Home Office Ideas
Are you truly set up to work from home or just winging it? Let’s face it – lots of spare bedrooms and old tables are being converted into home offices and hot desks these days. You might’ve gotten the call to start working from home but didn’t have the time to properly set up your home office environment.
If you want to maximize your productivity, then you need to take the time to properly set up your home office space. Most people think that working from home is easy, but it can be quite challenging if you’re not prepared. You’ve got social distractions, a full frig, and kids at home. Plus, nothing says “get the job done” like working in your PJs, right?
Do yourself a favor, fellas. Check out these helpful tips for turning your home office into a remote command center.
Add Some Plants
For most people, their work office is a sterile, white-washed environment. When you look up from your cubicle, you’re more likely to see a stale motivational poster than a fully blooming peace lily. However, studies show that plants in the office boost productivity. Plants help to detoxify the air and promote a sense of calm.
They don’t have to be high maintenance plants either. I prefer succulents. These hearty plants don’t need much water or attention. Hell, if you even touch some of them you get a nasty prick on your finger. The less time I need to worry about my plants, the more time I can spend working in my home office.
High-Speed Internet is King
Working remotely with a Wi-Fi signal from the Stone Age will drive you crazy. You won’t be able to respond quickly to emails and video calls. You won’t have access to some large files that take time and bandwidth to download. You’ll spend most of your day just waiting for things to happen.
If you don’t have good internet speed for your home office, then consider relocating to another part of the house where the signal is stronger. You can also purchase a signal booster. They plug right into the wall and can help extend the range of your Wi-Fi router.
Finally, you may need to change your home internet service provider all together. That might be pricey for some guys, but you’re making an important investment here. Without a high-speed internet connection at home, working remotely becomes nearly impossible.
Remove Unwanted Distractions
Your home office can actually hurt your productivity when there are too many outside distractions in the room. I’m not talking about your pets and family members. Your greatest distraction is your mobile phone.
Sometimes, I’ll lose hours of quality work time by just scrolling through my social media feeds. I know that there’s work to be done, but I just can’t seem to tear myself away. My solution was to just keep my smartphone in a separate room during work hours.
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You can also use a separate computer for work. This will help you distinguish between work activities and leisure activities when online. Anything that can be considered a hobby, or a leisure activity should be taken out of your home office space.
Dealing with Your Kids
Your home office space needs to be dedicated for work purposes. That’s easier said than done when you’ve got kids at home. The super curious fingers of a toddler can quickly turn your cute little desktop zen garden into a mess of sand and pebbles.
It might be impractical to keep inquisitive children away from your home office, but you might be able to redirect their energy away from your unsaved Word docs and video conferences. Give those curious kids something else to do and you’ll find it easier to get things done.
For the first week of my new home office gig I tried to lock my 3-year-old out, but I couldn’t bear to hear him banging on the door. I soon realized that the plaintive (if not over-acted) wails of my son were more distracting than having him in the room.
So, I brought in a few of his favorite toys. I made a small area for him near my workspace and he never bothered me again. He just wanted to be close to me. So, no matter what the age of your child, you can designate a space for them in your home office. They might want their iPad or a few books, but they most likely don’t want to bother you.
Here’s another tip for dealing with kids. Put on some music for them. It fills the room with sound, and you don’t have to do as much talking. My son and I enjoy some of the same music. We both love 50s rock and roll. So, I put on our favorite tunes and we get along just fine in my home office.
Get a Great Chair
I’m not talking about a good chair, fellas. I’m talking about a great chair. You’re going to be spending 8 to 12 hours of your day working and sitting. So, you need to make it a priority to get a high-quality office chair.
Office chairs can get a bit pricey, but there is a wide range. Some chairs go for as little as $50 while others can reach above $500. I picked up this manager’s chair from Wayfair. It was on sale for $112 and offers great back support.
If you don’t have the coin to spare on a brand-new chair, then you can get a bit resourceful with what you have at home. Look around and take a seat in every chair you own. Find the one that’s most comfortable and relocate it to your work desk. You can also use a small pillow to boost your back support.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Working from home can have numerous benefits. It saves time and can lower your stress levels. According to a FlexJobs survey, 65% of respondents said that they’d feel more productive working remotely. For nearly half of the respondents, their main remote worksite was a home office or spare room.
Working from home used to be the domain of freelancers and entrepreneurs, but times have changed. To help stop the spread of COVID-19, more companies are asking their employees to be flexible and work remotely.
Your home office should have plenty of natural lighting and plants. It should have high speed internet and as few distractions as possible. Your family and pets don’t have to be distractions either. Just set them up with their own space and make sure that they respect your working hours.
Did you already set up your home office? Do you have any additional tips for working remotely? Let us know in the comments.