Working from home has become a lot more common nowadays than it has been in the past thanks to the increased accessibility of the internet. You can literally roll out of bed and be on-time for your job, business casual attire not required. But that doesn’t mean you should be filing reports while in bed with that freedom; you’re more likely to maximize your work/personal life balance if you keep an office separate from the rest of your home and not let it creep into other areas. Here are some tips on making a home office you feel cozy in, but can still treat like a business environment.
The first step to creating your own workplace is the desk. Depending on the size of your home office, you need to make a choice between an ornate desk, heavy and full of drawers, and a minimalist one, lightweight with room for your legs. How much storage do you need for your work? When in doubt, less is more. A desk with less storage space will encourage you to keep fewer files that you absolutely don’t need for your business.
Your initial thought may be to buy the chair that goes along with the desk you picked out, but hold on. It’s your home office; no one will see it except you, so your desk and chair really don’t have to match if you want to prioritize comfort here. Go for something with good back support and decide if you like having arm rests or not. Would you like to be stationary or able to swivel at a moment’s notice? Chairs with wheels are great for moving quickly around in your office, but you need a non-carpeted floor or a solid plastic lining on top of your carpet to get the most use out of them.
Every good desk needs a lamp. I always recommend a kind with a curved or adjustable arm so you can redirect your light for late nights without bothering anyone if you don’t have a door you can close in your home office. These are also good if you spread your work out on the entire desk surface, allowing you to move the light to the area you’re focusing on to help stay concentrated.
For your office storage needs, a filing cabinet is expected, but they’re unsatisfying to look at and can bring down the mood of your entire room. Working from home means you aren’t trying to mimic the dreaded cubicle look. If you’re creative with how you store your folders, a bookcase may the ideal solution for your home office. You may find that you don’t need all that space for your work, in which case you can store books, pictures, and other knick knacks to motivate you on difficult days and keep your entire home just a little more organized.
It never hurts to add a personal touch to your office decorations, and the best ones are always practical. A wall or desk clock will help you keep better track of your hours in a home office, as you won’t have a standard 9 to 5 schedule to go by. You’ll find more grandiose and decorative options with an analog clock, but the back-lighting of a digital one allows you to see it any time of day and register the time quicker. Remember though that just because your office is at home, you do need to leave the office at the end of the day and “turn off” to fully enjoy the working from home life.