Working from home can be either a curse or a blessing. Often times, however, it is an equal amount of both. So how does a work-from-home mentality survive the volatile ups and downs of focus and energy, and procrastination and laziness?
It all comes down to a few principles of work ethic, as well as the environment itself. The way in which we build and decorate the home work office, says a lot not only about our character and work preferences, but about our future performance as well.
The home office should mirror our character and approach to work, but it should also incorporate some principles of staying effective and keeping focus.
Let’s explore what these principles are, and how to build the perfect home office.
Home office – enough room for everything
A home office where the only thing you are allowed to do is sit down and work, will soon enough become boring, incentivizing you to go around the house in order to find a distraction or take a rest.
If this becomes a habit, say farewell to your work ethic.
Instead, you’d want to include a comfortable lounge inside of your home office, where you can leave the desk for a minute or two and stretch into a nice chair or sofa. This will allow you to take your rest, but stay productive otherwise, by getting back to work within a few minutes or so.
Similarly, try to include fun into the mix as well, by installing a small screen for watching short episodes of whatever your favorite show is, or playing an X-box match of tennis.
Unwind there, and unwind by schedule, and you will be able to focus more afterwards. Make it a habit to reward yourself after an X amount of completed tasks.
Careful though, not to emphasize the rest & fun area over the work area! Send your brain a message what this room is for, and prioritize by making the work corner comparatively larger.
The desk is where the magic happens
And you don’t want to interrupt this process by buying a small or uncomfortable table. Buy a solid and sturdy desk, which is large enough to feel comfortable regardless of how many stacks of paper you have around.
Even if you are working with a single laptop, the vast and empty desk will provide a peace of mind, and emulate spaciousness and creative freedom. You want to be able to sketch something on the left and another thing on the right – limitations can often cram your creative mind.
Consider a standing desk too
While much of your comfort depends on what type of an office chair you are going to choose, sitting in place for hours to an end can feel boring and uneventful. Your mind easily wanders off when you lose focus, and focus is hard to maintain when you are in the same position for several hours straight.
Therefore, you can install a standing desk, and switch between one and the other. I understand all too intimately that home offices are often small and lack spaciousness, but you can make the standing desk to be multifunctional, in order to safe on space.
Consider making it part of a food stand, where you keep fruits and water bottles, so every time you stand next to the desk, you hydrate and take a snack as well.
Install multiple electric sockets
Most home offices lack power sockets, so you are either dragging cables across the room, or compromising on interior layout because of it. An initial investment may set you back few hundred dollars, but your home office will run smoothly without you having to worry about extra cables and such.
While some people prefer isolation, having a window can gratefully improve mood and focus. Daylight gives your biological clock tons of info, and we are wired to function a certain way in relation to the time of day.
Besides, a window or two can make the space much more visually appealing and cozy to begin with.
Have your favorite books there
Taking a nap for a break is very refreshing and will definitely energize you. But sometimes, reading a book can have the same effect on your work ethic and passion for staying dedicated to the task.
Install a small shelf, or a book cabinet, and keep a dedicated space just for your favorite texts.
A kindle library is much more efficient and practical, but the magic of reading from a hardcopy is different altogether.
Besides, reading a book is a great way of taking a short break, where you won’t wander off and lose track of time. Set yourself a number of pages allowed per day, and there you go.
A home office doesn’t need a mirror
While office mirrors can visually enhance the space, you don’t need that sort of distraction. Some studies show that reflective surfaces have a way of capturing attention and decreasing focus, so you better avoid the idea of installing a mirror altogether.
Instead, hang a few nicely framed posters, with some of your favorite quotes.
Keep things organized
If you are working with tons of paper, you’d want to buy a cabinet. A drawered desk can make a difference as well, so keep that in mind too.
You want to keep your home office organized, and make organization part of an intentional routine. Storing each file and organizing each item should be done with thought and consideration.
Plan for visits as well
Regardless of what you do for a living, eventually a meeting or a visit will occupy your schedule. So plan accordingly, and organize your working space so that it’s welcoming for others as well.
And regardless of what you think about your space, there is always room for adding an extra chair, or leaving an empty corner. There is an interesting show called Better Call Saul, where the lawyer is welcoming clients in the back of a nail saloon boiler room. If he can do it, then you can definitely find some extra space too.
Decorating your home office takes a lot of thought and lot of work. I hope this article gave you enough ideas about what should go into the office, so your work schedule is uninterrupted, and your concentration and focus always sharp.