Guest Post: How Your Home Office Can Help You Be More Productive
Note from Ami: As an independent public relations practitioner who wants to keep costs down, I work in a spacious home office in a historic home. My desk overlooks a window and I think these contributed tips are helpful for anyone trying to be productive at home. Yes, you can work from anywhere now thanks to technology, but having the right office space at home can nurture productivity.
Whether your home office serves as your main office or a secondary work space, office space design can either make you or break you in terms of your productivity. In fact, there are design experts who dedicate themselves to optimizing office space to promote concentration, focus, and efficiency. Here’s how you can have a home office work space that will help to ensure your success.
Separate Work From Play
One of the key factors that will help you be productive and focus on important tasks in your work space is to have a home office that’s separate from your living space. Having a designated room for your home office means you can shut the door and remove yourself from the happenings — and chaos — elsewhere in your home. Ringing telephones, televisions, children running about, the sounds of people coming and going are less likely to distract you when you’re not in the thick of it. Get creative if you need to; even a basement or attic can be converted into a fabulous home office space.
If you don’t have the space for your home office to have its own room, you could surely incorporate office space into another room of your home. However, you should be strategic about which area you choose for your office setup. It shouldn’t be an area of your home that’s highly trafficked or busy, but rather should be a place that’s relatively quiet or even allows you to shut a door for a little separation. A bedroom, especially a guest bedroom, is a great place for an office space. Other possibilities include a dining room that’s infrequently used or a finished basement
Invest in the Desk and Chair
The desk is like the center of your home office’s universe, the focal point in the room. Don’t be afraid to splurge a bit on a nice desk that gives you plenty of surface area and any additional features you might need such as file drawers, shelves, a built-in platform for computer components or a monitor, and so on. Take into consideration the style of the desk and the materials from which it’s made; it’s a good idea to get a well-made desk that’s versatile in style so that you can update the decor in your office at some point without making your desk obsolete.
Additionally, your desk chair is also important. Since you could be sitting in your desk chair for several hours at a time, invest in a chair that’s as comfortable as it is attractive. Many desk chairs are designed to be ergonomically supportive, preventing you from experiencing back pain or joint stiffness during those long stretches of working at your desk. Again, it would be a good idea to choose a chair that’s versatile in style so that it will look great no matter what the color palette of your office might be.
The Importance of Lighting
It’s been found that natural lighting can help improve mental acuity, focus, and clarity while helping you to stay alert and fight off fatigue. As such, you should choose for your home office a room that has plenty of windows and natural light. It’s also been suggested that orienting your desk so that you have a view of the outdoors will help you maintain better morale, making you able to work harder for longer.
If the office area that you’re working with has little natural light, then make sure that it has plenty of artificial light for you to see clearly as you work. There are many different styles of ambient ceiling lights as well as lamps and wall sconces that can efficiently illuminate your office space. You could even invest in natural-light bulbs, which are intended to provide sun-like lighting instead of fluorescent and incandescent, which also tend to be less efficient in terms of energy.
Contributed by Dane O’Leary. For more home design tips and tricks, check out Modernize.com.