Your home office is one of the few places in the world where you have total control over your surroundings. So why then are you continuing to work in a space that’s dull, disorganized, and frustrating? With a few simple tweaks, you can turn your office into a place where you perform at your best.
Here are a few that can be implemented quickly and relatively effortlessly:
1. Choose the Right Room
Optimizing your home office begins with selecting the right room. If you have an apartment or small single family home, you might not have a lot of options. That’s okay, you can make do with what you have. But if you have more square footage and a few different rooms to choose from, you should be strategic and discerning. Here are a few things to consider:
- Location. Be intentional about where the room is located in the home. Position it as far away from main living areas (like the kitchen or living room) as possible.
- Orientation. If you live on a busy street and there are lots of distractions on the front of the house, it would be smart to position your home office on the back side. You also want to think about the orientation of the room in relation to the path of the sun. (More on natural light in tip number five.)
- Size. Think about how much room you need. Ideally, it should be large enough to create a couple of different “zones.” This means a place where you work, a place to store office items, etc.
Again, you might only have one room that can be used as an office. That’s fine! The key is to work with what you have and to choose the best option available.
2. Use a Dual Screen Setup
No matter how quickly you can open up tabs, minimize applications, and switch between programs, working within the confines of a single screen is inefficient. Adding a second monitor could increase your productivity by 20 to 30 percent. That’s huge!
A second screen is inexpensive, easy to install, and provides a whole host of benefits. It allows you to comfortably keep two, three, or even four different windows open at once without having to minimize and maximize. It’s something everyone can benefit from.
3. Select the Right Chair
An office chair seems like a small detail, but it can dramatically improve your comfort and productivity. Rather than buying the cheapest option you can find at your local office store, shop around for one that supports proper ergonomics.
As you shop for a chair, look for companies that have a wide selection and a positive reputation for providing exceptional customer support. BTOD is a great example. They have more than 1,000 positive reviews and are known for standing by their products.
4. Invest in a Standing Desk
Even with the right office chair, there’s something to be said for standing up. By investing in a standing desk that can be raised or lowered with the flip of a button, you can avoid staying idle in one position for too long at a time. Set a reminder to stand up for at least 10 minutes out of every hour. (It’s even better if you can switch off and do 30 minutes of standing for every half hour of sitting.)
The same thing goes for a standing desk. Purchase from a company that has a solid reputation and can be trusted should there be any issues.
5. Get Natural Light
Artificial light – particularly fluorescent lighting – is harsh on the eyes and can lead to eye fatigue, headaches, and other unwanted side effects. Natural light, on the other hand, provides a host of benefits – including a boost in productivity.
In a study conducted by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), multiple Walmart stores were analyzed. The stores were identical – same layout, geographical area, etc. – except for one key difference. Some stores had skylights and the others did not. Guess what? The sales in the skylit stores were 40 percent higher than the sales in the stores with harsh fluorescent lighting. PG&E concluded that natural light increases productivity and revenue.
6. Simplify Design and Decor
Stop repeating the silly idea that the messiest people are the most creative. While messiness may work for unhinged artists, it’s not something that goes over well in a business setting. If you want to increase focus, limit distractions by decluttering and simplifying your office decor.
Make Your Home Office Work for You
A home office is a very personal space. It’s basically the opposite of a cubicle in a corporate office space. It’s yours and you can do with it whatever you please. The key is to continually strike a balance between optimizing for productivity and designing for beauty. And the great news is that there are an increasing number ways to do so without compromising on either front.