By Rhonda Campbell
Home office setup designs could have a greater impact on your organization’s bottom line. This applies whether you work for an employer or work from home as an independent contractor or freelancer. Your home office setup directly impacts your (or your employees’) agility, mood, energy, focus, creativity and organization, all of which impact worker productivity.
Drab home office furniture does not inspire. It could leave you feeling flat and drab. Worn, old furniture that is unbalanced, squeaky or, better yet, that pokes your side when you lean or sit at a certain angle, could make you dread working in your home office. You could take your laptop and work in your living room or you could head to a local coffee shop that has Wi-Fi, but is that why you really wanted to work from home?
Home office setup ideas that inspire creativity and increase productivity
Try these home office setup ideas to increase productivity. Some of the ideas are long term changes, others work best when implemented on a short term basis.
Explosion of colors – Marketers know this. Psychologists know this. Colors influence mood. Choose home office furniture colors that inspires intelligence, balance, optimism, clarity and reliability. Mix colors when creating or buying items like posters, flyers and plaques. Pay attention to how you feel when you walk into different colored sections of home design stores. Your feelings could give you clues on which colors boost your energy most.
Treat yourself to privacy – If you’ve ever worked in an office cubicle, you know the value of office privacy. You know how uncomfortable it is to make an appointment with your gynecologist, discuss a personal matter with your partner or tell a lender that you’ll make a payment in a few days while you’re at work. You feel like colleagues are listening in, maybe even judging you based on what you say as you try to whisper into the telephone. Live with a roommate, children, a spouse or extended family? Use an extra bedroom, the basement, attic (make sure that there’s sufficient insulation) or another spare room at your apartment or house as your home office. Don’t have an extra room? Install sliding doors, portable room dividers or panel screens to section off your home office. Place the dividers far enough away from your home office desk to create more privacy.
Home office desk size – Choose a home office desk that is the right height, so you don’t have to lean over or stretch upward just to reach your computer keyboard . The smallest misalignment could create back, shoulder or neck pain, and sooner than you think. Want extra storage space, opt for a desk that has filing and storage cabinets built into it.
Home office chairs – Your home office chair should easily fit inside the front opening in your desk. It should also support your body’s structure. Adjustable, swivel chairs have lots of functionality. You could sit in swivel chairs and file papers in cabinets, eat a meal that’s placed on a serving tray, multi-task between watching a teleconference and typing memos, all with the turn of your chair. Material choices include mesh, leather, fabric, faux leather, wood, plastic, memory foam and vinyl.
Encourage fitness and good health – Ergonomic chairs and desks that make it easy for you to move from sitting to standing encourage activity. A sit/stand workstation could help you to avoid packing on pounds or developing high blood pressure or heart problems due to sitting for prolonged periods. Looking for more health risks associated with sitting too long? Check out this Mayo Clinic article.
Stay organized – Place filing cabinets and office supplies in your home office so that they don’t block the flow of natural light. Also make sure that cabinets don’t block the opening and closing of your home office door. Metal filing cabinets may last longer than wood filing cabinets, as some metal filing cabinets have stayed in good working condition for decades. Go for filing cabinets that have dividers and connectors that you can hang file folders on.
Lighting matters a lot – There may be no better source of vitamin D than sunlight. By placing your home office desk in front of a window, you’ll get to soak up some vitamin D and feel connected to your outdoor surroundings.
Spacing – Leave enough open space in your home office, so that you don’t start feeling cramped or confined. Place furniture against walls. Also, avoid adding furniture and accessories to your home office that you don’t need to get your work done.
Home office supplies – Most of your home office supplies should fit inside your desk drawers if you bought a multi-purpose desk. You could store extra supplies in the bottom or top drawer of a filing cabinet or on top of a filing cabinet. Add decorative book ends to each end of the supplies for a pick-me-up.
Entertainment – Brain enhancing music could have a long term positive impact on you. Rather than surfing the Internet during work breaks, consider listening to brain enhancing music.
Get decorative – Flowers are a short term basis home office setup item. Treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers during holidays and the week of your birthday. You could also pick up a bouquet of flowers to award yourself for closing a new client account or reaching a sales goal. To stay motivated, print and hang motivational quotes in a frame that you hang above your desk. Change the quote once a week, once a month or once a quarter.