Tips for Creating A Productive Home Office Setup

If you’re looking to create or improve a home office setup, you’re not alone. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, more and more Americans were beginning to work remotely. And between 2019 and 2021, the number of Americans working from home tripled

In this article, we’ll walk you through five proven ways to create a better, more productive workspace at home—whether you have an unlimited budget and a spare bedroom or just a little extra space in your living room.

  1. Carve out a dedicated workspace

Whether you live in a studio apartment in New York City or a 4,000-square-foot home, you’ll want to create separation between your home and work life. Think of it this way: in a traditional office, your mind knows it’s time to work. But at home, your mind may think it’s time to watch television, read, nap, or even organize the pantry. 

To combat this confusion, dedicate a space as a “work-only” zone to ensure your mind and body are prepared to tackle your to-do list. This space can be a true home office—but even a particular seat at your kitchen table will do the trick. 

If you are searching for a home to rent or buy—or considering building a new one—then consider where and how you like to work during your house hunt. If you need a quiet, private space, put that on your must-have list. Keep in mind that if you’re working with a semi-custom home builder like TrueHomes, designers can help you build convertible, highly-productive workspaces that make sense for your family today and ten years later. 

  1. Keep that space tidy

An uncluttered, tidy space can help you feel productive, focused, and fully prepared to tackle your work. For example, working in your kitchen may mean taking extra time each morning to clean the space. So do the dishes, close the cabinets, and remove those bagel crumbs from the kitchen table. 

At the end of the day, clean up your space in the same way to make your life easier the following day. If necessary, you should also invest in the items you need to make your workspace neater. Filing cabinets, folders, sorting trays… whatever helps keep your desk (and mind) clear. Remember that your company may provide these items upon request or allow you to expense them.

  1. Consider your unique needs

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a great home office setup. Your needs will vary from just about everyone you know, even a colleague with similar job responsibilities. So take some time to think about how your mind works, how you solve problems, and how you get things done the fastest. 

Do you need wall space, bulletin boards, and giant sticky notes to visualize complex ideas and strategies? Do you need a place to sit, relax, and breathe? Would a second monitor, a printer, or a docking station help you work more productively? Do you need soundproofing? A hands-free headset? 

Consider how your office was set up when you worked in a traditional setting, if applicable. Did it work well for you? What would you have changed? What technology did you rely on to boost productivity?

While you may never be able to transform your home into the perfect office, you can work toward creating a space that makes sense for you—and makes you the best employee possible. 

Related: Self-Employed? Here’s How To Buy a House

  1. Add personal, motivating, and energizing touches

Your home office workspace is yours, and you should personalize it accordingly. Don’t be afraid to add a cute photo of your family, a nice little plant, and a fun calendar. Over time, traditional workstations tend to become reflections of our character. You can certainly do the same at home. 

Another perk of working from home? If you have a pet, they can join you from nine to five! Add a dog bed, cat tower, or even a perch for that parakeet. (Just remember to use the mute button when you’re on a call.)

  1. Don’t forget ergonomics

Last but not least, you need to create a workspace that’s physically comfortable—and easy on your body. Sure, that couch or bed might seem like a cozy place to snuggle up with your laptop, but don’t underestimate the power of a properly-sized office chair, monitors positioned on stands, and an ergonomic keyboard.

By creating an ergonomic workspace that wards off neck and back pain, sore wrists, and even tired eyes, you’ll feel energized, productive, and more prepared to take on whatever’s next on that to-do list. 

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