Are you part of the 24% of people who do at least some work from home?
Working from home slashes your commuting expenses and gives you more flexibility. But your house is also full of distractions that could slow down your work.
Productivity comes down to your home office setup. An efficient layout with limited distractions can help you power through your workload.
If you’re ready to make over your home to include home office space, keep reading for 10 tips to create a productive space.
1. Consider Your Needs
Before you decide where to put your home office, think about what you need.
What activities do you do during your workday? What type of spaces do you need? What equipment do you use?
Write a list of your must-haves. Include things like the amount and type of space and the furniture and equipment you need.
Keep this list in mind when choosing your office space and everything that goes in it.
2. Choose Your Room
In a perfect world, you’ll have an entire room to devote to your home office.
Having a dedicated room means you can shut out the rest of the family and their activities to concentrate on work.
But many of us don’t have an extra room to use. That just means you need to get a little creative to find a dedicated space in another room.
Here are some options:
- Half of a guest bedroom
- Corner of your master bedroom
- Nook in a common area
- Space under stairs
- In front of a window in the living room
- End of a hallway
When choosing your space, consider other areas around it. Is the room right next to the front door where people constantly come in and out of the house?
Finding a quieter area away from the action helps you stay more productive.
3. Set Up Functional Areas
If you do all your work from a computer, you may just need one small desk space. If you do other activities, you need more space.
That might include space to make things, a place to meet with other people, or storage for inventory.
Say you run your own real estate brokerage from your home and you’re ready to hire agents to work for you.
Setting up an area for a real estate agent interview or a space for meeting with clients makes your space functional and professional.
If you make handcrafted items for Etsy, you might need a production area, storage for supplies, and a place to package products.
You’ll also need a desk area to set up your computer to process orders and manage your Etsy shop.
4. Get the Right Furniture
Pick a desk or table that fits your needs. If you need room for lots of documents, manuals, and other items, opt for a larger L-shaped or U-shaped desk for more room.
If you’re a writer and only use your laptop, you can choose a smaller desk to save space.
Pick a comfortable, supportive chair to increase your productivity. You’ll feel distracted and sore if you sit in a hard chair all day.
Ergonomic chairs with adjustable height, arms, and lumbar support let you customize your seat for greater comfort.
5. Use Color for Productivity
Don’t stick with the standard white office walls. Adding vivid color makes your home office space more enjoyable. It may even help increase your productivity.
Office color psychology can help you choose hues that support your goals. The brain responds to colors in different ways.
Some colors might make you feel relaxed and calm while others get you excited or make you feel motivated.
Blue tends to help with concentration and increase productivity. It can make you feel calm and confident.
Green is another color associated with productivity and calmness. If your work requires creativity, green may be a little better than blue.
Do you need a burst of energy and alertness during your workday? Red makes you feel alert and can have a physical effect on your body by boosting your heart rate and blood pressure.
It’s a good choice if your work requires physical exertion.
Another popular office color option is yellow, which is especially helpful for creative home-based businesses. It has a positive, open feeling, and it can boost confidence.
Some people feel anxious or frustrated with too much yellow, though, so make sure you’re okay with this hue.
When choosing your office color, think about what appeals to you. If you can’t stand blue, opt for a different color to boost productivity.
You don’t have to repaint your home office to one of these productive colors. Adding artwork, curtains, and other decorative accents in those colors is an easy way to use color psychology.
6. Light It Up
Natural light makes your work space feel more inviting. Position your desk where you can take advantage of natural sunlight.
Supplement that light with artificial lighting. Your overhead light gives you general illumination.
Add task lighting to give you a better view of paperwork and other projects. A desk lamp is an easy solution. Position light to avoid glare on monitors and work surfaces.
7. Incorporate Organization
Organization and storage keeps your home office space efficient and functional. You keep the items you need in a place where they’re easy to find and access.
Think about the type of storage you need based on the work you do. If you run an Etsy shop selling handmade items, you need storage for your crafting supplies.
If you run an accounting service, you need space for your files.
Consider how often you need to access those items. You can put things you don’t need a lot in a closet or even another room if storage is limited.
For items you use daily, opt for cabinets, bins, baskets, and other storage solutions that are in the work space.
Organization doesn’t have to be boring. Transform a standard metal file cabinet with our wood plank filing cabinet tutorial.
Or repurpose other items like an old laundry basket to hold scraps of fabric for your handmade craft items.
When space is limited, get creative with the area you have. If your office shares space with a guest bedroom, create under-the-bed rolling storage bins to hold extra items.
Use vertical space by hanging shelves on your walls.
8. Add Cozy Touches
If your home office doesn’t feel inviting, you won’t want to spend time there. Add some personal touches to make it feel cozy and comfortable.
Plants give your office a natural feel and help clean the air. Add a real of faux houseplant or floral arrangement to your office space.
Make mini succulent hanging planters for a little touch of green.
Other decorative touches to consider include:
- Family photos
9. Minimize Distractions
Separating family and work time is a major challenge of working at home. Minimize how much you see and hear those activities to stay focused.
If your office is in a shared space, use a privacy panel or hang a curtain to divide the space. Position your desk to point away from activity to keep distractions out of sight.
For a dedicated office space, soundproofing can help limit the noises you hear. Running a fountain or white noise machine also helps.
10. Make Adjustments
Even with the best planning, you might find the need for some changes. Let yourself work in the space once you set it up. That test run lets you see what works well and what you need to change.
You might find that having your desk right under the window is distracting because you watch everything going on outside. Or maybe glare from the window makes your screen difficult to see.
Create Your Home Office Space
Are you ready to tackle your home office space? Read more about how to DIY your home office to get started.