Consider yourself lucky if you get to work from home. No commute. Your own, special coffee all day. Calling into meetings in your pajamas. These are great perks. But, as we all know, home is where the heart is, not the work brain. It might be tough to get into, and remain in, work mentality. Or maybe you end up making your home office too cubicle-like. It can be a trial and error to get the home-work balance just right, but it’s worth it to have a place to work at home comfortably. We did some of the work for you by putting together a list that just might help with creating a comfortable and stylish space that also promotes productivity.
Clear the Clutter. Even if you think you work well in a mess you probably will work more productively in an organized and neat space. When your “office” is really a small nook in the home, rather than a full room, adding floating shelves provides accessible storage that keeps clutter off your work surface. Make sure to include decorative elements on these shelves, like some inspiring books or art, so the overall look is still welcoming. Also, stick to light colors (such as white or pale wood) for the shelves. This keeps them from feeling too in-your-face.
Desk Free For All. When you’re in an office the places to put your desk may be completely limited, but at home your desk can be arranged ANYWHERE. If you’re lucky, you may even be able to put your desk in front of an actual window, instead of looking at a wall, as is common in an office. Even backing your desk into a corner, diagonally, will make a small space feel larger. But, the bigger point is that at home you can place your work space wherever makes you feel the best!
Keep Everything Close. What do you need daily while you’re working? Office supplies like pens, pencils, scissors, paperclips, etc.? Keep them in large quantities and at your fingertips. Live on coffee? Plug in a coffee maker on a table right behind you. What does this accomplish? Well, you don’t have to get up every time you need a caffeine boost, and get distracted by the television, or the laundry, or the dirty dishes, or…
Pattern, Color, Décor. One of the best parts of working at home is that it doesn’t have to look like work. And you can be stimulated with creative and energetic colors and patterns in the background. Arrange with colorful flowers in a big vase. Hang artwork across from your desk at sitting eye level. Pin a mixture of important papers and lists, as well as fun images and pictures, to your own personal bulletin board.
You’re never completely paper-less…Even if you think you are all the way digital, you’re not. You still have a paper trail of some lingering utility bills, or insurance paperwork, or homework that your kids have brought home. If you need some help, organizationally, give yourself a spot on your desk to get your paper in order, or tack the important ones on a bulletin board. Then sort through the pile at the end of the week and shred and recycle what you can. This will keep your desk clear and you can at least start Monday off with a clutter free area.
Smart light. Now that you have a choice of what kind of light you want to illuminate your home office you can choose the “good” lighting. No overhead lights! Go for a table lamp that will give off a soft light. If you want to keep your desk surface as clear as possible go for a floor lamp, or one that can be mounted on the wall.