Guest Post Written by: Alice Robertson, tidyhome.info
Working from home isn’t always the idyllic arrangement it seems. Distractions and space that’s ill-suited for work can make your home an obstacle to productivity, especially a small home with limited office space options. The key is to establish a dedicated work area that’s separate from everyday household activities and large enough to accommodate all the elements of an efficient workspace. It may take some creativity and experimentation, but you can make it work even in a home that’s short on square footage.
Choose the right space
Your home office should be secluded from televisions, video game consoles, and the kids’ play area. Remember, this is your place to concentrate and plan. If there’s no office door to close, you’ll need to find a quiet spot. Today’s office doesn’t need a lot of equipment, and thanks to advances in communications technology, you’re free to move around if necessary. Many people make do with a laptop, smartphone, and perhaps a small copier or printer. If that sounds like you, you can set up an office just about anywhere, including a converted closet, under the stairs, or along under-utilized wall space.
If you just can’t find adequate room indoors, it may be necessary to look elsewhere. If you have a garage, consider converting part of it into office space that’s free of arguing children, ringing doorbells and blaring televisions. If your property lacks an external structure, erecting a prefabricated steel building is another option, though you’ll need to factor in the cost of running electricity to your new out building. Regardless of the space you choose, a well-equipped garage can be just the haven you need to establish a productive home office.
Your workspace should be tailored to the work you do. For instance, if you’re a graphic artist or designer, you’ll probably need a large, powerful computer that’s conducive to creative work. Someone who travels a great deal can probably get along with a basic laptop that lets you stay productive while traveling. If you don’t require a lot of equipment, you probably won’t need a large table, which will save on space. If you expect to entertain clients, check out a nearby used furniture store for suitable pieces and fixtures at affordable prices. Add a classic, elegant touch to your office furniture with rustic cabinet knobs, pulls and hinges. It’s an affordable way to dress up your home office.
Let the sunshine in
Sunlight benefits you in a number of ways. It imparts vitamin D and helps maintain the body’s circadian rhythms. Try to set up work space near a window that can be opened as needed and that provides plenty of illumination. If you can’t find sufficient space near a window, make sure your office is well-lit with lamps and strong, non-glare bulbs.
You can expect to spend many hours each day at your home workstation, which makes ergonomics an important consideration. The wrong kind of chair can lead to poor posture and back problems, so make sure your desk chair has a straight back and firm support. The chair should put your eyes level with the computer screen when you’re sitting straight up. Make sure there’s ample support for your lower back to protect against back, neck and shoulder pain, and to encourage blood flow.
Setting up a home workstation takes time and careful consideration of your needs and available space. Maximizing the space has a lot to do with your ability to work efficiently and without distractions. Don’t forget to balance your workspace requirements with the needs of your family, which is why it’s so important to keep your office away from rooms where everyone tends to congregate.