5 Easy Ways To Setup Your Home Office Without Breaking The Bank
Working from home can be very fulfilling. It should be a joy to set the pace for your work tasks daily and have a feeling of independence. However, if you don’t have a suitable work space it can be downright uncomfortable.
When I just started working from home I realized right away that I had to set up a nice clean space for myself. Not only did I need to set some boundaries from other members of the household but I could sit during the course of each day and concentrate on my tasks much easier in a more efficient way.
If you’re thinking that you need to spend a lot of money on fancy furniture and equipment to get it right, then you’re surely mistaken. Start off with the basics and then work up from there. It’s better to start and as your business grows to fine tune your work area.
Use A Desk (Not Your Bed)
First off, don’t fall for the trap of using your bed as a work area. If your bedroom has to be that home office due to limited space, set aside a small section and get a simple desk. One with a space that your legs can comfortably fit and a few drawers for storage should be sufficient. If you use a bed for work purposes, your brain will mix up what that area means to you and one of two things will happen. Either you will fall asleep when you should be working or when you need to rest, you may have problems sleeping.
Utilize the Best Available Equipment
The least minimum equipment you should possess includes a laptop/desktop, smartphone and a working internet connection. Of course, the more complex the tasks you are doing, the more higher end equipment you’ll need. Additionally you may need external storage (or use an online cloud storage), notebooks and schedulers (or use online note-taking software), general stationery and resource materials and books (or kindle/PDF versions of them).
Have Sufficient Light
Create a space that has adequate natural light. The value of sunlight and Vitamin D cannot be stated enough for proper health and vision. Of course, you should have bright enough fluorescent/LED lighting to compensate for dark/cloudy days as well as overnight work times.
Not only do you need light to see the things you're doing but it’s required to reduce work blahs. It’s well-known that especially during winter months, seasonal depression and fatigue is higher for those with limited access to proper lighting. Additionally eyestrain, headaches and reduced alertness will become evident in areas with less than sufficient light.
Shut Yourself Off From Distractions
I sometimes find it best to put my phone on silent/vibrate to reduce distractions from app notifications. Have you ever realized how many times your phone buzzes each hour from those alone? Another useful thing to do is to limit your time on social media to reduce hours wasted. There are even apps now that can assist you to track your phone usage including those on unnecessary phone apps.
If you have children at home, enlist the help of a family member or try to get a sitter. Your kids are important to you but you need allotted time to deal with your work needs so that you can make their lives the best. In fact, working efficiently during your set times, frees up your time tremendously to spend quality time with your children.
Sit with your kids and let them know how essential it is for minimal distraction during the times that you’re busy. Then reward them during play time, meal times and bedtime for good behaviours while you had to be busy at work.
Prioritize Your Comfort
Ensure you are in a comfortable space while working. As stated before you need a suitable desk with enough leg room. However, it’s also imperative to have a good chair to support your back and neck and with the ability to afford seeing your computer screen without straining the eyes.
Additionally, remember to manage your time efficiently daily, so you don’t end up wasting too much of it or end up overworking. Set a timer and schedule realistic work hours even though you’re at home, so you don’t end up tired and exhausted. Lastly, ensure you have a dedicated phone line for your work related matters. This will limit mix-up with clients especially if they inadvertently receive personal voicemail greetings but it allows you to separate your work from personal communications.