After years of relishing in the thought of working from home, your employer has decided to reward your hard work with telecommuting options or you’ve quit your job and have launched your own business. Either way, here are some congratulations and a round of applause.
It can be rather overwhelming to begin working from home. Many questions can come about:
- Where do I work?
- What should my hours be?
- What should I be wearing?
- Can I take a break whenever I want?
- When should I finish work?
There is no doubt that for a lot of professionals working from home will be the norm. Today, one in five American workers are stationed in the comfort of their own living quarters, while 4.2 million Britons work from home. It’s a superb arrangement for many people because it saves money on transportation, it eliminates the at-work distractions, and productivity levels could actually greatly increase.
One of the biggest challenges working from home could be your home office. At head office, the company provides you with a desk, chair and computer, but how do you create a perfect and organized workstation? It’s not too difficult and it must be done to cater to your needs and personal preferences.
Here are the top five tips for organizing a home office:
1. Locate the Best Spot in the House
Whether you have an apartment or a large house, choosing the best spot for your home office is of extreme importance. When selecting the right location in your home, you must consider others in the home, the interior décor, and the potential distractions. In relation to the ladder, you should think about if the television will be an annoyance or if the kitchen will always seduce you to it. Overall, the best spot in the home is near a big window that brings in a lot of natural light and can brighten your day.
2. Ensure There Is Proper Lighting
If it is difficult to find a spot in the home that ensures a lot of bright natural light, you have to then establish a home office with sufficient artificial lighting. A home office that doesn’t have enough light can hurt your eyes and diminish the quality of the work to get done. This can be accomplished by doing the following:
- Purchasing a lamp and placing it near the computer monitor (do not use a fluorescent light).
- Installing a mirror on a wall opposite of a window to add extra natural light.
- Adding ambient light to make the home office a comfortable, relaxed setting.
- Placing a dedicated task light on the edge of your desk.
3. Don't Forget the Ergonomics
Ergonomics is imperative to any modern day, 21st century workstation. Without practicing the best ergonomics available, you’ll feel cramped, irked and perhaps even in pain. Here are some of the top tips to guarantee your home office is ergonomically-friendly:
- Your Chair: the office chair must have a comfortable cushion, adjustable arm rests and seat height, lumbar support, and the ability to swivel and/or roll around.
- Your Mouse & Keyboard: first, you have to remember that the mouse and keyboard should be as close together as possible. Second, they should be right in front of you, centered.
- Your Desk: ideally, it would be wise to invest in a standing workstation. However, if that isn’t possible then try to be in alignment with your monitor, your feet are planted on the ground and your back is straight.
4. Think About Going Wireless
We can agree on this fact: wires are a nuisance. There have been great strides in recent years of making everything wireless, and consumers are embracing this technology. So should your home office. Instead of having wires hang out at every corner and make the office seem disorganized, perhaps purchase a wireless keyboard, mouse, printer and other electronic gadgets. This will declutter your home office and make everything perfectly neat and tidy.
5. Binders, Containers, Labels & More
Finally, you have papers lying everywhere, you can’t find any documents, and you may have accidentally thrown out an important assignment. You know what this means? You have to start investing in binders, containers, labels, a filing cabinet, and more. Here are a few tips:
- Color your filing system, such as green equals financial, red equals medical, and blue means corporate.
- Store all of your pencil sharpeners, markers, sticky tape and other office items in containers.
- Categorize your office into different parts by using a label maker.
- Organize your books and binders by placing them on shelves in alphabetical order.
At the end of each workday, organize your home office, dust it and leave everything neat. A home office, in many ways, is your sanctuary and your place to either work on household finances or complete important assignments for your boss. Just think your at-home workstation is just another supervisor.