If you’re planning to designate a room in your home to become a home office, you probably can’t wait to get it set up. You must be already imagining a comfortable office, with a state-of-the-art armchair and a large desk, and you definitely don’t want your office to become a place where you simply dispose of all the furniture you don’t want in your home any more.
It’s relatively easy to make your home office too casual, but that’s not good for productivity and efficiency. Your home office needs to provide adequate conditions for the work you do and it should also provide some sort of a barrier, protecting you from any possible interruptions.
Keep it all Together
One of the advantages of having a home office is that you can keep all of your work in one space, which makes it easy to find whatever you may need. Also, you should try to keep the rest of your home free from any work-related items. Apart from contributing to the overall tidiness of the whole home, this effort also has positive effects on creating a healthy balance between work and leisure time.
Choose the Equipment Carefully
Many people get carried away easily when buying equipment for their home office, and tend to splurge much more than necessary. Carefully consider your needs and make sure you compare the price of buying and maintaining a piece of equipment with having the same services or products provided by a professional company. For example, although you might think that having a color copier is necessary, it might be much cheaper to make an occasional copy at the local place than to purchase a copier, which would occupy quite a lot of space in your office and require regular maintenance.
Finally, make sure you install every piece of equipment properly and in a way that will not interfere with your daily activities. For example, if you’re planning on getting a TV, you need to carefully consider the size and the place where you want to place it. A TV wall mounting installation is an excellent choice here, as it will not only give your home workstation a truly contemporary look, but also save you some precious space. In case you’re not quite sure what the best option is for your home office, you’d better consult experts.
Having proper lighting in your home office is of great importance, since it provides optimal conditions for work. If possible, your home office should have at least one window, which will let enough daylight in. The more natural light you get, the better, because you are not only saving money on electricity, but it also has positive effects on your health and mood.
However, if you can’t have any or enough daylight, you need to have a combination of general and task lighting, depending on the kind of work you do. Task lights are important, particularly if the room is darker. There are modern daylight-replicating lights, which are quite energy efficient, while many task lights come with dimmer switches, allowing you to control the amount of light.
As we have already said, it’s vital that your home office is a place that can be free from interruptions. If you can, make sure that you select a room that allows as much privacy as possible. If we’re talking about noise, for instance, you might want to consider some white noise, i.e. air filters and low fans that work at the lowest speed, but are able to muffle outside noises up to a point. You may wear headphones to isolate certain sounds, but that’s not a practical option for several hours on end every day.
In terms of visual privacy, you might want to install portable screens or divider walls that are also used as bookcases or shelves, which would also solve some of your storage problems. Finally, having signage (e.g. “Quiet please” or “Genius at work”) might also help you remind others living with you that there is a place of business in their home.
Most home offices need a desk that will support your laptop or desktop and other similar items. You should try to have as few papers as possible on the desk, since you don’t want a messy environment where some important documents can easily get misplaced. Simple and inexpensive stationery, such as pencil cups and business card holders, will help you keep your desk and the entire home office neat and tidy.
If you’re short on ideas, you can always look for inspiration among the thousands of pictures available online or by visiting local furniture stores, where you might be able to find just the thing you need. Alternatively, you can hire an interior designer, but that might be just a waste of resources that could be put to more efficient use elsewhere.
Keep it Green and Sustainable
You should try to replicate your efforts to keep your home environment-friendly. Don’t waste energy by keeping your appliances plugged in when not in use or having your lights on when you don’t need them or even when you’re not even in the office. When the time comes to replace old equipment, make sure it gets recycled and don’t just throw it in the trash.
You can also set yourself a goal to have a paperless office as much as possible. Not printing out what you don’t really need saves both paper and your printer, and with so many cloud services available at little or no cost at all, there’s no reason not to make the most of the offer. Finally, by choosing local suppliers, you’ll be both cutting transportation costs and helping your local community.
As you can see, there are many things you can do to make your home office a pleasant, functional and green space. If you manage to focus on the advantages of being able to work from home and make the most of them, both you and your startup are bound to reap the benefits. Many people all