How to Customize Your Home Office
Technological improvements have made it possible for more workers to stay connected remotely. This has led to a boom in the number of employees working from home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of home-based workers in the U.S. has increased by at least 4.2 million people in the last several years. If you’re a home-based worker, or even occasionally work from home, here are a few ways you can customize your home office to make it the most productive place for you.
Create a Healthy Environment
The average American worker spends 13 hours sitting every day. You have an advantage because, as a remote worker, you have the opportunity to create a healthier work environment and exercise when you want. However, chances are you’ll sit for most of the workday as well. Because of the health risk that sitting for prolonged periods presents, the chair you use is incredibly important.
An ergonomic chair—with the right seat height, width, depth, lumbar support, and seat material—supports your back, helps you maintain good posture, and avoids the strain that leads to exhaustion and health problems. To promote a healthy work environment, create different work stations in your office. You can create your own standing desk by inserting a shelf or large box above your desk level or adjusting the legs of your table. Set aside a certain amount of time each day for standing so you can be both productive and healthy.
Match Your Equipment With Your Needs
Your home office most likely will need some sort of technology to keep you connected with co-workers, clients, or customers. The trick is having only the technological tools that can keep you engaged and keeping out the ones that will distract you. Take a second to think about what tools you use when you’re most productive. Keep those tools and try ditching the rest.
In addition to cutting out the equipment you don’t need, cut the clutter. Too many loose wires can be dangerous and inefficient. There are simple ways to organize your wires with tools you can find in your house. One way is to place loose wires in a wire basket under your desk.
Find the Light
Studies show that those who work in natural lighting see more productivity and alertness than those who work using mostly artificial light. Wherever your office is in your home, try to find the most natural light for your workspace. Whether that means putting your desk by a window, opening the curtains, or doing away with your blinds is up to you. There are many ways to find and take full advantage of the natural light in your home. Make the effort, and you can stay more productive and alert throughout the day.
Add the Right Color
Working in a typical office usually presents decorating limitations, but you have no customizing constraints on your home office. Color psychology can make the difference in your work environment. If your work involves a fast pace and negotiation or sales, red might be the color for you because it raises the heart rate and increases appetite. If you need a more calming and reflective mood, blue might be best. Green fosters creativity and orange evokes good value. Pick a color that is not too bright, but one that fits you the best. Along with color, keep in mind that different aspects of design in your office can offer mental health benefits.
Leave Room for Storage
Even if you work in a field that doesn’t store much paperwork, you’ll need more storage than you think. How-to books, equipment, client files, receipts, and other work tools and documents all take up space. Build storage into your plans so that you can have only the most important things in front of you when you work. From creating your own cardboard box file holders to making your own storage bins, there are plenty of ways you can save space in your home office.
Working from home presents you with the unique opportunity to customize your space. When you choose the furniture, find the right light, color your workspace, store things correctly, and choose the right equipment, you can create a productive workspace unique to you and your productivity.
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