Everyone wants the freedom to work full time from home. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy removing the menial commute each morning, throwing on a pair of pajamas, and cozying up to your laptop to be productive for the day without any cubicle distractions. Now that the internet has exploded and a workforce culture has shifted accordingly, this idea is even more so a potential reality. Can this reality truly be the ideal scenario though?
Work from home presents its own set of challenges that if not addresses could lead to an unproductive use of time. For instance, distractions can arise just as much as a normal office environment (e.g., web surfing, children, mail delivery). Thankfully there are steps that can be taken to minimize the disruptions and create the ideal office space. Below are a few ideas to consider when setting up a home office.
Select a location with more natural lighting to leverage since this will reduce the amount of melatonin received throughout the day. This chemical is considered to be attributable to inducing sleep so minimizing interaction with it by limiting electronic screen interaction, as well as lighting interaction, will set the right mood for the office space. Don’t forget to consider additional lighting sources in the event of cloudy days.
Are you noise tolerant?
If any form of noise distracts you it might be best to test a potential office space area before fully setting up the location. Double check that outdoor noise (e.g., cars, construction crews, animals) can’t be heard with the windows closed. If you are limited in potential locations to setup camp, consider purchasing noise cancelling headphones to allow yourself to focus on the tasks at hand. Otherwise, your productivity will significantly decrease due to the increased noise distractions.
Temperature attributes to productivity
A high level of focus is required to be efficient at work. In most cases, businesses keep their locations at a constant temperature and this should also apply to your household as well. Select a temperature range that is comfortable for you to effectively work in. If more time is spent shivering or sweating instead of working, don’t expect better productivity compared to a normal office space.
Consider additional storage
Where should the work printer go? How about that pesky VPN key to tunnel into your work computer? Storage compartments, whether additional cabinets or bins, will significantly reduce the clutter around the office space. Yes, the saying “a messy desk is a sign of a genius” may be catchy but probably isn’t very true so incorporate a few storage items to hide paperwork and appliances when not in use.
Organization will make or break the space
Proper organization leads to efficiencies over time. Instead of spending a few minutes here finding extra printer paper and a few minutes there locating the spare staples, purchase products that increase the organization of your desk space. Here are a few considerations that a home office could benefit from:
a) In / Out box to segregate completed paperwork from unfinished products
b) File cabinets to organize large quantities of documents
c) Mesh drawer bins to organize pens, pencils, paperclips, and much more
d) Book ends to keep the literature neat and tidy
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