Create ideal home office
Article by: Kimberly Guest
Improve your home 2 Mar 2022

How to create the ideal home office

There are a lot of advantages to working from home including fewer workplace distractions, greater flexibility, getting to spend more time with family and the marked reduction in travel time and petrol costs. Nevertheless, many people struggle to get into the groove of working from home and find it especially difficult to hold on to motivation, self-discipline and productivity levels.

Creating a proper home office for yourself goes a long way to helping you overcome the challenges of remote work, providing you with a space that puts you in the correct frame of mind and is a conducive environment for working both effectively and efficiently.

Where and how you set up your home office will largely depend on the space available in your home and your budget, but there are a few essential elements to creating the ideal home office.

  • Location, location, location:
    Whether it’s an area, room or even a custom-built addition, your home office should ideally be a space that can be dedicated to working. Having to clear away last night’s dinner plates, the ironing, children’s toys or the clutter of movie night wastes time and makes it harder to get into a work mindset.
  • Eliminate distractions and interruptions:
    Trying to work in a loud or active environment with constant interruptions is very difficult and will impact your productivity. Keeping the door to your home office closed will help reduce noise levels and set a boundary for family members. If your home office is in a general living area of the house, explain to family members that when you are working you will need the noise and activity levels to be minimised as much as possible. Place your working schedule on the fridge or another convenient place so your family knows what to expect.
  • Look into lighting:
    Working on a computer or laptop can strain your eyes, particularly if your home office doesn’t have enough light. Where possible, make use of natural light as this is best for your eyes and won’t drive up your electricity bill. However, make sure you have proper lighting available for overcast or rainy days.
  • Get connected:
    Working from home means that you are going to have to be in contact with the office. Even if this is only for short periods at a time, you need to make sure that your internet connection is reliable and fast enough for your needs. If you have fibre or a fixed-line internet connection, try to have the router placed in your home office so that you can quickly change to a wired connection if you are having problems with the Wi-Fi. If you are relying on a wireless service, however, track down the spot in your home that gets the best network signal and place your Wi-Fi router there.
  • Sitting pretty:
    If you expect to spend most of your working day sitting, then you need to invest in a chair that will provide you with enough comfort and support to get you through each day. There is a wide variety of office chairs available, ranging from affordable to exorbitant. Take the time to test the chairs, making sure they provide you with proper back, thigh and arm support, and choose the one that is right for you, your needs and your budget.
  • Right-size your work surface:
    Whether you’re using an old table or are thinking of investing in a snazzy desk, pay attention to the height and amount of surface space you are going to need. A table that sits too high or low will impact your posture and could lead to muscular pain; whereas a surface that is too small quickly becomes cluttered, and a surface that is too large could crowd your office and leave you with little space to move around in.
  • Set up storage space:
    Taking the time to consider your storage requirements will help you to keep your home office organised and efficient. Do-it-yourself shelving is an affordable and attractive alternative to investing in ready-made storage solutions and won’t take up floor space either. If your home office already has built-in cupboards, you can repurpose the hanging space into additional shelving in such a way that returning it to hanging space is quick and easy.
  • Personalise your place:
    One of the advantages of working from home is that you can create an environment that is inviting to you. Use colour, plants, pictures, gadgets and other decorations to make it an attractive and uplifting space. If you are going to spend time in video meetings, however, make sure your background is not offensive and will create the right impression with colleagues and clients.
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