Whoever invented the concept of a home office was either brilliant, desperate, or some fascinating combination of the two. In any case, here we are working from home and trying to succeed at it. Some days it rocks, and some days it can make us feel off our collective rocker for even attempting it.
So, let’s get started. Here are some no-fail (or hardly ever fail) ways to get your home office up and running and to keep it that way for many pay periods to come.
Carve out a workspace.A dedicated work-only space is invaluable for work-at-home success, but many people work in different spots each day while trying to ignore the distractions at home. What we’ve learned in researching this topic is that it is key to have a dedicated space that is only for work. You can even use part of a room and separate it with a curtain.
Your personal working oasis.What? “Work” and “oasis” in the very same sentence? Yup. For starters, money isn’t the only kind of green that can make your workweek more rewarding: plants and flowers have been said to decrease stress while enhancing productivity by 12 percent. Plus, aromatherapy can be just the trick you need to get your thoughts back on track (try peppermint or rosemary) or take the edge off a rougher-than-usual day (go for chamomile or lavender and just watch how they transform your mood and personality.)
Arrange and decorate your workspace.A lot of people spend a great deal of time and energy decorating their home interior like living rooms or other spaces that hardly get much use. Then when it comes to the place we spend around 7 hours per day doing work, it gets the shaft. Take some time and thought to make your home office a place where you actually enjoy spending time and being productive. Shop around for home office design ideas and home office furniture that reflects your personal style. It’s a worthwhile investment in both your career and your daily quality of life. One great way to arrange your home office is by creating a stress free atmosphere by interior decorating with indoor plants. Indoor plants are said to reduce stress by 12 percent and promote productivity.
Get Office Equipment and Keep It Updated.When you’re first setting up your working space, do some research before investing in technology. While it seems easy to cut costs here, sometimes that can backfire and things may go awry when you’re trying to meet a deadline. Ask around. Read reviews. And avoid the temptation to completely shop online. Interacting with the products can go a long way to helping you make the right decisions. Once you have the machines you need, make yourself a schedule for keeping them maintained. They’ll perform better and last longer, saving you from a whole lot of hassle down the road.
Keep your work space a space to work.You were mid-way through the household mail when you realized it was time for your next conference call. Before that stack of bills and grocery store fliers take over your desk, put them where they go (and that’s not underneath the document you need for your hottest project). Inevitably, the two worlds (work and household) will collide, but staying on top of your desktop can help keep distractions at bay.
Consider the rest of the house, too.Obviously, the space in our immediate view is what matters most, but now let’s consider that area beyond the office parameters. It seems when it comes to working at home, the “out of sight, out of mind” proverb doesn’t always apply. When we know that the rest of the house is primarily in a good state, our productivity improves. While this sounds like it calls for an endless state of perfection in all areas of the house, it’s really not that extreme: keep things in order throughout the house, and you’re bound to see a lift in your overall peace of mind and productivity.
Take purposeful time outs.If you’re like most humans these days, any and every time of the day is an opportunity to take a social media break. Quick round of "Words With Friends," while you sip your morning coffee? Scan of the top headlines in between meetings? Sounds pretty benign, but can add up to a day filled with breaks — interspersed with work — as opposed to the other way around. You’re a whole lot better off scheduling a chunk of time to actually take a real break. Whether you head out for a brisk walk, stay at your desk reading, or do something else that helps you clear your head. Do it with purpose and then get back to work with what is hopefully a more focused mindset to get you through the rest of the day.
From printers to perennials, there is an abundance of ways to maximize your home office productivity. And it all comes down to this: creating your ideal home work space is pretty much like any other project you tackle, it’s the little things that matter most.
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