As many as 30 million Americans work out of a home office at least one time per week – whether it’s a full day at home or an evening catching up on emails after dinner. Regardless of how often you use a home office, the productivity gained by having a comfortable, inspiring, and practical place to work in the confines of your own home makes it worth investing in. Here are four simple tips for making the most out of your home office.
1. Designate an Area to be Used Exclusively for Work
A dresser in your bedroom or a laptop on a kitchen table doesn’t constitute a home office. By carving out a clearly defined space for your work area, you’re less likely to feel distracted. So designate a corner of your loft, a nook in your living room, or that infrequently used guest bedroom into a work-only space to ensure that when you settle into work, you feel like you’re in a work environment.
2. Invest in Ergonomic Furniture
Just because you are working at home, doesn’t mean that you should be sitting in any old chair you happen to have around. Research indicates that proper posture while sitting may help to prevent long term medical problems – not to mention the impact it has on your productivity and focus. For tips on how to choose the ergonomic chair that is best for you, click here.
3. Maximize Lighting
Natural lighting is best, whether working in a home office or in a commercial space. However, if you don’t have access to ample natural lighting, be sure you have adequate light for the space you’re working in. A sunlight desk lamp may be helpful if your home office lacks windows. My favorite way to work from home is from a desk pressed along the window line, letting in the maximum amount of sunlight to create a calming, productive atmosphere.
4. Get Inspired
If you were in a traditional office, you’d decorate your space, wouldn’t you? To add some inspiration to your home office, add a few framed photos, a potted plant, or a mini vision board to personalize the space and to make it a place that you really want to spend time in. Pinterest has countless great ideas for home office décor to help you get started.
There are many perks that come from being able to work from home, but there can be plenty of distractions to overcome as well. In order to make sure you’re as productive and comfortable as possible when working from home, take the time necessary to create a home office that makes you feel like you’re actually at work (even if you’re technically in your dining room).
Star Hughes-Gorup is a senior vice president and director at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate firm with offices in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Seattle. Star is a key member of Hughes Marino’s San Diego brokerage team, where she specializes in tenant representation and building purchases. Star also makes frequent media appearances to speak on business issues from a millennial perspective, and blogs about life as a woman in a male-dominated industry at starhughesgorup.com. Contact Star at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT, or firstname.lastname@example.org.