Several people right now are looking to build immaculate home offices.
Expect more people to continue working from home long-term with COVID-19 numbers on the rise. It only makes sense to make the place you'll be putting in 40 plus hour work weeks an oasis of productivity and creativity.
But what can you do to get the office of your dreams?
Upgrade your work from home setup by using the following advice.
Start With the Quality of Work and Life Decisions
Your first priority is to make your office somewhere you can comfortably work for several hours stretches. This requires some quality of life decisions when setting it up.
Start with these points before anything else:
1. Choose the Right Space For Your Office
Nothing matters until you have the ideal square footage and location carved out for your home office.
Decoration and design don't matter unless you have enough room to spread out and enough privacy to not get distracted.
When at all possible, make your office a completely separate room with a door you can close. That being said, if you have a little-used corner of your living room, that could work as well.
This is a room you should only use for work; you don't want to be working at the kitchen table. Using spaces that you also use for leisure makes it hard to have willpower and productivity, along with making it harder to preserve a good work-life balance.
Perhaps you have a spare room you can clean out or one you can repurpose for a comfortable home office. Either way, clear out the area so you can organize it to serve you best.
2. Make Sure You Have Ample Light
So much of work mood and productivity comes down to simply having enough light. Straining to see your computer screen creates headaches, fatigue, and eye strain.
Install some LED lighting or a desk lamp that brighten up the room without draining your electric bills.
Having natural light in your home office space is necessary for creating a positive work experience.
Not only does allowing more natural lighting into your home workspaces reduce your electricity cost, but you also see significant improvements in productivity.
Several people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) due to a lack of sunlight. This lack of sunlight can even throw off your body's natural clock and sleep rhythm.
Further, exposure to sunlight promotes Vitamin D, which can help your focus and mood, and even lessen your anxiety.
3. Create Some Exercise and Nap Space
Breaks are a must if you're hoping to make it through days and weeks of working from home.
Consider getting a workout in, as opposed to simply relaxing during a break. It's easier to do this when your home office is outfitted with kettlebells, a pullup bar, and a treadmill.
Now is the time to invest in your home gym, especially if you're doing remote work due to the Coronavirus for the foreseeable future. These workouts will help you have far better workdays.
For one, breaking a sweat pumps mood-enhancing endorphins that can brighten up your day.
This might be particularly important if you are also social distancing. Quality exercise will keep your body and mind relaxed so you can tackle the challenges ahead.
Building a strong body also gives you the endurance to work long hours. Sitting down for extended periods of time can compress your spine and cause aches and pains.
Perhaps most importantly, exercise makes you mentally sharper, so your work quality and output will improve.
When you work out, you stimulate brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which enhances your learning and memory. You'll be more alert and aware when you work, which allows for a remarkable output.
Make room for nap space as well. A pullout couch is perfect when you need to grab a pillow and take a mid-day nap.
Taking a 90-minute nap can work wonders in refreshing your brain and your body.
4. Get a Quality Desk and Chair
Working from home is an endurance game. You'll get better mileage out of your workdays when you have a high-quality office chair that's comfortable.
A poor desk chair equals back pain, which is back for business and productivity.
People in the United States pay more than $50 billion in medical bills each year due to back problems alone.
Spend a bit extra on an ergonomic, comfortable chair that offers plenty of lumbar support and height options. You can also get a coccyx seat cushion to go with it. This helps distribute weight evenly along your spine and keeps your legs from getting numb.
Shop for a office desk that's comfortable as well. It should be adjustable whenever possible and should let you sit with good posture and arms extended. You might even consider a standing desk so that you can get on your feet for part of the day.
5. Make Sure it Has Ventilation and HVAC Circulation
You can't work long hours when you feel outdoor temperatures in your home office. Get your heater and air conditioner inspected to make sure the home office is getting circulation.
They might suggest cleaning out your vents or changing your HVAC filters. HVAC professionals can also test out the air quality to make sure you're only breathing clean, fresh air.
Look into getting a humidifier to protect your indoor air quality. When your office doesn't have the right humidity levels you'll often experience things like skin irritation, difficulty concentrating, chapped lips, and breathing issues.
This device is perfect to get you through muggy summer days.
Stock Up on Tech
You absolutely need to get your home office up to par with the technology that you use. This is your hub that keeps your professional life afloat and allows you to communicate with the outside world.
Treat it as such by considering these tips:
1. Improve Your Internet Speed and Signal
Upgrade your home internet connection so that you have the optimal speed. Definitely schedule an appointment for service if you regularly experience lag or spotty signal.
Video chat is a reality in both business and personal communication moving forward, so you'll need your internet to stay up and running at the optimal bandwidth.
Consider setting up a home server that centralizes your data and improves your information security. Your machines will also run much faster when they're no longer carrying the entire data burden.
2. Get Hardware for Your Backups
Create a system for consistent data backups.
Invest in the largest storage you can afford and schedule regular backups throughout the day. If your machines connect to the backup source via Wi-Fi you can schedule these backups to automatically happen in the background.
3. Invest in the Right Camera and Video Chat Platforms
Get your cameras and hardware together since you're about to participate in more video chats than ever.
Use this time to invest in a solid 4K camera and upgrade your computer's RAM and CPU if necessary. You'll want to get the best performance from Zoom and other platforms so that your conference calls are seamless.
The more strategic your upgrades, the easier it'll be to participate in and host chats with several people.
4. Keep Your Computers, Printers, and Scanners Up to Date
Consider the condition of your daily use hardware when putting together a home office. Your workstation should have everything that you need within reach, including your laptop or desktop, printers, and scanners.
Not everyone has adapted to e-signing documents, so you'll want your printer and scanner to always be up and running without error or malfunction.
5. Handle Your Cabling and Outlets
Think about how your technology is organized in your home office. Hide cables whenever possible both for aesthetics and to avoid trip hazards.
Using color-coding and trusted cabling so that your technology has some order to it.
Get as Organized as Possible
You'll stay productive when organization and cleanliness are the benchmarks for your office. It's easier to work for longer hours and without distraction when your office has systems.
Here's how to use organization to make your office more productive:
1. Use Wall Calendars and Post Reminders Prominently
If you visit virtually any office today you'll see large whiteboards, brainstorming charts, and notes all over the place. Posting this sort of information prominently makes it easier for you to stay on task since you know what you're working on.
Put up a large calendar to keep all of your meetings and appointments. A desk calendar or calendar book could also work wonders.
Figure out what system works for you and create stations that let you easily move through workflows and hit deadlines.
2. Upgrade Your Filing System
Staying organized in your office means keeping the best records, so you may need some new office supplies. Set up file keeping systems both for physical and digital records.
Get a big filing cabinet for your office and plenty of folders. You might prefer the binder system instead. If so, keep separate binders for each subject. Some shelving might be useful for this as well.
For instance, one binder might contain your tax and banking information, while another has marketing ideas and client accounts.
Embrace the cloud for your digital record keeping.
3. Invest in a Smart Speaker
Technology is on your side when you're setting up your home office. Something as simple as a smart speaker can revolutionize your work process.
These speakers connect to your Wi-Fi and give you access to countless information with a simple voice command. You can ask it questions directly and get audible search engine results while staying on task.
Smart speakers also let you set alarms, timers, and reminders throughout the day.
Telling the speaker to remind you of a meeting at 5 p.m. takes far less time and effort than whipping out your smartphone and plugging that information into your meeting app.
These speakers even let you take hands-free phone calls. What's more, you're a voice command away from libraries of music and content to keep you entertained and focused throughout the day.
It's a worthwhile investment no matter how you use it.
4. Download and Use Organizational Apps
The more places you have information and reminders recorded, the better. When you use apps that keep you organized, you can access them across several devices.
This keeps you connected to your work whether you're at your computer, swiping through your tablet, or going out for a jog while connected to your smartwatch.
Figure out which app interfaces work best for you and make them central to your home office organization workflow.
5. Clean and Tidy Frequently
Perhaps the biggest of all -- set your office up to always be neat and tidy.
Before moving in you should do a deep cleaning of the floors or carpets, clean out all closets and get rid of every item that isn't business-related.
You'll want to strike a balance between getting the most out of your office's square footage and keeping it clutter-free.
From here, keep trash cans prominent and make sure you're decluttering inside your home office. Avoid eating food in the office and take time each week to thoroughly clean and re-organize. Buy a paper shredder and get rid of papers the second you don't need them, rather than letting junk pile up.
Staying on top of your office's cleanliness makes it a pleasant place to work each day. You'll keep your stress levels low and will be better able to stay productive.
Build Your Work From Home Castle
Nothing is holding you back from making your home office your castle. These tips are helpful when you're trying to create your dream work from home setup.
When your office looks great, has plenty of space, and handles every function that you need, you'll naturally stay productive and engaged.
We have a large assortment of products that will be perfect for your home office. Whether you need a pillow to support your back or an aromatherapy diffuser to lighten the mood, we've got you covered.
Take some time to browse our inventory of products and contact us if you have questions!