Even when COVID-19 wasn’t the be all and end all of our lives, home offices were a necessary feature for freelancers and self-employed businesses. Now, more than ever, these rooms are crucial. Yet while offering great freedom to work – and wear – just how you like it, without battling hours of trains and traffic, the ideal combination of comfort and productivity can be difficult to create.
A smart set up is the best way to blend comfort and productivity. Spend time and money selecting an ergonomically correct desk chair as well as top-notch technological items including a computer and an efficient printer, copier and scanner. Ensure your home internet connection is strong and reliable too. You may appreciate a headset if you make and take a lot of calls but don’t overdo it with technology as too many gadgets can just be a distraction. Then there’s crucial office and stationery products which will assist in savvy storage and a neat desk, rather than one overflowing with reports, pens and similar. Invest in folders, in-trays, ring binders, labels, pens, highlighters, post-it notes and more. If you have the space, filing cabinets are fantastic; if not, establish a good filing system. The room and your desk itself should feature plenty of shelves, drawers and cupboards and don’t forget to utilise all empty areas. Remember that while you might have to spend a lot of cash setting up your office, you don’t necessarily have to stay in the red as you can claim these items as work-related deductions on your tax return.
If at all possible, aim to assemble your office in a quiet part of your house, well away from the kitchen, rumpus rooms and children’s bedrooms. Let your family know when you’re working and consider hanging up a “Do not disturb” sign on your closed office door, especially if you’re on the phone or in a video conference meeting. As well, think about including a comfortable couch to give you a different scene to sit in for reading reports or brainstorming plans and ideas. However, if you’re susceptible to afternoon naps, stay away from this space!
As with any other room in your house, your workplace should offer abundant natural light and air. Set up your desk by the large open window letting in the light, and the views and the sunshine will lift your mood and reduce the strain on your eyes after hours of sitting at the computer. Adding some pot plants will also improve your mood and add some pleasant green décor to your surroundings.