Ask most women to describe their dream job and many will start their list with the ability to telecommute aka work from home. It’s understandable. If you’re a self-starter the benefits can be quite attractive – no traffic-filled commute, set your own hours, avoiding office politics and gossip.
Whether you’re a student, an entrepreneur, or your work for a larger business, the flexibility of working from home can also lead to a lackluster work routine. Need to run to the pharmacy? No problem. Gotta switch out the laundry? Yeah, why not? Want to binge watch Electric Dreams while you work? Ummm yes, please.
I’m sure that there are people that can work tirelessly in their pajamas, from the couch, meeting deadlines and maximizing execution, day in and day out. But, if you’re like me, working from home requires a dedicated space, organization and a well-planned daily routine. A well decorated and fully equipped workspace will help you to stay focused and get more done.
Here’s a list of a few things you’ll need to improve productivity in your home office
The foundation of a home office is a dedicated area to work – somewhere other than the dining room table, the den sofa, or your bed. No matter how small your home is, you still have to designate a specific space to be used only for work. It’s a matter of separating your home space from your office space.
Trust me. You’ll need this defined space when it’s time to shut down for the day.
When you work from home you can find yourself finding it difficult to separate work hours from the rest of your life, because you can just keep working. Who’s going to stop you? It’s up to you to maintain balance and know when it’s time to shut down. A dedicated space allows you to physically move away from your office.
Attention to detail
You want your office to both inviting and inspiring. You are going to be spending quite a bit of time there. Decorate with the intention of creating a space that makes you feel your best.
Since your desk is the centerpiece, make sure you find one that gives you space for technology, ample writing room and offers good storage. The number one rule to finding a good desk is to remember that you don’t have to settle for what your local Office Max has on hand. Look for a desk that fits your personality. Keep an eye out for gems at Home Goods, furniture consignment stores, or consider having one built.
For example, I like desks that are both feminine and strong. Believe it or not… this combination is very hard to find in stores. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, my husband custom built my desk from reclaimed wood. Don’t be afraid to go outside the norm to get exactly what you want.
If you’re considering custom, do your research. Not all custom built furniture is quality furniture. Check out reputable furniture designers like Peter Thomas – he has a simple desk design that I love. Just be sure that you do your due diligence and that you don’t compromise on style or function.
If at all possible, position your workspace near a window. You’ll want to get as much natural light into the area as you can. Natural sunlight helps with concentration and mood. Add a desk lamp or a floor lamp and an overhead light to add to the ambiance. A well-lit office will help to keep you alert and on task.
When you work in an office, the employer usually outfits the space with ergonomically correct chairs. When you work for yourself, you may be gravitating for what’s matches the decor… but you have to make sure that you have the proper support.
Think about it. If you work from home, you probably do work that requires you to be seated for long periods of time. Proper support will save you from unnecessary neck and back pain. You’ll find the most comfort in a lumbar supported office chair with a backrest designed to mimic the natural shape of your back.
You can’t have the perfect home office without adding your own touch of inspiration. It’s a non-negotiable and an intricate part of personalizing your space. Whether you add family photos or frame your favorite quote – or you hang your vision board on the wall where you can see it well, make sure it’s highly visible as a constant affirmation of why you’re working so hard.