America’s workforce is changing. Automation and cheaper labor overseas are reducing the number of jobs available, and more opportunities for home-based businesses are taking their place. Whether you freelance, sell your own hand-made products, or work for a network marketing team, the chances of you working from home are only growing. You might think, Have phone/laptop. Will work anywhere. And that’s mostly true. As long as you have a connection to WiFi, you have the ability to do business. But you’re also more open to distractions typing away on your couch in front of the television. If you have any sort of work-from-home situation, having a home office is key to productivity and success.
Designated Think Space
Studies have shown that keeping your work space separate from your living space is key to boosting productivity. Not only does it help you maintain focus, but it’s important to keep the two separate for your personal health and relationships. If your office is in your bedroom, you’ll never be able to focus on getting adequate rest because your desk is right there with you, and turning off your work brain becomes more difficult. Similarly, working from your couch makes it all too easy to succumb to distractions – be it kids running around, television, or just seeing your messy living room. A designated office space will allow you to focus better.
You don’t have to build an entirely new space, either (though with building containers and ADU’s, if that’s the best route for you, by all means, take it). You can convert your attic or garage into a work space. You could even combine the guest bedroom with your office to save on space. The frequency of having guests around won’t prohibit your workflow.
Designing The Right Atmosphere
It’s just as important to pick the right location as it is to fill it with the right things. Obviously, you’ll need storage and a filing system for receipts, invoices, and tax information. But aside from the essential-to-your-business things, take a step outside of the cubicle to enhance the space in a way that inspires you to work.
Let’s start with color palettes. Certain colors evoke a specific kind of energy. Blues are calming and nurturing, Reds invigorating and confident, and Greens spark imagination and creativity. You can incorporate these colors in a variety of ways from the paint on your walls to the color of your desktop screen, to the trinkets on your desk.
Adding plants is another useful tactic to enhance productivity. Biophilia (combining nature with indoor living) is a growing design trend in general, but it’s especially useful in your home office. Having that touch of nature helps to ground you when you start to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Not to mention, it’s an easy and beautiful way to bring some green into your room. Lucky bamboo, for instance, is a very easy plant to maintain as it survives well in low-light and only needs a vase, some rocks (or similar heavy objects to anchor the stalks), and distilled water kept one inch above the tallest root. And, if you believe in such things, it’s a good luck charm to bring wealth and prosperity.
When it comes to picking your furniture, curves are in! They influence a positive, peaceful feeling. When it comes to your chair, choose comfort above all. The sit/stand desk is not only in style for traditional offices, but good for your home office, too, as it boosts energy and blood-flow. Music – in moderation – is also helpful for setting the right tone (and it can change as often as your mood).
As for everything else – organization, lighting, temperature control – it comes down to you and your preference. You’ll find your stride, but having a place strictly dedicated to your work is the first step in taking your business to new heights without interrupting your home life.