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Designing a new home office takes a lot of work. Because the area is so important to your career, you need to think carefully through each detail. Starting with these ideas can help you figure out your home office priorities.
Add New Paint
Adding new paint to a room will make a huge difference in your home office. Go with light pastel colors for a calming light effect. Choosing these kinds of colors can help make a room where you feel a lot of stress be a little less stressful.
Ditch the Open Office
If you’re in the process of building your home or designing different open spaces, having an open office with a desk situated in the living room might be tempting—you can work on your projects while still staying involved with the rest of the family as they watch a movie, right? While it might be tempting to believe this set-up can work, the reality is that no one can do their best work when trying to multitask.
Instead of doing lower quality work while spending lower quality time with family, invest in a home office that is separate from main living areas and simply buckle down and get work done so that you can then enjoy your time with the family.
Add Conference Rooms
Adding areas in your home for conference calls can help you navigate the possibility of not having a solid home office space for you alone. If you’re in the situation where you are sharing a home office with a spouse or roommate, you may have the situation where you both have video conferences at the same time.
Setting up another space where you can have conference calls will help you navigate working from home when several other people are working from home or attending school from home. Depending on your situation, you may be able to transform part of your kitchen table area to have good lighting and a suitable background for conference calls. You could even try setting up some kind of space in the laundry room—laundry rooms tend to have great light which is helpful in a video call.
Create a Functional Kitchen
Having a functional kitchen might not be the first thing you think of when you’re focusing on a great home office, but it actually plays a key role in your home-work environment. For starters, you’ll still be using the space all day to grab snacks, refill your drink, or eat your different meals. So it’s important that the space is functional and makes it easy for you to find and prepare food quickly.
Making sure your kitchen is well-organized will help you prepare meals faster and be able to maximize the little time you have away from your home office. Not only should you work to have a well-organized kitchen space, but you should also make sure your kitchen is built with quality materials.
For example, using high-quality cabinets ensures you won’t have to sink more money into the kitchen. Taking steps like these to purchase quality materials early on will prevent time-consuming disruptions like remodeling in the future.
Get a Good Desk Chair
Getting a good desk chair should be another priority for you as you configure your home office. If you are going to be spending hours and hours in a room sitting and looking at a screen all day, you at least want the desk to be comfortable and help you maintain good posture.
Having an ergonomic desk chair that provides support to your back and to your pelvic area may not seem like it will make a huge difference instantaneously. But over time, this support in your chair will help prevent back pain and other issues from developing.
Get a Good Desk
Having a good desk will make it a lot easier to work from home productively. As you search for a desk, figure out what you really need from a desk. For some people, having a large amount of surface area to spread out books, papers, and your laptop is really important. For others, the actual workable surface is less important but shelving and pull-out drawers are non-negotiable.
Finding the right desk for your particular situation will make working from home a lot more functional and pleasant.
Create a Good Background
Having a good background is especially important if you have a lot of video calls from home. Having a professional background that you can always rely on will make it much easier to conduct your work meetings without worrying about needing to clean up whatever parts of the room are visible behind you.
As you figure out how to configure your background, you may want to position your desk so that a wall is directly behind you. This makes it easier to control the background and it also means you can really make the pictures you hang stand out in a positive way. Hang images that aren’t too eye-catching but that provide a professional backdrop—landscape paintings, calendars, and clocks are all good lowkey options.
Figure Out Your Organization System
Another huge step that will help your home office work better is to go through the space and figure out how you want to organize things. This is especially important for your paperwork, as this can get easily mixed up. Even though it will take a little effort and brain work to think through the different kinds of documents you need to sort and keep track of, doing so will help you figure out a system that can really work for you.
Once you figure out the different kinds of documents you need to separate from each other, try out various organizer products. For someone who loves clear desk space, getting a file cabinet to fit inside a desk drawer or to fit under your desk may be a good way to go.
As you finalize your home office, be willing to get a little creative. You may have to address different issues or problems in unexpected ways. But putting the different priorities or issues in center-stage will help you make sure you’re really getting the important things right.
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