Home office ideas and tips that will keep you focused
On the surface, working from home as a freelancer sounds like a dream: noise and disruptions associated with the office environment are eliminated, commute time is whittled to the time it takes to walk from bedroom to desk, and you can spend less time in the morning getting ready for the public’s eye.
However, it hasn’t been scientifically proven yet that working from home always leads to more productivity than working on site. In some cases, you’re trading office distractions for household ones, especially if you’re working in a space that isn’t conducive to your best performance.
If you’re working from home, whether full time or part time, it’s important you create a workspace that’s separate from your home life. Fortunately, since you work from home, you have total authority as to how your office space looks and functions.
This guide offers home office setup and design inspiration to help you become a more productive freelancer.
A poor home office environment could be damaging your success as a freelancer. Things like bad lighting, clutter, bare walls, color schemes, and spatial layout can impact your work speed, accuracy, and quality.
Start by creating your ideal ambiance:
How do you want to feel in your home office? There’s an entire psychology behind how color affects the brain, and having the right colors in your space can determine how well you work.
In this case, color goes beyond personal preference. Blues and greens might not be your first choices, but they’ve been proven to increase productivity and energy levels.
Make sure you include plenty of contrast in your color scheme and stay away from overly bland colors, like brown or beige.
You need something in your office to inspire you, such as wall art, a tabletop fountain, or a household plant. However, you don’t want too many things that take up valuable office space and make the room feel cluttered.
Natural light is energizing, so you’ll want to position your workspace in a room with a window. If changing a light fixture in your home office is a possibility, look for one that’s specifically made for office productivity that offers cool light and reduces glare.
The furniture in your space can affect your attitude toward work. Bland, boring pieces are uninspiring and could make you feel less motivated to work.
Having a comfortable chair is essential in helping you maintain a steady work pace. Chairs that are uncomfortable can cause back and neck pain when used for hours at a time, which can lead to a drop in your work output.
Standing desks have been proven to increase productivity by keeping energy levels high. They also help you avoid the health hazards of sitting for hours at a time. If you can’t stand for a solid eight hour work day, opt for an adjustable desk that allows you to sit or stand as you please. In either case, you’ll want to choose a desk that’s large enough for your essentials, but not so large that it becomes a catch-all for intruding items that aren’t part of your daily workflow.
Whatever pieces you choose, keep it to a minimum to reduce clutter and give you plenty of creative space.
What products can boost your productivity? Get the product list here!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when determining where to place your home office is opting for convenience over function. Many people default to the only spare room they have because it makes sense – but that doesn’t mean it’s the best option. If that spare room space has, say, a noisy air vent or is right next to your children’s playroom, you might be better off using it for something else and stationing your workspace elsewhere.
You should also avoid placing your office in a central activity hub, such as the kitchen or family room. This makes it difficult to blur the line between home and work life, plus it makes it hard for you to minimize distractions while other people are flowing in and out of your space.
Your home office space should be just that – a home office. Don’t combine your desk and work areas with Christmas storage, toy boxes, and school papers. The less clutter you have in your space, the more conducive it is to concentration and productivity.
Feng shui is the ancient Chinese practice of designing a room layout to maximize the flow of energy. Feng shui principles can be applied to your home office to increase its potential as a workspace.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when exploring home office feng shui:
- Place your office as far away from your bedroom as possible.
- Keep all work areas clean and free of clutter.
- Maintain a healthy air quality in your home office.
- Make sure your office has adequate lighting – no dim or dark spaces.
- Your desk should be in the power position – a place where you can see your door with minimal effort. As a result, you’re able to see people and energy entering your office, symbolizing that you’re in control of your success.
- Make sure you have a high-backed chair or solid wall behind you.
Freelancers are predicted to make up half the workforce in less than a decade. Already, the number of freelancers is growing at three times the rate of traditional workers. Because of this rapid expansion, the need for crafting an ideal home office spaces remains clear.
Your home office needs are unique to your job and personality, and there is no one-size-fits-all scheme. There may be times when you have to make sacrifices in your home to achieve the ideal office space, such as getting rid of items or furniture to make room for your work needs. However, doing so can lead to great rewards in your work life, which means those minor changes won’t feel like a sacrifice at all.
Bonus for insiders: 14 Products for Your Home Office to Boost Productivity