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Setting Up Home Office Space

Why should you consider setting up home office space for your work? While the concept of “father’s den” may now seem quite antiquated, most men and women who work from home need a dedicated space.

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home means you can keep yourself and your family safe by maintaining the social distance. So, setting up a home office space is a great idea to get all of your work done from your own home while also enjoying the comfort and freedom you desire.

The best way to maximize your productivity level is to work from a healthy, comfortable, distraction-free place, and where creative thoughts bloom. All modern workplaces are designed in such a genius way that it helps to increase employee productivity.

However, when setting up home office space, we often overlook some fundamental points essential to consider to make the place innovative. That’s why I’ve decided to create a comprehensive post to simplify points necessary for setting up home office space.

Regardless of whether you are considering starting a business from your home, working from home full-time, or needing an office to conduct business, the below-mentioned tips will help you optimize your home office to boost your productivity level.

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So, let’s get started!

Why Should You Set Up a Home Office Space?

Here are the reasons why you should set up a home office space;

  • Budget-Efficient: Regardless of whether you have an established business or looking to start a business, paying rent, utility bills, and other costs of an outside office requires a serious amount per month. While setting up a home office space means you don’t have to pay monthly rent and utilities, which will save you a lot of money.
  • Convenience: People who have clients in different time zones must adjust their schedules to meet their availability. Having a home office will make it easier to meet with clients during off-hours as well. Moreover, it is more convenient to slip into your home office for an hour than driving to an outside office.
  • Personal Freedom: Having a home office also means you have no boss, no set work schedule, no dress code, no fixed salary, and no office politics to trick. All you need is time-management skills. You will generate income that will be directly proportional to your achievement. The more you work, the more income you will produce.
  • Say Good-Bye to Commuting: Another welcoming aspect of setting up a home office means you don’t have to take those long commutes to reach your outside office. It not only saves you money but a lot of time as well.
  • Stress Reduction: With all the conveniences that come with working from home, it is no surprise that setting up a home office to work from home is less stressful than working from a shared workplace. Study after study indicates that people who work at home have significantly lower stress levels than those working in an office environment.

So, how to set up a home office?

The Ultimate Guide for Setting Up Home Office Space

Setting up home office space to work from home offers various advantages. The key benefits include the flexibility to set your own schedules, save a lot of time and money from daily commuting, and to allow yourself to establish a business with minimal overhead. However, ensuring a home office’s success requires you to create a space that encourages efficiency, creativity, and a comfortable work atmosphere.

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You have to set up a professional work area that maintains a distance between your business and personal life. From location to high-speed internet access, everything is essential to increase efficiency and productivity, from lighting to the uninterrupted power supply.

1- Find the Best Location

For some people, choosing a place when setting up home office space is easy since they have ample room to use as a dedicated home office space. However, not many people have that much free space in their homes. This is where you need to think creatively to find an area for setting up home office space.

You can even use a part of your kitchen as your office if you don’t mind packing all the stuff before every meal. But it is not a good idea for many of us since resetting your office after every meal is so inconvenient and creates a lot of distraction. In that case, you have to think creatively to find an unused space that can be used as a dedicated home office space.

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Consider checking out the unused corner in the larger rooms, closets that are empty and large enough, or under stairs corners. You will find plenty of space there that just requires a bit of creativity to transform it into an office.

Points to consider before deciding on a location

Ask yourself;

  •  Will I be able to close the door when the working day is over or at least hide my work away?
  •  Consider distractions and whether the place you have decided on is noise, distractions, and interruptions free.
  •  Is the view you are getting from the window is inspiring and motivating or de-motivating and distracting your thoughts?
  •  Good lighting creates a good work environment so choose an area with an abundance of natural and artificial light.
  •  Is there ample room for your desk, chair, and filing cabinet?

Considering these points will enable you to find a thriving place to set up your home office, allowing you to reap the benefits for extended periods.

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2- Make Design Decision for Your Workplace by Yourself

According to research carried by the University of Exeter, making design decisions about your workplace increases your productivity level by up to 32% and improves the health and happiness levels.

Before hiring an interior designer for your home office, think about your style to unleash your creativity. Ask yourself;

  •  What style do you like? Urban, art deco, or shabby chic?
  •  Are there items that keep you motivated and happy?
  •  What type of items do you want to have in your home office?

All these points will make you more comfortable and happy in your home office, helping you boost your productivity level.

3- Include Natural and Artificial Lighting

Once you have decided on a unique design for your home office, the third step to consider is including natural and artificial lighting in your home office. According to research conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, it is found that people who work in the abundance of natural light have great quality sleep comparing to those working in low-light, windowless workplaces.

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Another research conducted by  Carnegie Mellon University has found that natural light and higher lighting levels are useful for boosting productivity. Another research investigating daylight in schools indicates that students who study in classrooms with more natural lights progressed faster in math than those studying in classrooms with less natural light.

The whole point is, when setting up home office space, you have the freedom to decide where your home office is located to optimize light and natural light levels. That is why locating your home office where you get an abundance of light is a great way to boost your productivity and creative thinking ability. You should try to find a place near the windows facing south to get more sunlight, which is especially essential when the temperature is too cold.

Some other benefits of having an abundance of light include;

  •  Decrease the chances of mistakes when you are working.
  •  Good lighting refreshes your mood.
  •  It keeps you alert and active.
  •  Minimize eye strain.

4- Consider Adding Privacy

Privacy is as important as public interaction. It is an essential factor that allows you to concentrate only on your work. The lack of privacy not only inhibits personal progress and self-expression but also disrupt one’s thought processes. Moreover, the lack of privacy in one’s workplace gives them less control over their working atmosphere, causing their productivity to suffer.

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If you’re lucky to have a full room as your dedicated home office, you don’t have to worry about privacy since the room will have walls going all the way up from the floor to ceiling and doors that you can close. However, if this is not the case and your office space is in the corner of your bedroom, it will be hard for you to separate your workplace from the rest of your home.

In that case, adding a privacy divider to your home office is a good idea. You will easily find traditional dividers on the market that sits on the floor or get a curtain that you can hang on a rod from the ceiling. The use of curtains is also convenient since they are a lighter and inexpensive way of closing the door.

5- Add Touches of Green or Blue

Colors enrich our lives in both subtle and powerful ways, giving us an instant feel as soon as we enter a room. These feelings can be cozy, clinical, or peppy. Your home office place is no different. Smart people who work from home understand that their work atmosphere colors refresh their mood and boost their efficiency.

Research conducted by the University of Texas indicates that colors aren’t just capable of changing one’s mood; they also significantly impact productivity. It means it is vital to pick the right color for your home office to stimulate both creativity and productivity. That is why when setting up home office space; it is essential to choose a color that looks great to the eyes, increases output, and spark creativity.

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In this regard, green and calming blue are the two most common low-wavelength colors that improve efficiency and focus while also lending an overall sense of well-being.

Color Blue

Blue is the most common and one of the most productive color schemes you can choose for your workplace. Since it has an array of shades, it can be soothing and vibrant while applying a calming impact on your work environment.

However, you should avoid using some shades of blue that come across as sad and cold. It is critical to balance them out with warm tones or adding some contrasting shades of green or brown to keep the spectrum appealing to everyone.

Color Green

Green is the color of nature. While associating with growth, renewal, trust, wisdom, hope, fertility, and harmony, it encourages broader thinking and creativity. For your home office environment where you need inspiration, green is the color that feeds the impulse of innovation and pushes the momentum forward. Moreover, softer green shades are also a wise choice that reduces anxiety and encourages balance.

Furthermore, the color also minimizes eye strain, which means it is a wise pick for people to work for prolonged hours. It is restful and enhances vision.

6- Get a High-Speed Internet

A recent study in Australia indicates that the biggest reason for employee frustration is the slow internet. Slow internet connectivity isn’t only annoying, but it also decreases your productivity level. While you are waiting for documents to download, attachments to upload, web pages to load, or files to transfer, you could be getting work done.

Another research indicates that employees waste more than a week each year waiting to get a response from their internet connection. It means if you’re spending a week on finding missing documents and another week waiting to get a response from your slow internet, you are wasting an entire year’s vacation that you could spend with your family at one of your favorite locations.

So, when you are setting up a home office, make sure to pick an internet service provider that is reliable, fast, and that you can depend upon.

7- Include a Standing Desk

Many people believe that including a standing desk while setting up home office space is just a trend and has nothing to do with productivity, which is not valid. A standing desk (also known as a sit-stand desk or height-adjustable desk) is an excellent addition that you should add to your home office for ultimate comfort and more excellent production rates.

One of the amazing advantages of having a standing desk in your home workplace is it will keep the stress and tension in your body at bay. Sitting for a prolonged time causes various unpleasant health issues, including diabetes, heart diseases, etc.

Working for up to eight hours without moving your body or stretching your legs is not ideal for the human body. With a standing desk, you will have the opportunity to move your body and stretch your legs anytime you want. Moreover, standing also allows you to maintain a better posture.

Furthermore, even if we are sitting and the desk is adjusted at the proper height, we still lean towards our laptop screens, which creates a hunched posture. This can result in neck, shoulders, or back pain that could lead to long-term muscle problems.

On the flip side, we get more natural feelings in a standing position since we maintain a straight posture. However, ensuring to maintain this posture needs you to set the desk at the proper height. You might also discover that altering your positions between sitting and standing throughout the day will prevent pressure on your hips as well.

So, how does having a standing desk in your home office increase productivity?

The logical explanation for this productivity boost means you will reap the health benefits. And if you feel better, both physically and mentally, you will eventually enhance your work quality.

8- Keeps your Home Office Clean and Tidy

When setting up home office space, it is vital to keep it clutter-free. You cannot work in a chaotic environment or a workplace covered in clutter. Clutter and mess will not let you think creatively and to be more productive. A clean, clutter-free workplace is not only helping to boost your productivity but it also improves your overall health and well-being.

A clean workplace promotes creative thinking and helps you to unleash your creativity. While cleaning up your workplace, the first thing you have to do is get rid of unnecessary items and create a distraction. For items that you want to keep in your workplace, but you don’t use them daily, make sure to keep them organized.

Find an organizing product, which is explicitly designed to organize them. Include filing cabinets and decorative baskets to make sure everything is organized, and you can easily find an item when you need it. Moreover, having some organizing things in your home office will not only pleasing to the eyes; they will also improve space, save your time, and increase your happiness and productivity.

Also, make sure to keep a trash can near your desk to throw trash, like old magazines, unnecessary notes, receipts, old documents, etc. into it.

9- Add Office Plants in your Home Office (If You Have Enough Space)

Just like green color, having greenery in your home office have numerous proven health benefits. As humans, we love to interact with nature, but unfortunately, the places where we spend most of our time (workplaces) don’t offer much of a natural environment.

Studies have indicated that adding some greenery, such as houseplants, has various positive benefits for employees and people who work remotely. Having houseplants in your workplace keeps the air toxins-free, increase satisfaction, and heightens self-reported concentration.

Another research indicates that people surrounded by office plants are more productive than those working in an environment with no office plants. Some significant benefits of having office plants while setting up home office include;

  •  They help to avoid stress.
  •  Plants help to boost productivity levels.
  •  They make your home office a more pleasant place.
  •  Live plants provide fresh and clean air.
  •  They encourage creative thinking.

However, you cannot place any plant in your workplace since not all of them can thrive there. You have to consider limitations, like daylight availability, water needs, etc. Some best office plants that you can have include succulents (aloe and cacti).  

seealsoHPJ article on plants for office

Final Thoughts

The best thing about a home office is you can set it up anywhere you want. It could be in the basement, in a cozy corner, or anywhere else inside your home – the options are only limited by space and your imagination. However, you should consider the points mentioned above to make the workplace environment pleasant and comfortable. It will also make your workplace organized, and you will enjoy it more. You will have the best place to work, allowing you to produce quality work.

FAQs

Q: How adding office plants to your workplace helps you to increase your productivity?

Ans: Adding office plants to your home office provides your clean and fresh air. They also make the place more pleasant and promotes creative thinking. Moreover, they reduce stress levels so that you can concentrate on your work in a better way.

Q: What items are must-have in the home office setup?

Ans: For setting up an efficient home office, make sure you have high-speed internet access, a desk (standing desk), a comfortable chair, adequate lighting (natural lighting), a telephone, and an organizing product to organize files and other items.