Working from home is a dream come true for many of us, and that dream is becoming a reality, with over four million people working from home in the UK in 2018, and half of the UK workforce expected to work remotely by 2020.
From software developers to marketing managers, consultants to Etsy store owners, there are more people working from home now than ever before. And while the benefits are clear, trying to get work done in the comfort of your own home (or pajamas) can be a challenge. There are many distractions at home, it can be easy to put off actually working, the washing up needs doing, the dog needs walking, your favourite daytime television show is on.
When your office and living room are the same things, the lines between work and home life can become blurred. It’s important to keep work and personal life separate as much as possible or your business may be effected by the distractions of home, along with your productivity.
Set up an office, or work space dedicated to your career, in that box bedroom, outhouse in your garden or converted garage. An attractive desk area can do wonders for your productivity levels.
We’ve put together a few pointers to follow to create a great office space in your home:
Ditch the clutter
We’re all guilty of collecting mugs, pens and receipts that we think we need to keep in our work space. But when there’s no office cleaner around to clear the decks, it takes a serious amount of discipline to manage your mess.
The first step is to remove the clutter, and then try to get in the habit of tidying up as you go along. Keeping minimal items on your desk and only sticking to the essentials will make your mind feel less cluttered too.
A good way to implement this is by asking yourself if the item is adding value to your work. If it’s not, it goes.
There will always be things you need to keep, such as record files, invoices, emails, tax returns etc, some of which you may need to keep hold of for many years. But eventually those things will build up and start taking up a lot of vital space in your home office.
We suggest archiving old, unused files and putting them into storage, through sites like ShedSpace. You can safely store them in a local neighbours home, garage, out house etc, who may have a little extra space to spare. But your items are kept in a nearby, convenient locations, should you ever need them.
Invest in practical accessories
Now you’ve decluttered, it’s time to add some more back in – now that might sound odd, but bare with us… we’re talking clocks, calendars, whiteboards, stationery and other productive items that will help motivate your work. Choose colours, patterns, decorations that represent you and lift your mood when you see them.
Invest in plenty of storage, such as desk trays, drawers, and a pen pot to organize your essentials. If you simply don’t have the floor space for filing cabinets and other storage units, go up… use wall shelving or peg boards, notice boards or cork boards to store your stationary and supplies.
Sticky notes are still one of the best ways to make sure you’re getting things done. Buy a pack use them to jot down to-dos throughout the day.
Invest in a good quality chair – after all you’ll be sat there a long time! And make sure your desk is big enough for your needs.
Ikea will be your best friend when you’re putting together your office, it has everything you could need to create the perfect office space.
Be inspired by motivational quotes in your office, calming paintings and photos of loved ones. Surround yourself with reminders of what your goals are, what and who you aspire to be and you’ll find yourself feeling more focused.
If you find yourself in a little mid-week or mid-day slump, take a few moments to re-energize yourself with inspiring quotes from some of the world’s greatest thinkers. Sometimes, all it takes is a little reminder to boost your spirits and refocus your day.
Let there be light
Good lighting is essential for any working environment, there’s nothing that’s going to kill your motivation more that being stuck in a dull, dark room without any natural light.
There are plenty of problems attributed to lighting, from migraines to eye strain. On top of the physical issues, though, depending on the type of lighting in your work area, you may be running into some mental issues as well.
Picking out light bulbs can be just as important as picking out a comfortable chair. You have to take into account glare from your computer screen, environmental impact and cost.
Insufficient lighting is practically a guarantee that your not going to feel productive, you may even find yourself nod off. Move your desk to a spot with a good amount of window light, it can lift your mood and encourage inspiration.
Bring in the plants
Having plants in your home and office come with a number of benefits, it has been proven that plants help reduce stress, increase productivity, reduce sickness, make a work place more attractive, they clean the air and can boost creativity. Plus who doesn’t feel happier with a load of green things around them?!
Make sure you’re getting them from the ‘indoor plants’ section so they survive, here is a breakdown of the best indoor plants for your office:
Dress up your laptop/PC
A dressed up laptop is much more enticing than a plain laptop. Just like a mobile phone, giving your computer a personal touch can bring the good vibes when you look at it, whether that’s with a laptop skin, stickers, ornaments on the base of your PC – make sure your office has a personal touch. A great place to find items like these is on Etsy
Do you work from home? Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips or pointers for creating the perfect office space at home.