Working from home continues to be a topic of debate. For some, it's a dream job, allowing the flexibility to work around family life while still enjoying the benefits of working a job. Others find it hard to focus, distant and even lonely.
Whichever category you fall into, below are some tips on how to make the most out of your home office and increase productivity.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
To make the most out of your time at home, ensure you are able to separate your living space from your working space. Whether it be a designated room or table in your lounge, having a specific area means you can clock out at the end of the day and forget about work. Overlapping work with leisure can be damaging for productivity and stunt your inspiration.
Be Close to a Window
Though this point isn't possible for everybody, studies have shown that being situated close to a window and having a constant source of natural light greatly enhances your focus and productivity. Despite this, it gives you a connection to he outside world, particularly if you are clocking some long days.
Try Adding Some Greenery
Following on from the last point, adding plants to your workspace can be really beneficial for your mindset and focus. Also, having plants and actually keeping them alive (still working on this one) gives a sense of life and growth in an environment where that sort of enrichment is needed.
Have the Essentials
I have grouped the following items into one as I believe they sit together well to form the essential basis of your home office. Computer, internet and access to a phone. Of course you can substitute computer for laptop, internet for dongle and phone for mobile, but the basis is there. Each of these items will provide you the necessary tools for communication, something that is pretty damn important when working from home. Even the most solitude of jobs will need to contact somebody eventually.
Keep Stationery Close at Hand
This is another grouped point to keep this article from turning into an essay. Having essential stationery within an arms reach will make your life a million times easier. How many times have you taken an important phone call and scrambled around quickly trying to find a pen? No more! Get yourself a desk organiser and keep your pens, post-it notes, rulers and whatever else you use on a regular basis close at hand.
A Functional Desk and Chair
As obvious as this one seems, I didn't want to leave it out as they are an essential after all! Spending long hours at a small desk in an uncomfortable chair will take its toll (speaking from experience). If you can't afford both in the beginning, try to save some money over time and buy yourself a great desk and chair that both looks beautiful and functions exceptionally. Your back will thank you for it.
Somewhere to Store Papers
Working from home means your office will inevitably begin to collect piles of paper everywhere you look. Getting some sort of filing system in place during the early stages means you can control the mess as best as you can. Try investing in a filing cabinet or alternative storage solutions.
A Place of Inspiration
To keep your inspiration flowing, try using a Corkboard or something similar to pin some of your favourite images, quotes, colours and notes. This stream of inspiration can keep you motivated and spark new ideas when you are struggling.
A door! This one may not sound all that serious, but having a physical barrier between your work and home life can offer relaxation on one side and focus on another. Though relaxation may be in the office if there are some screaming children on the other side!
These are just a few of the essentials that I believe every home office should strive to have. Even if you can't meet all of them due to space or money constraints, a few will allow you to increase your focus and productivity.