With prolific advancements in technology and cloud-based systems that enable us to work remotely and conduct business from virtually anywhere in the world, an increasing number of people are working from home. In fact, according to a study by the Telework Research Network, the rapidly growing proportion of Americans telecommuting and running businesses from home was estimated to increase by 63 percent between 2013 and 2018.
As the number of workers conducting business from home continues to rise, home offices are becoming increasingly modern, sophisticated and designed to optimize productivity.
If you’re a small business owner or a telecommuter wanting to work from a home office, take a look at the ultimate guide to setting up your home office.
Home Office Setup Tips
Let There Be Light
Being exposed to natural light is associated with boosting health and well being among workers and raising productivity levels. Consequently, the more daylight a home office lets in, the better. If daylight isn’t possible, ensure the home office is sufficiently lit by artificial lighting.
As our ‘Home Office Must Haves’ guide notes:
“The light in your office is essential, not only for your ability to clearly see your work, but also for the entire mood and atmosphere.”
Bring the Outdoors Inside
Not only to plants provide a pleasant feature in an office environment but they are also linked to relieving stress and contributing to a healthier work life. Plants are also an easy and cost-effective way to bring color and life to a home office.
For specific plants that can add organic character into a home office, improve air quality and remove impurities, check out our list of 20 indoor plants homeworkers should consider making part of their office makeup.
Think About Your Office Furniture
Furniture is a key feature of a home office and as you’re likely to be spending a significant period of the day in the office, the furniture needs to be comfortable. When choosing an office chair and desk, think about your height and posture to avoid the temptation to slump at the desk and run the risk of causing bad posture and back pain.
In her home office organization tips, Arianna Huffington, legendary author, journalist and actress, describes clutter as being the “scourge of the successful home-working entrepreneur.
“Decluttering your home office desk can save 15 percent to 20 percent of your annual costs due to clearer, sharper decision-making,” says Huffington.
When setting up the ideal home office it would be a good idea to ensure there’s plenty of drawers and storage space to house paperwork and other office essentials, whilst reducing the tendency for clutter to mount up in the office.
Electronic Filing Systems
One effective way to declutter an office is to rely less on paperwork by implementing effective electronic filing systems. As Lisa Kanarek advises in her book aimed at business professionals, titled: ‘Orgnanize Your Home Office for Success — Expert Strategies That Can Work For You’, electronic filing can help declutter an office and make a home office more efficient.
High Speed WiFi
It’s safe to say that most home workers rely on the internet and remote technology to conduct business and communicate with the ‘outside world’. Having a good internet connection and high speed WiFi is therefore an essential component of successful homeworking.
If you’re internet provider isn’t wholly reliable or fast, now’s the time to think about changing provider.
Make Your Office Smart
Technology is advancing at incredible speeds, designed to make our lives easier, more efficient and more productive. As our article centred on smart office solutions notes, homeworkers can make their office smarter by adopting to smart technology, such as the Belkin Instant Switch, designed to monitor energy usage and control electronics in an office, and Google Cloud Print, which allows users to print from any device using the Google Cloud Print technology.
Consider Color Carefully
Research shows specific color triggers certain responses, which can have a direct impact on our mood, well being and productiveness. Homeworkers should therefore carefully consider the color scheme of their home office.
Conducting research to understand the psychology of color, so the color of your office can positively affect working behavior, would be a shrewd move when setting up a home office.
It is also a good idea to color coordinate a home office to help enhance the organizational structure of the work space.
With the cost of energy rising, more and more businesses are looking for ways to reduce energy consumption and cut down on bills. The design of an office directly affects its energy consumption and if business owners and telecommuters want to reduce energy consumption, they should carry out energy consuming efforts, such as shutting down computers at night, using power strips, setting sleep modes on all electronics and buying Energy Star-qualified products.
Hang Artwork on the Walls
We all need some inspiration, especially when at work, and as homeworkers often can’t rely on human contact for inspiration, it’s a good idea to introduce artwork and other inspiring features into the design of the home office.
As Kelly Azevedo of She’s Got Systems told Small Biz Trends:
“A colorful print lives in my office, a gift from a client, and it reminds me of her business and talent when I’m feeling stuck or just tired of being indoors.” Find some artwork you like and give it a place of honor in your office.”
Are you a homeworker with an inspiring home office, designed to nurture well-being, creativity and productiveness? If so, we’d love to hear what’s in your home office.
Freelancer Home Office Photo via Shutterstock