As technological advances allow for more remote work opportunities, it is becoming increasingly important to make home offices into productive settings for professional accomplishments. While every home is different – from sweeping McMansions to tiny city apartments – there are a few key elements everyone should consider when setting up their home workspace.
One of the most important things to consider when setting up a home workspace is how to isolate yourself from distractions. The most obvious way to create this isolation is to dedicate an entire room to your office, allowing you to close the door to noisy children or dangerous temptations of Netflix. But for those working in a small house or apartment where physical isolation is impossible, tools like room dividers and noise cancellation headphones help to block distracting sights and sounds. Careful placement of a computer desk can also be helpful within a busy room: by facing a corner or wall, you can make sure any distractions are safely behind you.
You should also make sure whichever space you choose allows you to access all of the tools you need to do your job well. Make sure your key daily tools are within an arm’s reach when you’re sitting at your desk. It helps to take actual notes on what you find yourself using the most day-to-day. You might find you don’t use a phone as much as you thought, but that having your tablet nearby is essential. Beyond accessing physical tools, it also helps to make sure your digital tools are accessible. Consider setting up dual monitors so you can organize your software and file folders across a wider area.
Ergonomics are often a given at corporate offices, but they’re easy to forget in your own home. Skip the aesthetically pleasing but back-aching decorative chair and invest in an ergonomically-designed office chair that is meant for hours of use. Get an adjustable desk so you can make sure the height is exactly right for your body. Make sure the workspace itself is lit with bright, soft lighting so you never have to strain your eyes. To further protect your eyes, opt for an anti-glare computer monitor with good colors. Forty hours per week is a long time to spend in any location, so make sure you’re doing your body a favor and aim for comfort in every choice.
The home office is no place for clutter. With most work being done digitally, there is no need for piles of file folders and notebooks all over your desk. Keep your desktop simple: your computer, its peripherals, a phone, and a small notepad are all most workers need to get their job done. Leave the desk toys on a shelf away from where you work, and instead opt for a desk setup that is streamlined and effective.
When arranging your workspace setup or adding new tools to it, always ask yourself if the choices you make are addressing the four key elements above. You’ll end up with a more productive space that allows you to focus on turning out the best work you’re capable of.
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