgrades are an investment in long-term business sustainability, and if you think that you can wish away PC glitches, you are terribly mistaken.
6. Tidiness is essential to success
Although you may not be an OCD cleaner, your home office needs to be well-organized and tidy even if the rest of your home is "casual" (the term I use to describe the clutter that dominates my kitchen and bedroom). Keeping the desktop mess-free and relevant files logically organized will help you stay calm and focused and avoid wasting time during work. Of course, this means setting aside extra time for regular cleanups, but imagine what your potential client might think if they catch a glimpse of ugly piles of paper or unsightly stacks of crumpled clothes behind you during a Skype session.
7. Wallscape that maximizes profits
Last but not the least, rethink the wallscape to increase productivity, boost focus and promote calmness and creativity during home-based work hours. Colors that work best for me include soft peach, light green and ivory as they produce minimal visual noise while reflecting lots of light. You can experiment with accent hues such as blue, red, orange and violet, but I suggest avoiding vibrant primary tones as these can be rather distracting.
There, now you know how to turn your home office into the cradle of productivity. Good luck!