It is estimated that as of 2017, 3.9 million employees representing 2.9 percent of the total workforce in the United States, work from home a majority of the time, which is up from 1.8 million back in 2005. The figure does not include unpaid volunteers or self-employed workers.
The total number of Americans that have reported working from home whether occasionally or most of the time stood at just over 40 percent in 2016. It is estimated that the number of remote workers is likely to grow to over 60 million Americans in the next few years.
If you have jumped on the telecommuting or remote working bandwagon, it is important to have a dedicated space for your work. The 10 tips below will help you design the best home office possible for maximum productivity:
- Find a Good Location
If you will be working from home, you will probably be spending many hours in the home office, which means that you shouldn’t stiff on space. It is also important to consider the traffic flow and your capacity to withstand distractions. The important thing when it comes to selecting the right location for your home office is to think about when and where you will be doing your work.
- Always Choose Function Before Form
Your storage, shelves, desk, and office in general are there to serve you and not the opposite. Consider your workflow then find pieces that are functional and beautiful. The furniture in your home office needs to complement other rooms. If you have a traditional décor in your home, soft, comfy chairs are ideal. If you have a contemporary home office, you can have modern metal furniture or artistic pieces.
- Invest in the Right Desk and Chair
It is absolutely essential that you choose the right desk and chair for your home office. After all, you will spend many hours using them. So, make sure that you invest in ergonomically-appropriate furniture. The desk you choose should be wide enough to accommodate your computer and everything else you need to do your work. The chair should be of excellent quality, comfortable, and adjustable if possible.
- Use the Right Colors
You should paint the walls in your home office the colors that you love. You should avoid the typical office colors and instead go for colors that motivate you and keep you motivated. For some people, it will be a bright color such as lime green or orange while others prefer calming shades such as sea foam blue or botanical green to perform.
- Station the Desk in Front of the Office Window
If you have a window in your home office with a great view, it will make an interesting backdrop when you are working away. Position your Desk View – window shelf where you will be able to see something that’s more interesting than a blank wall whenever you glance up from your computer. If your office doesn’t have a window, you can position the chair to face the door or hand some artwork above your desk.
- Ensure Good Lighting in the Home Office
Good lighting is critical for any home office space. It is important to ensure that your home office has enough natural light to reduce headaches and eye strain. Position the desk to face the windows or in a location where the computer screen won’t be affected. You can reduce the glare without darkening the room using translucent window blinds or shades.
- Go Green
It is the duty of everyone on earth to take care of the environment. You can play your environmental protection role by using natural light and the right insulation techniques to ensure that the office and your home in general is more energy- efficient. You should consider using energy-efficient lighting for the office and sustainable building materials for both the office itself and the office furniture.
- Manage Your Technology
When it comes to beautifying the phone, printer, or phone, there’s very little you can do. However, you can hide all the unsightly cords. The first thing is to ensure that you station the equipment as close to the outlets as possible. Use a fabric cord to encase the cords on your desk then feed them into the desk grommet, which guides the cords via a hole in the desk and conceals them underneath. You can tame the cords on the floor using tubing, cord winders, or a wire organizer attached to the desk.
- Don’t Forget About Storage
Storage is one thing that people often overlook when designing home offices and can affect productivity significantly. Ensure that you install enough filing cabinets, shelving, and cupboards to meet your storage needs. The filing system should be stationed close to your desk. You shouldn’t forget reference materials too – if you use reference books, catalogs, or manuals, store them in a shelf close to your desk.
- Buy Some Light Exercise Equipment
You should consider buying a step machine, small treadmill, light weights, or a set of resistance bands and keep them in your home office. Taking short breaks when working to work out helps you refocus, shift gears, and reenergize as needed throughout the day. It is also a great way to counteract the negative effects of sitting for long hours.
If you have chosen to join the work from home revolution, congratulations to you. Now all you need is the right office set up to ensure maximum productivity and functionality. The 10 tips discussed here are guaranteed to help you design the best home office possible.
Finding the right set up to maximize your productivity might require some trial and error. If you still need to become accustomed to your need work space, it can take some time before you find the home office that’s just right for your needs.
Once you have finished setting up your home office, you are free to continue making small changes that make the space really yours. If you do this, you are guaranteed to start feeling and actually being more productive and comfortable.