Working from the home environment can often feel chaotic and unprofessional. While we have been in lockdown, we have been more forgiving about the odd passing cat and a toddler popping into the room. However, it may be that the flexible life of working from home appeals, and you want to do this more permanently.
If so, you need to create a professional home office to allow yourself to be as efficient and effective as possible. Here we explore the ways to make that professional home office environment.
What do you need?
Depending on the work you undertake, you will have a set of specific needs you will need to fulfil; setting up a home office is more than just getting yourself a desk and a laptop and inhabiting the living room corner. You may also need some additional technology for your workspace, such as a drafting table, the space needs.
Choosing the space
Where you set up your home office will make a big difference to your success and your stress levels. You need a quiet area where you can guarantee some degree of privacy, especially if you will be on regular video chats. You need a separate space for your work to keep your life in a different section of your home.
Storage is essential
The likely space for your home office is the smallest room in the house. It is that spare bedroom that is just a little too small to be anything other than a guest room. It makes sense, but it also means you will have to be clever with storage, else you will soon feel cramped and your workspace cluttered. Choose office furniture that has double up as storage solutions for the best use of all the space.
Get proper lighting
The light we experience through the day has a significant impact on our wellbeing, whether physical or mental. Working in poor lighting not only gives you headaches and makes you tired quicker, but it also leaves you feeling low in mood. The more natural light you can get into the room, the better. If outside light doesn’t naturally pour into the room, then opt for high-quality lighting to give you a boost in the office space.
Get yourself a business mobile
Using your personal phone number for your business might feel easy, but it comes with some unintended consequences. People will feel they can call you whenever, so you lose the divide between your work and home life. You are also like to appear unprofessional, as you answer the call as if expecting it to be someone personal.
Invest in the right furniture and equipment
Obviously, you will need some essentials to get your home office going, but you also need to pay attention to the furniture you select. If you choose poor furniture, your productivity will dip. It is surprising how much an uncomfortable chair stops good focus, or a poor posture can lead to days off with aches and pains. Therefore, invest in ergonomic equipment.
You should also consider decorating the space, so you feel happy to be there. Our ability to focus is governed by our mental state. Creating a positive working environment offers value for money, as you will produce more work and earn more money.
Establish office hours
You will be tempted to be always available. Clients love it when they can drop work on you whenever suits and set a deadline that leads you to work through the evening. When starting your business, it feels like you have no choice, as you are looking to establish yourself and earn enough money to live. However, setting unreasonable expectations leads to disappointment in the end, as you will not be able to keep this pace up forever.
At the other end of the spectrum, you may struggle to maintain work throughout the day without set hours and could slack off too early too often. Setting a specific schedule makes it feel like you have become the boss you were avoiding, but it will lead to greater success and mitigate unreasonable client demands.
To help, hang a clock on the wall to help you stick to these hours. Saying all this is easier than doing it, and often there is some flexibility still. However, having a good intention to work reasonable hours will keep bad habits in check.
Do it for yourself
You decided to work for yourself from home because you wanted to enjoy a better work-life balance. The motivation behind the decision is excellent – building a better way of life for yourself. However, to be sure that you succeed in this endeavour, you need to invest some time and money in making it a pleasure to work in your home office – and not another chore.