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Work from home? Try these five tips for the perfect home office

5 May 2016

More people are working from home than ever before. With the advantages of a virtual office and the benefits of skipping the traffic and being at home with family, having a home office sounds like a great idea. However, getting your work done at home can be challenging at times as home and work tend to blend into one when you work from your house. 

Whether you have a dedicated home office with a door or work station in your kitchen, these five secrets for creating the perfect home office will help you get the job done:

1. A DEDICATED SPACE IS EVERYTHING:

It might seem tempting to stay in bed all day while you make client calls or perhaps you feel the only space you have for your laptop is a small corner of the kitchen countertop. Who needs a desk, right? 

Research has shown, however, that a dedicated space with a desk for your laptop and the correct chair increases your productivity and positivity. Sitting down in a set space each day tells your brain that it’s ‘work time’. It also puts important resources like power cables and printers within easy reach, saving you time and hassle. 

2. DECLUTTER NOW:

Clutter is distracting and frustrating. If your desk space and office stationery are not properly organised, you will waste precious hours looking for items such as pens, printer paper, and your cell phone charger. And feeling stressed in the process.

Rather follow this simple rule – a place for everything and everything in its place. Invest in extra storage if you need it and take time to organise your work space properly – remove family clutter such as children’s toys, clean your desk every day, file away paperwork, and have a proper in-tray system for work in progress. 

When it comes to office stationery, do an audit and make a list of the items you need, those that can be donated to a worthy cause, and any duplicates. Neatly store the ones you use (think plastic pen cups and drawer organisers) and make sure they’re within easy reach.

3. LIGHT IT UP:

Sitting indoors all day can be depressing. Natural light is healthy and energising. That’s why it’s important to introduce natural light into the place where you work. Position your desk near a window, where you can look outside and feel the sun on your face, or consider installing a sky light over your work station. 

If you must use artificial light instead, make sure it is warm, mellow, and inviting. Avoid strip lights, LEDs, and neon lighting. Rather use dimmer switches and invest in a desk lamp for task work and to minimise eye strain.

4. ZONE IT:

If children or other family members are going to use your space from time to time, create a zone for them so that your zone remains yours. For example, a young child might have a play mat or small desk next to yours. This will help them to feel included while still maintaining the boundary between your home and work life. And it makes organising and storage easier!

5. MAKE IT YOURS:

Tidy doesn’t have to mean boring or clinical. Decorate your space to provide you with inspiration. Incorporate your favourite artwork, photographs of loved ones, or plants. Use calming paint colours and colourful rugs to make it beautiful – a space you want to spend time in.

Whether you’ve just started working from home or have been doing so for years, it makes sense that the space you work from is organised, pleasant, and inviting – the kind of space that inspires great work.

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