Tips for Setting up a Functional and Productive Home-Based Office Workspace
One of the fabulous things about being in your very own business is that you are able to set up your office just the way you like it, with your own design flair and personal touch. And, if you’re anything like me, you can change it as many times as you like too! But a beautiful office is not necessarily a functional or productive workspace, and in the long run, that’s really what you need if you’re going to spending long hours at your desk.
To get you started, I’ve listed out my key tips for setting up your office with functionality and productivity in mind:
Have a Defined and Zoned Off Work Space – For some people, you might have a corner in the lounge room where you have your work space, but ideally have a room or an area that you can (if necessary) shut yourself off from the world and work from. By zoning off a portion of your home that is your dedicated work space, you will be able to be ‘mentally’ aware that you are ‘at work’ when you’re there. I am fortunate because my husband and I have a huge office in what used to be our second family room. It’s got big sliding doors that I can close off and block out any annoying noise, but it is also light and bright – and my space is MY SPACE.
If Possible, Ensure you have Access to Natural Light – My office space leads directly out to the back garden via double glass sliding doors with loads of natural light streaming in. It allows me the ability to be connected to my world, and see what’s going on around me. I find it calming and peaceful to have that view, and it’s something I treasure! Plus, the ability to have those big doors flung wide open during good weather is such a bonus. The natural light and fresh air is wonderful!
Install Good Interior Lighting – Even if you have great access to natural light, you will also need to ensure you have functional and effective interior lighting solutions for when the sun goes down! This means you will need good overhead lighting, plus perhaps a desk lamp that you can position where it’s most useful. Tip here also is to make sure you have your computer screen in a position where there is minimal glare… your eyes will thank you for it!
Office Furniture – At a minimum, your office furniture should consist of the following:
- Office Desk – Ensure you have a desk that provides you with sufficient space to allow you to work at your computer, plus have documents open beside your keyboard, pens, etc.
- Office Chair – A comfortable and ergonomically designed office chair is also super important in supporting you while you’re working. If you do a lot of typing, then buy a typist’s chair (typist’s chairs don’t have arm rests). If you don’t do loads of typing, then consider a more comfortable chair with good lumbar / back support and comfortable arm rests. Make sure your furniture is height adjustable too!
- Filing Cabinet / Document Storage – A small filing cabinet (a two drawer under the desk kind) is going to be more than adequate.
- Pinboard /Whiteboard / Noticeboard – A great place to display things that inspire you, as well as important notes and to-dos!
Remember – you don’t have to buy these things brand new. Check out eBay or your local second hand stores for bargains. You might be surprised what you can find.
Equipment – This will be different for everyone depending on what sort of services you are offering, but at a bare minimum, you will generally need at the very least:
- Reliable Computer
- Fast and Reliable Internet Access
- Printer / Scanner
- Mobile Phone
- Good Speakers and Microphone
Once you’re set up with the basics, you can think about adding in your own flair and personal touch, such as colours that you love, plants, photos, inspiring prints and designs, funky things to make you smile!
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