Whether you are someone who does the entirety of the job from home or you just need somewhere in your house where you can catch up on work when you need to, having a home office is an invaluable tool. Setting aside a dedicated space in your home for you to work in is both a powerful psychological trick for enhancing your productivity as well as a worthwhile practical undertaking for using the space in your home more efficiently.
Instead of letting your work spill out over the entire household, you can keep it all contained within a single space. More importantly, you can keep everything you need for your work organised and together. When you design it right, your home or office can be an invaluable partner in productivity. Below are some top tips for ensuring that your home office is optimised for productivity.
Set It Up For Productivity
If you want to be as productive as possible when using your home office, then you need to design its layout with productivity in mind. First and foremost, you should choose a location for your home office where you can be sure that you won't be disturbed for most of the day. You want to minimise the number of distractions around you - keeping yourself far away from the hustle and bustle of your own home will help a great deal in this respect.
But it isn't just the location of your office that matters. The way that you decorate it and lay out the furniture inside will have an impact on how productive you can be when you are working there. Some people advise that you stick to neutral colours, so as to avoid creating an environment that is too stimulating or sedating. However, in practice, whatever kind of environment you personally find most conducive to your productivity is fine. Some people prefer to work surrounded by colour, whereas others prefer a more mundane backdrop.
Get Yourself a Coffee Machine
Anyone who has ever had to work an office or retail job will understand the importance of caffeine in creating an ideal work environment. There is evidence to show that caffeine can improve our concentration and memory, to an extent. Of course, if you overdo it with the coffee, then you are going to have a bad time. But in moderation, coffee isn’t just a tasty refreshment; it is also a genuinely useful tool for improving performance and concentration when you’re working in your home office.
If you are a habitual coffee drinker, it is worth considering investing in a coffee machine. You can compare commercial coffee machine prices online. If purchasing one of these machines is out of the question for someone on your budget, then you can always consider renting or leasing a machine as a more cost-effective alternative.
Don’t Deprive Yourself Entirely of Distractions
Creating a productive environment means that you'll need to keep the number of distractions present to a minimum. However, even the most dedicated workers can only focus on their work for so long before they need a break. Many people also find that it helps to take regular short breaks from their work in order to give their brain time to refresh and avoid becoming fatigued.
If you try to spend an entire day working without taking a break to even glance at your phone or briefly check your social media, you will be setting yourself up for failure. It is much better to work out which of your preferred distractions are the least damaging to your productivity and keep these nearby.
For example, if you find that strumming your guitar for a while clears your mind and enables you to work through any mental blockages that you are having, then, by all means, keep a guitar in your home office. On the other hand, if you are incapable of working productively when there is a games console within reach, make sure that you keep your home office free from any traces of games consoles.
Keep It Comfortable
When it comes to striking the right balance in terms of how comfortable you make your home office, you want to create an environment that is comfortable enough that you can happily work in it for extended periods of time without feeling the strain, but not so comfortable that you are tempted to fall asleep every time you sit down. No one can work at their best when they are physically uncomfortable. If you don't consider this when you are designing your home office, you may well end up with a space that is unpleasant to be in for the duration of a full working day.
Enhancing the comfort of your office is not difficult, nor does it have to be expensive. Investing in good quality furniture will certainly help. That might cost you more money upfront, but more expensive and higher quality furniture isn't just more comfortable, it also has a significantly longer lifespan than the cheaper alternatives.
Another important aspect of your comfort to consider is the temperature. If your home office consists of a small enclosed room, a laptop or computer that is working hard can generate a surprising amount of heat, essentially acting as a small radiator. You should consider the ventilation and airflow in your home office, and if necessary, consider getting a fan or air-conditioning unit in order to keep the temperature comfortable.
Add Some Exercise Equipment
Lots of people who regularly work from their home office find that they are more productive if they aim to take lots of small breaks throughout the day, rather than trying to power through the whole day with as few breaks as possible. If this sounds like you, then we would strongly recommend that you consider investing in some exercise equipment for your home office.
You don't need to go overboard and buy yourself an expensive treadmill or exercise bike; any simple piece of exercise equipment will do. The goal is to give you something to occupy your downtime that will not distract you from the work at hand. Exercise equipment is perfect for this as it can keep you completely occupied while you are using it, but will not generally tempt you away from your work when you are trying to remain productive.
Anyone who regularly works from home can benefit from having a dedicated home office space within their home. If you already have such a space, or you are looking to create one in your home for the very first time, you should design its layout in order to maximise productivity.
To achieve this, you need to strike the right balance between creating a space in which you can be comfortable and relaxed while working, and one that is free of distractions and discourages you from allowing your mind to wander.
The ideal home office is one in which you feel comfortable, but eager to work in. It should also be a space that you can comfortably spend a number of hours in, potentially even an entire day. The right home office can make an enormous difference to your productivity, so it is well worth investing in creating the right kind of space.