If you work from home, you owe it to yourself to set up a proper office space. It’s vital you have somewhere to concentrate that’s separate from your home life — and is hopefully a nice space to spend time in. A good working space is even more important if you operate your small business out of your home.
“Decide if your home office would be better off in another room. When you first started working from home, may have set up your home office in an obvious place: a spare bedroom, guest room or basement,” says Kanarek.
But there could be a better place. “If you rarely use your dining room or formal living room, consider setting up shop in one of those rooms,” she adds.
If you work from home full-time, you’re going to be spending as much time in your office as you do in the rest of the house. Don’t treat your working space as a second-class accommodation — give it the importance it deserves.
One important consideration is ensuring you can switch off when you’re not working. For this reason, it’s advisable you can shut the door on your office and “leave” work.
Kanarek also advises trying out spaces before deciding exactly where you’re going to be working.
“Watch out for a home office space that initially seems ideal but turns out to be too hot or too cold, too noisy or too quiet. Avoid moving your equipment, furniture and supplies several times by trying out your new home office space for one month.”
“That should give you enough time to decide if you’ve picked the right place to set up shop.”……
If you’re sticking with a traditional desk set-up, then think right angles, advises Kanarek.
“Consider using an L-shaped arrangement because of the two work surfaces. Don’t waste the corner … it’s the ideal place for a copier or printer. It’s out of the way but within reach.”
“Avoid using a backbreaking, pain-inducing, kitchen chair and replace it with an ergonomically correct office chair in a patterned or colored fabric,” says Kanarek.
We concur. Pain from bad working posture, and in worst case scenarios, repetitive strain injuries, are no joke.
Save money where you can, but spend as much as you can afford on a decent chair — your back will thank you for it.
A cluttered workplace is depressing. Your best bet for having a clear desk and tidy working environment is to have a place for everything.
“Add shelves above or next to your desk to gain more storage space and to reduce desktop clutter. You can use open shelves or a hutch that sits on your desk to increase your storage space.”
“A tall, four-shelf bookcase — ideally with adjustable shelves — can hold dozens of books and reference materials,” says Kanarek.
In addition to open shelving, consider solutions like attractive storage boxes for bits and bobs that would look messy out in the open.
In addition to your space’s existing lighting, do invest in additional sources of light to make your workspace brighter and more inviting.
Task lighting for your desk area is essential, and even a couple of smaller lamps for mood lighting will make a difference.
In addition to helping you avoid eye strain, light can improve your mood — just think what a difference some cheerful lamps will make when the winter nights draw in.
When you’re setting up your space, don’t underestimate how many sockets you’ll need for your various tech items.
Just a PC, monitor, printer, phone and camera can soon see you juggling power spots. Invest in some decent, surge-protected extension leads that you can run around the room to where you need power most.
Also think about investing in a Wi-Fi printer, which can be kept further away from your computer.
Consider good-looking charging stations for smaller gadgetry that will still look attractive away from your main desk area.
Finally, don’t let cable clutter ruin the aesthetic of your office. There are some really attractive solutions available that will keep your wires neat and tidy.
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