Working from home is more and more becoming the new norm. With video conferencing, email, phones and file-sharing, and online project management via broadband, there has never been a better time to have to ditch the commute. But the big question is how to set up your home to work there? Organizing a home office for the uninitiated may seem a daunting task, so here are six top tips on how to organize a home office. This is the type of thing that we’re hearing a lot of people mention. This is particularly true, as so many of us are in this situation in recent times.
Photo by Huseyn Kamaladdin.
A Dedicated Room
The biggest challenge many find when trying to work from home is finding a productive space to be able to work in peace. If possible, it should be set up in a dedicated room where you can work in a quiet area, free of distraction. There are so many things in the house to distract you, such as the kitchen. Even when the kids are getting up to all sorts, or also just want your attention. It will be difficult at first, but if you have a conversation with the others in the house and set out the ground rules for not disturbing you during your working hours.
Proper Desk & Chair
When you work at any office, you will, no doubt, be aware that there is a lot of health and safety to be considered around posture and choosing the correct chair and desk height. You shouldn’t be stretching or straining, and your arms should be able to easily stay at a comfortable typing height to avoid repetitive strain injury or other forms of pain.
Everything has its Place
Organization is vital in the setting up of the home office. Everything needs to have its place and be found as it becomes required. If you have a lot of documents, then it may be necessary to erect a bookcase or two. If possible, you should make sure that you, or anyone else in the family, doesn’t start to use the room to store other items as clutter has a habit of growing exponentially if left. For smaller items, it’s good to have receptacles such as these Leather Valet storage solutions to keep keys, or stationery items in.
Given that you are using the room as an office, and we can assume it was something else before, it is essential to make sure the décor is appropriate for the room’s current use. This would be especially true if the room was previously a nursery or child’s bedroom, having an office decked out in unicorns or robots on the wall could be quite distracting. Neutral or calm colours are always useful, you want to be at your most relaxed when trying to work.
It is the biggest killer of progress and productivity at home, distractions. It is vital to not have a TV or stereo present in the home office. But other items can be just as distracting these days, and a smartphone is just as much of a deterrent to getting things done as anything else you could own these days. The modern phone can play movies, radio, music, and it can be a gaming console as well. You may well have to have a phone for your work, but it’s a good idea to have a second phone so that you can keep the work phone separate, this device should be free of distracting apps such as games and video streaming, leave this for your personal phone.
Laptop or Desktop
When setting up this room, is it better to have a dedicated PC that stays in the office or a laptop that you can bring in with you when needed. There are a lot of questions surrounding this decision. What type of work do you do? Are you working exclusively in the home office? Some work requires a large monitor or even several monitors, and this is particularly true of designers and anyone that works in visual media, such as filmmaking or photography. But if you only work part-time at home and need to go to the main office or visit clients at their location, it may be less hassle as you do not have to swap files over between machines. Many of us just prefer a more traditional PC setup, an external keyboard and mouse can feel more comfortable to work with.