Find out everything you need to know to create a workstation that will inspire creativity and productivity in any space — big or small.
Working from home can be an exciting prospect, with visions of sleeping in and shuffling from bed directly to your computer with little more to prepare than a cup of coffee. But, the reality of working from home is a little bit different. Sure comfy PJs are welcome, but there are a few things you’ll need to prepare to ensure you’re equipped to handle the daily demands of your job.
It’s important that you put together a space that’s both tranquil and productive so you can work your professional magic without getting dragged down by uninspiring surroundings. No matter what type of office space your current floor plan offers, here’s how you can put together a dynamic work environment that will have you kicking all the professional goals from home.
Dedicate some space
It’s important to remember that your home office is not your bed. It can be tempting to maximise your comfort while you’re working from home, but working in bed is not a good idea for a few reasons. It can:
- wreak havoc on your sleep schedule
- make you feel tired and less productive
- cause major posture problems.
Start building your home office by defining a space where you can sit or stand at a desk to work. It doesn’t matter if you have a dedicated room or you’re carving out a corner in the living room. Pick a location and christen it the spot to work from home. Having a dedicated space provides a greater sense of purpose. You’ll also have all the supplies you need in one place to get things done.
Get the right equipment
With a spot to call your office, the next step is to trick it out with the right equipment. If your home office is temporary, you probably won’t need all the bells and whistles, but, you will need a few essentials:
Desk and chair: Standing or sitting, make sure you choose a desk that’s comfortable and provides an ergonomically correct workstation. You’ll also need to choose a chair that works with your desk in promoting comfort and correct posture. Remember your eyes should be level with your computer screen and your arms resting on your desktop at a 90-degree angle.
Computer: Laptop or desktop, it doesn’t matter. Just as long as you are able to access everything you need for a typical day of work. You may want to invest in a second screen to maximise your productivity.
Printer: It’s always good to go paperless whenever possible — every little bit helps the environment — but there are times when you just need a printer. For those thinking about making your home office permanent, a multi-purpose printer/scanner/copier is a great all-in-one tool.
High-speed internet: It goes without saying that you’ll need a connection to high-speed internet — it’s what allows us to work from home in the first place.
Surge protector: With all of your devices, you’re going to want a surge protector. These handy bars allow you to plug all of your devices in without overloading your wall sockets. They also happen to prevent dangerous power surges from frying all of your devices in an instant.
Phone: VOIP systems are great if your office can set you up with one. Otherwise, the ol’ mobile will work just fine.
Filing system: Before your splash out on a bulky filing cabinet, consider your needs in this space. You’ll want something to help you stay organised, especially if you’ll need to transfer work back to the office later on. A few folders may do the trick or the classic two-tiered tray to keep your non-digital files in order.
Let there be light
Good lighting is essential to productivity. Not only does it make it possible to see your work, it also happens to have a major influence on the overall ambience of your workspace.
If you can, position your home office in a room filled with natural light. Warming rays from the sun will boost your mood and provide an engaging view. If it’s just not possible to take advantage of natural light, that’s ok. Ample artificial light in warm tones will suffice.
Of course, you can never go wrong with a combination of the two. Windows combined with the warm beam of a desk lamp is a great way to ensure the lighting in your workspace is more than enough to keep you inspired throughout the day.
Bring in the green
Plants are a great addition to any office space, particularly if you are trying to create a calming and inspiring environment. Studies have shown that they help reduce stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue and hostility. They’ve also been shown to boost creativity and productivity — two things that are essential to maintaining your momentum when working from home.
Even better, plants clean the air by filtering dust and pollutants, which means a healthier work environment. And let’s face it — they’re pretty to look at. Never underestimate the importance of aesthetics.
Perhaps the most important part of creating a home office that inspires you is to personalise your space. Bring in all of those little elements that really get you firing on all cylinders — whether it’s brightly coloured post-its, a corkboard for all of your favourite photos, or desk toys that let you fidget while you think.
Your home office needs to reflect you and how you like to work, so every time you sit down you’re ready to tackle the workday ahead.