Your office is your place to do work. To be productive, and get what you need to get done done. And that is what you always have to have in mind when you are setting things up. This space is first and foremost for productivity.
Setting up a space for you to do your work at home is imperative to anyone who plans to, well, work from home. This applies both to someone working a career, or a student who needs a place to study while they are at their home.
Now, why am I putting such a big stress on specifically making a place for you to only do work in? Why can’t you just work on your laptop at your dining room or kitchen table? Why separate between work and home?
Well, it all has to do with psychology. It is not healthy for someone to mix together the place they work and the place they live in. You will only bring the stress and distractions of both parts of your life into one place.
For example, if you are really stressed about work, but you just work wherever in your house, you will start thinking of your home as work. This will make you start to feel stressed when you are not working and feel like you should be.
Or, you might just simply get very distracted while you are supposed to be working. You might really want to play that online casino you enjoy because it’s so darn fun! But, you still have to get your work done. It’s best to keep the fun in your free time and work in work time.
There are also many other problems with not separating between home and work life. But, that is not the main focus of this article. I’m here to help you keep in mind the most important things when you are setting up said office.
The most important thing to keep in mind before you even begin setting up an office is where do you want your office to be? Many people may not think about this too much, and this is a mistake.
First and foremost, you shouldn’t just pick an office space based on where you have room. Although, that may be an important consideration if you lack the necessary space.
Nevertheless, you should think about where you are going to be working, and what are the things that distract you. Can those things be fixed in the space you are considering?
For example, does the boiler or HVAC system come on near the space you are considering and make a lot of noise? Will that be too distracting for you? Can you work with headphones on a be just as productive?
Or, is there a window out onto a busy road? Will all the movement of cars going by and the noise of beeping horns pull you out of your focus? Are you able to fix that with blinds, or will it make your office feel too claustrophobic to work in?
All of these things and more are important considerations. Do you have enough space for all of your stuff? Do people have to go through the space for whatever reason and it could mess with whatever you are working on?
These questions could make a big difference in how effective your office is. The whole point is to allow you to be productive at home and let you reap the benefits of not having to commute to work every day.
Another thing you should really consider when setting up your office is what kind of furniture do you want? Are you the kind of person that can really work on anything, or would a nicer desk and chair make you feel more welcomed to your work environment?
Do you need shelves or filing cabinets? Do you have room for them, or could you make room for them?
And finally, probably most importantly, do not go cheap on a chair! Your chair is something you are going to be spending hours at a time in, and if you get more uncomfortable the longer you sit in it, you are also going to grow less productive.
Or, perhaps you want to forgo a chair altogether and get a standing desk. Then you have to consider if there is enough vertical space for it and do you have all the cables you need to reach outlets.
And speaking of outlets, don’t forget you are probably going to need power and internet! How is the wifi in the space? If you have slow internet, it is going to slow down everything you do.
And without power, well, you are either going to be unable to work altogether on a computer, or you will have to periodically move back and forth between your office and another room to charge your laptop.
Which, obviously, is going to break your focus and concentration. Or, you won’t be able to focus well at all because you have in the back of your mind that you are going to have to charge your computer at some point and are scared of losing your work if it dies.
I mentioned some distractions earlier such as cars driving by, or loud noises, but there are other little distractions that could bother you as well while you work. Things that people don’t really think about but get distracted by them a lot.
For instance, if you have a complex painting or poster on the wall, do you find that your eyes are drawn to it and you end up staring off into space instead of focusing on your work?
Is there a clock on the wall that ticks and bothers you even just a little bit? Or, perhaps there is a little fountain as some people like to have and the dribbling water makes you feel like you have to use the restroom.
It is really important, and I know I’ve said this a lot but I cannot stress this enough, that you make sure you are able to focus just as well at home as you could at the office.
The whole point of working at home is to reap the benefits of it, but you don’t want to take the downsides as well. Otherwise, you might find yourself having to just drag yourself back to the office all over again.
This is Still Home
One final thing to keep in mind when setting up a home office is that it is still part of your home as much as it is an office! So, don’t be afraid to customize the space to what makes you feel most comfortable.
If it is not distracting and you want to put a fishtank in your office, go for it! If you want a little fridge to keep beverages and snacks in all the power to you! Or perhaps you are more of a coffee kind of person and would prefer a coffee machine.
Whatever you need to make yourself the most comfortable and productive in the space is what you should do. Don’t stress to much about “rules” or how things should be. The reason to know rules for things of taste is to know how to tastefully break them.