For those who have yet to do it, the idea of working from home can be an intimidating prospect. The feeling of independence and freedom that comes with working from home can feel odd after years in an office. You may be unsure if you can work as productively as you did in a company’s office environment.
That’s why it helps to optimize your home office. Forget any old cubicles or desks your employers may have provided you with in the past. This is an opportunity for you to design a home office that is geared specifically towards maximizing your own productivity. You can create it in any image you like.
Here are five home office ideas for people who just started working from home:
Pick out a piece of art that means something to you
Before you get to the functional nature of your home office, think of the design and what you’ll be looking at all day. You could be spending at least eight hours a day in this room, so you’ll want something pleasant on the wall within your line of vision.
Buy a piece of art that you either think is beautiful or has some kind of special significance to you. Display it somewhere prominent in your home office. You don’t have to break the bank for this. Pictures of friends or loved ones can also do the trick. Just display something that gives you a nice feeling to look at.
Buy a house plant
Another tip to help you improve the room’s design and general aura: get a house plant. Keeping a plant around can have a lot of health benefits. They can decrease your levels of stress and inject a generally fragrant aroma into your home office.
You can also think of the plant as a metaphor for your new career as a remote worker, working from home. If you care for it, you’ll see it grow every day. If you let distractions get the best of you and ignore it, it’s going to struggle.
Create an “MVP” card
Now that you’ve improved the room’s decor, you’re ready to add some functional elements. You no doubt have an online directory through an IT platform like Microsoft Outlook or Gmail with a list of your most important contacts and their email addresses and phone numbers (if you don’t, create one ASAP). You may have some points of contact you find yourself reaching out to more than others.
This is where it pays to go old school, outside your phone or laptop. Create an “MVP card” with contacts you need quick access to. This could be your company’s IT help desk support, a supervisor, an important client, or anyone you find yourself reaching out to multiple times a day. Put their number and email on an index card and display this prominently in your office for easy access.
Make a “must have” list of gear
You most likely have a desk and a laptop. But there may be “extra” items that you don’t think of off the top of your head that would make your life working remotely a lot easier. Make a list of gear that could help improve your new home office life and then do some research on finding the best and most affordable options. This could include everything from ergonomically designed chairs and keyboards to an orthopedic back pillow.
Experiment with different setups
Arrange your desk and chair in a few different positions and alignments until you’re comfortable. When you’re just starting out, experiment to see what arrangement you work best in. After a few weeks, you’ll probably figure out which one works best for you and stick with that on a more long term basis.