A few years back, remote work opportunities were mainly reserved for overseas workers in charge of menial tasks in big companies. Today, telecommuting has become the norm for many companies that struggle to remain productive amidst all that has happened.
With workers reporting an increase between 13 and 22% in productivity, more and more companies are offering remote working opportunities to employees. It seems that remote working is here to stay, even if it’s on a voluntary basis.
If you’re the kind of person that thrives from avoiding hour-long commutes, and can easily focus on performing tasks from the comfort of your home, then you’d do well to set up a home office that suits your needs.
Setting up a home office that boosts productivity is more accessible than most think. While it’s true that each individual has its own quirks and preferences, some fundamentals are guaranteed to elevate your focus and overall productivity every day.
Here are some of them:
Each job comes with a unique set of challenges, equipment, and tools. Most jobs require a functional computer, a phone, a printer, and a willing employee. But creative jobs, for example, might require artwork, decorations, and additional tools such as notebooks, large monitors, or specialized software.
The first step towards setting up your home office is to create a detailed list of everything you need to do your job. First, you need to list the bare essentials required: a desk, a chair, a computer, internet, and perhaps a dedicated phone line.
Then you need to get more specific: perhaps a 35+ inch monitor could help you do your job a lot faster, maybe you need an ergonomic chair that allows you to adjust your posture. You’ll find that your initial barebone list becomes a comprehensive and highly detailed list that specifies sizes and perhaps even computer specs needed to run the software and cut down loading time optimally.
Once you have an entire list, it’s time to look for a place where you can set up your very own home office.
Creating a Dedicated Work Space
Telecommuting can be difficult at first. Most people struggle to concentrate on their work assignments with so many readily available distractions waiting on every corner. Things start to click when you designate a specific place in your home and exclusively delimit it for work.
Creating a dedicated workspace allows you to separate your home office from the rest of your home. Similar to how you commute to your office to focus on your work, you must also commute to this room or corner of your home to focus on your job and nothing else.
You can turn your attic, basement, or empty guest room into your home office. But it can also be a corner of your bedroom or a section of your living room which you can then delimit with a privacy divider or curtain. What’s most important is that you acknowledge this place as your home office, and that said space offers the privacy and peacefulness you’ll need to focus on the task at hand entirely.
Once you have your dedicated workspace properly delimited, it’s time that you appropriately furnish it.
Get Ergonomic Furniture from Popular Furniture Companies
Remember that list we created on the first step? It’s time we revisit it.
Once you’ve organized each item in the list by priority, you’ll notice that having a desk, chair, and work equipment is right at the top. While it’s tempting to grab a ratty chair that’s been collecting dust in the garage and the old rundown desk you used during your high school years, I’d recommend you think twice.
Why? Because having an ergonomic setting will directly impact your productivity in a big way. Studies show that ergonomic environments favor a neutral-sitting posture, skyrocketing worker productivity, and efficiency by considerable margins. They also actively prevent all sorts of long-term health issues related to poor posture.
Investing in a super comfortable and fully ergonomic setting will prove itself as one of the best investments you’ll ever make. They’ll save you considerable time and money that you’d otherwise spend on medical visits to treat frequent back and neck pains.
The key is to invest in high-quality furniture from popular furniture companies with a proven track record. If you need large monitors to do your job from home, then you’ll be glad to know that these top-notch furniture brands offer spacious desks with adjustable heights you can use in your home office. Their office mesh chair collections feature hundreds of fully ergonomic models that adapt to all budgets, allowing you to equip your home office with productivity and comfort-first furniture.
Keep Essentials at Arm’s Reach
The key is to invest in high-quality furniture from popular furniture companies with a proven track record. Now that you’ve set up your home office, it’s time we fully optimize your workspace for productivity.
Personally, I’m a follower of the Office Kaizen school. Kaizen is a famous Japanese management principle that encourages you to continuously improve and refine your work practice. People that apply this principle to their office space will notice enhanced response times, quicker resolutions to problems, and higher quality products and services across the board.
Once you’ve optimized your desk distribution so that you can quickly grab what you need, when you need it, it’s time to take a look at your storage needs. Depending on your line of work, you’ll find yourself needing cabinets or storage drawers to safe-keep documents and other work-related materials. Consider buying vertical cabinets with lockable sections for any confidential or delicate documents that must stay secure at all times. You may also incorporate floating shelves for any decor items and books that you’d like to keep at arm’s reach.
Lastly, I’d recommend adopting some form of cable management system in your home office. Keep your devices safely plugged away from your workstation and incorporate cord covers, loop hangers, clamps, lacing, and dedicated organizers to keep everything tidy and safe to use. Not only will you be able to safely navigate your home office without running into any cable, you’ll also project an image of organization and cleanliness to anyone that visits your home office.
Adopt a Work Schedule
Last but certainly not least, we highly recommend you adopt a work schedule. Working from home and eliminating commute time offers all sorts of convenient overtime work opportunities to earn more money, but there is a thing as too much convenience.
Having a work schedule will help you avoid many common pitfalls most remote workers deal with during the first years. A work schedule will help you focus on the task at hand and help you avoid the multitude of distractions that are quietly waiting for you around your home, but it’ll also help you establish some much-needed balance between work and your personal life.
Somedays, you might be tempted to take the afternoon off to binge-watch Netflix shows since you can catch up on work during the evening. However, this relatively harmless time trade-off is a slippery slope that could put a strain on your personal life. Soon, you’ll notice that you spend most of your days working and burning yourself out to take extended breaks mid-week.
Unplugging from work is essential to your well-being, and you’ll thank your strict work schedule for keeping you in check!
As a bit of parting advice, I’d highly recommend you let natural light flood your home office space. Natural light will energize you during the day and help you follow up with your self-imposed work schedule. As the sun retreats, you’ll know that it’s time to finally unplug from your computer and call it a day!
We hope this quick guide on setting up a home office proves itself valuable for your future projects and endeavors. Whether you’re a freelancer or a worker transitioning to permanent telecommuting, you’ll find that our tips will put you way ahead of your fellow remote workers in terms of productivity and overall happiness!