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Due to the world’s current health crisis, people around the globe have been forced to start working from home. This transition from the traditional workplace from open-concept offices and closed-off cubicles to getting things done at home has been rough for many. Setting up the perfect work-from-home office has become critical as businesses and their employees try to stay productive.
It’s difficult to create an ideal work-from-home office if you don’t have any tips or guidance to help you. Here are 12 suggestions for you to consider. These 12 pointers are focused on helping you continue to achieve your work goals and contribute to the company you’re a part of. Customize these tips to your needs and whatever works best for you.
1. Avoid working from your bed
To be successful in any endeavor, you need to be well-rested. In order to get the rest you need, you should create a mental and physical separation between your work and your bed. This will help you to forget about work while you are trying to fall asleep and enable you to fall asleep faster. If you live in a studio apartment, or you simply have no other surfaces to work from, consider a desk Murphy bed (more info on that later).
2. Improve the lighting in your office
One way to easily create the ideal work environment is by making sure you have enough lighting. Keep your work-from-home office well lit. It’ll reduce eye strain and prevent headaches. You will also reduce stress and increase your ability to concentrate for long periods of time. Here are three tips to improve the lighting in your office without sacrificing productivity:
- Open the blinds or curtains to your window in a way that allows natural light into your office. Natural light won’t disturb your circadian rhythm and can help you concentrate as you do everything from taking calls to sending emails.
- Replace fluorescent light bulbs with LED lighting. LED lighting will help you be more focused since its wavelength closer to natural light. You will also be less likely to get migraines by using LED bulbs instead of fluorescent bulbs.
- Position lighting or desk to make sure you have the right lighting angles for everything you do on a daily basis. This includes angling your lighting fixtures and/or your monitor so there isn’t a glare that will hurt your eyes.
While it may seem trivial, you can effectively improve your work environment with better lighting. You will be able to reduce the number of migraines you experience when you’re in your office. Having the right lighting in your office will also help you be positive and feel motivated as you work.
3. Invest in storage
Having the right storage solutions for your office will help you avoid the feeling of being overwhelmed with everything going on in your office. There are a variety of reliable storage solutions to help you get the job done like shelves and filing cabinets. Shelving is a great way to store items like books and office supplies you don’t use every day. You could also use a home office cabinet with closing doors to keep things contained if you’re not a naturally neat person. Find homes for little items like paper clips, extra staples, and charging cables. It will help you feel more in control of your environment and keep your office tidy.
The good news is there are practical storage options for your needs and personality. Whether you choose to keep your stamps in tiny bins or save unopened packages of printer paper in your closet, it’s up to you. Do your research and you’ll be able to figure out what’s best for your situation.
4. Keep your workspace clean and sanitary
While this tip might seem like a no-brainer, it’s something you really need to remember. Given that you’re working from home, you’re no longer working in an office where you have someone to take care of cleaning tasks like vacuuming and emptying trash. Create a routine to keep your workspace clean and free of chaos. It’s important that you also schedule in time to sanitize your work-from-home office to help you stay healthy. Here’s a sample cleaning schedule you can easily implement at the end of each workday:
- Monday: Vacuum office, clean windows
- Tuesday: Wipe down all surfaces with sanitizing wipes such as your desk and doorknobs
- Wednesday: Dust surfaces and light fixtures, wipe down monitor with a slightly damp microfiber cloth
- Thursday: Organize loose papers, throw away anything you no longer need
- Friday: Empty trash, wipe down all surfaces with sanitizing wipes
Keep in mind that the schedule above is there to give you some ideas as to how to structure the cleaning and organization of your office. If you’d rather vacuum your office on Wednesdays, then do that. If organizing the loose papers on your desk is better suited for Fridays, clean up your papers on Fridays instead. The goal is to have a system in place for cleaning. Implementation of a reliable system will help you stay clean, organized, and healthy without feeling swamped.
5. Add live plants
Have you considered bringing potted plants into your office? Plants can add life to your home office and make it a little more vibrant. Depending on the plants you choose, you can make your office smell better and have cleaner air as you work. During one of your middle school biology classes, you learned that you exhale carbon dioxide. Plants take the carbon dioxide in the air and release oxygen. Breathing in fresh oxygen will help you stay focused and productive as you work from home. The more clean air you’re able to breathe, the better you will be at your job. Check out this list of potted plants which will purify your air:
- Kimberly Queen Fern
- Variegated Snake Plant
- Barberton Daisy
- Weeping Fig Tree
- Red-Edged Dracaena
- Peace Lily
- Chinese Evergreen
You should be able to find many of these plants at your local nursery or home improvement store in the garden section. Choose a plant or two you’ll be able to appropriately care for. You’ll enjoy the added life to your office and benefits that come from real potted plants.
6. Have a charging station organizer set up
In today’s age of connectivity, it’s not uncommon to have multiple devices that need to recharge or be continuously plugged in. Devices that make it on this list include laptops, tablets, smartphones, and monitors. One way to make your life a little less chaotic is to have an organized charging setup. You’ll want to do this so you don’t have random charging cables all over your office. It’ll make your life easier since you won’t have to worry about finding charging cables when you need them because they’re all in one place.
7. Carefully lay out your room for efficiency
Think about which items you use the most in your office and list them out from what you use most often to items you barely use. Layout everything in your office accordingly. Keep the frequently used components close to you and your desk. It’ll help you stay organized and on task since you’re not having to fully break your workflow in order to do things like finding a stapler or a notepad.
For example, if you’re using your printer multiple times a day, set it up on your desk if you have space. If you don’t use your printer every day or every week, it’s ok to have your printer in a spot that would require you to stand up to retrieve what you’ve printed. The same goes for accessibility to your bookshelf or a filing cabinet. Plan the layout of your room for practicality and efficiency. You’ll be glad you did.
8. Upgrade your wifi if needed
There’s nothing like crippling your day-to-day productivity with snail-paced wifi. In this day and age where much of your work communication is done over video conferencing and email, the last thing you want to deal with is a slow internet connection. You don’t want to waste time waiting for videos to buffer or stare at your screen because a document is taking forever to load. Investing in fast wifi is worth the money and effort. One way to improve your wifi connection is to have a good wireless router. A good wireless router will increase your wifi range which will enable you to work from anywhere in your home. You’ll be able to count on your at-home wifi a lot more and not have to worry as much about connectivity.
9. Office decor
Add more personality and inspiration to your home office with the right decor. This can include pictures of friends and family as well as images you love that help motivate you. Whether it’s photos from places in the world you want to visit or framed pictures with quotes that encourage you to hustle, use decor to improve your work environment. You can even include awards you’ve won and items that bring a smile to your face. Another way to add more color to your office is by adding a rug and a reading chair. It’ll give you a dedicated spot for you to read and take a mental break from your work during the day.
It’s ok to invest a little into your work-from-home office because it may be months before you will be working in a regular office environment again.
10. Donate or sell items you don’t use
Nothing takes up space like old, unwanted items you no longer need. To clear up space in your workspace, go through your closet and sift through items on your desk. Separate anything you no longer need or want. If they’re items you think you might need but aren’t sure you want to get rid of, set them aside in a bin. If, after 30 days, you haven’t used any of those items, donate them to a local thrift store or list them for sale online. Creating more space will be a freeing experience because you’ve reduced the clutter in your office.
11. Pick a great chair
Yes, the chair you sit in every day does matter. When you’re using a poorly designed chair, your productivity goes down because you’ll be uncomfortable. Sitting for hours at a time is not good for your posture or your spine. While your back may not immediately hurt, it’s possible to experience a build-up of back pain over time. Find a chair that supports your body type. Factor in your height and consider the seat width and depth to give you enough space when you sit. Test out chairs that provide lower back support and a comfortable backrest. It’ll reduce pressure on your spine and help you focus as you fulfill your work responsibilities.
12. Coziness and practicality with a Murphy bed desk
Many times, the obstacle between you and your ideal work-from-home office is available space. If you live in a one-bedroom apartment with a significant other there isn’t a lot of excess space you can harness to create your dream office space. But what if you could have a bed and desk that doesn’t take up too much space? What if your bedroom could double as your home office without taking up any extra space? That’s what the Desk Murphy Bed can do for you.
The desk Murphy bed can perform two functions and allows you to be more efficient in the space you have available. That means that you can still get your work done in a comfortable, professional home office without having to sacrifice critical space in your home. Better yet, your significant other won’t have to avoid the living room while you’re on conference calls because you’ll have your own office in your bedroom.
All of the tips shared above are geared towards your success. It’ll help you set up the ideal work-from-home office leading you to greater productivity. Although working from home may be a temporary scenario given the world’s current health climate, it’s important to still create an effective work environment. By investing in your home office, you will be able to stay on track with your career goals and possibly even achieve even more than you were before the crisis began.