There are multiple advantages to working from home, ranging from a lack of a commute to being able to work in your backyard or even from your bed. However, whether you’ve recently made the transition to home working or are already a veteran, you may find that your most productive when you have a proper flexible workspace.
Setting up a home office means that you’ve got a lot of freedom, so you can make choices that you wouldn’t be able to make in a traditional workplace. If you want a neon green or pink chair, you can absolutely get one. Bright blue walls? Go for it!
No matter how you set up, furnish, or decorate a home office, here are some tips that will help you create a flexible workspace that boosts your productivity.
1. Identify your flexible workspace needs
Before setting up your home office, take a minute to identify what you need. This depends on the type of work you do. For example, if you’re a graphic artist, you may require a main workspace for your artwork and another small desk for your computer.
If you’re an accountant, you may need additional space for your file cabinets, and if you’re a photographer, you may require extra storage space for your lightning equipment and props.
In some cases, your employer might have some specific requirements about the equipment you have to use if you’re telecommuting, so it’s important to take that into account as well.
2. Invest in a comfortable chair
While you may think that the desk is the most important component of a home office, it’s actually the chair that’s the heart of a well-designed and productive home office. You’re going to spend nearly half of your day on that chair, so it’s important to invest in a good one as it will quite a difference to your work life.
Choosing the right chair can be a challenge as there are so many models out there, with prices ranging from $100 to $1,000 and beyond. The most important thing to look for in a chair is how ergonomic it is. Pay close attention to the back and arm support, and also have a look at fabric options to decide which one will make you feel more comfortable.
3. Make sure you have privacy
When you have a dedicated room for your office, privacy is not difficult to attain. However, if you are home office is in the corner of your bedroom or living room, you may find it difficult to separate work from your private life.
If that’s the case, you should consider adding a privacy divider that sits on the floor or hang a curtain on a rod or from the ceiling. Even though you might not get the peace and quiet of a separate room, the separation of private and work life is bound to make you more productive.
4. Get the right desk at the right height
Your workspace needs a desk or a table at the right work height for you. Many desks out there have adjustable height, particularly through their feet, so make sure that you position it at the proper height to make you feel comfortable all day long.
You are working at the correct height if you are forearms are parallel to the ground when you sit up straight, and your wrist is not bent when you type or use your mouse.
It’s also important to consider the height of your monitor. It’s always a good idea to get a monitor and hook it up to your laptop instead of just using the laptop’s small monitor. Position the monitor at the proper height for your eyes, which means that if you look straight ahead, your eyes are at a height of about 30% below the top of your screen.
5. Don’t forget about lighting
It’s quite easy to underestimate the effect of lighting in your work environment. This is an aspect that many people don’t think about, but it’s important to have enough indirect light for your workspace.
Don’t just rely on the light coming from your monitor because you still need to see physical objects and read papers easily.
Indirect light the first two light that is not reflecting off your monitor and is not in your direct field-of-view. For example, this would be an outside window behind your desk or a ceiling lamp. Try to avoid putting a lamp right next to the monitor because you will end up with glare from the competing light sources.
6. Manage your wires
Even though Wi-Fi is currently everywhere, that doesn’t mean that there are no longer all sorts of wires and cords in your office. From your mobile phone charger to the cords of your computer and monitor, your home office can quickly become a place that’s overcrowded with wires.
Taming the wires does wonders for the appeal of the room and is also a good idea from a safety point of view because you don’t want someone to trip over. You should invest in a record management system and make sure that you don’t leave power strips and extension cords all over the floor.
7. Make sure you have a high quality Internet service
Having quality, fast Internet is essential for being productive when you work from home. This can be easier to achieve in urban and suburban areas and more difficult if you live in a rural area.
You should make sure that you have a minimum speed of 50 Mbps (more is better, of course) and a stable connection. Remember that the more people are using the Internet at the same time, the more you should think about getting a higher-speed service. The only limits of setting up a flexible workspace at home are your space and imagination. Choosing the right equipment, décor and lighting for your office environment will help you be more productive.
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