Working from home gives you many advantages and a lot of freedom but is your home office keeping you productive or hindering you?
Firstly you need to avoid mixing your work with your personal life. This applies to the home office too. Remember that your office is an office. So avoid watching television in your home office if it is not related to work or hanging out with friends in your free time. Look over your home office and find any distractions like a game console or television and remove them. Keep these items in your living room or bed room; any place but your home office. You need to have strict boundaries within the home as to where work starts and where fun begins. This is why you need to remove distractions. Your workspace needs to be distinct so that it has a psychological effect of dividing your work and play.
Secondly you need good seating. Literally. Your productivity will be greatly hindered if you work in an uncomfortable chair you took from your kids’ room or the garage. You will be spending the majority of your work time on this chair so make sure it is comfortable and gives you the ergonomic support you need. If you fail to care for your back your desk chair can have adverse effects which hinder productivity and impede your health and your mood. If you are on a budget and you can’t get a new chair just yet consider investing in a chair pad or pillow.
Try some new lighting. Sufficient natural light is imperative to a productive workspace. Your work area needs to have windows and allow for adequate sunlight. There is a reason that many people start to feel lethargic when winter sets in and the sun goes away. Exposing yourself to sun will improve sleep and your mood. If you are working a long night or the weather is bad you want to get some artificial lights that are bright enough to keep you awake but not so bright that they overpower the room and hurt your eyes. Soft lighting is best in this situation. It is good to experiment a bit with different tones and intensities so that you can find which light works best for you. Try integrating multiple light fixtures too such as a desk lamp for reading or writing as well as a large lamp in the corner of the office.
Make sure your technology is updated and reliable. The last thing you want is a device that does not work properly when you need it to. It can cause frustration especially when you know that there is not a back up in your home office. So take some time to ensure your computer and printer is all up to date. Buy new gadgets as the need arises and do not put it off.
Simplify your office. The key to productivity is an organized office. If your home office is disorganized you won’t be able to find documents you need. So keep your area free from clutter. Use storage systems or file cabinets to keep your work place neat. You will reduce time spent procrastinating if you do this and improve your productivity. This applies to the physical office as well as your computer. Keep that organized too.