Treat your home office the way you would your cubicle in an office, filling it with all the right tools, keeping the area clean and more. Get your home office up to par with these ideas.
1. A clean office space
Maintaining a clean home office space requires more than just keeping it spotless. You also need to keep it organized. If you’re less than organized in your everyday life, use these tips from The Maids to get the space ready for work:
- Install shelves for notebooks and books
- Use multipurpose bins to store miscellaneous items
- Install a dry erase board to easily jot down notes without messy scrap paper
- Limit yourself to one filing cabinet
Organization and cleanliness will eliminate distractions in a space. Between unfolded clothes and dirty dishes, you don’t need one more mess pulling you away from work.
2. Plenty of natural lighting
If you crave natural light during the day, you’re not alone. Harvard Business Review reports that in a poll of 1,614 North American employees, natural light and views of the outdoors was the number one attribute of the workplace — more desired than a fitness center or premium perks. Without this light, 47 percent of employees polled said they feel tired and 43 percent feel gloomy.
Take advantage of this simple office accessory by situating yourself in a room that gets natural light throughout the day—even if your desk isn’t right next to a window. Avoid rooms without windows or with window coverings that keep light from coming in.
3. Good artificial lighting
If you can’t access natural light, good artificial lighting is critical. According to YLighting, harsh fluorescent lighting can trigger migraines and dim lighting will strain your eyes. Luckily, your home likely doesn’t have fluorescent lighting, but choosing the right type of lights can still make or break your space.
National Business Furniture suggests ambient lighting, which is low intensity and therefore creates a more peaceful environment. They also recommend corrective lighting, which is placed behind your monitor and helps reduce the glare coming from your screen.
4. The right equipment
Your line of work will determine what kind of office equipment you need. Someone writing online may not ever need anything other than a laptop, while someone working with local clients may need to print documents before heading into meetings.
Use this list to start figuring what you need, if anything:
- Extra monitor
- Wireless printer
- File cabinet
- Paper shredder
Before investing in any equipment, consider how often you’ll need it and whether the cost of heading to Staples to print or scan, for example, makes more financial sense. If you only print once or twice each month, this may be the case, saving you hundreds of dollars on a printer.
5. Green plants
Plants literally reduce stress, according to this study. While simply being around plants provides stress relief, active interaction, like touching them, can help, too. This makes this simple decorative item key for a successful home office.
If you don’t have a green thumb, check out this list of low-light and low-maintenance plants that are perfect for your home office. Invest in the ones that make you feel inspired and place them around the room and on your desk.
6. Ergonomic accessories
Whether you’re working from home or not, you’re likely sitting in front of a computer screen most of the day. Ergonomic accessories can help minimize the potential negative impacts of sitting all day like back pain.
They also provide less obvious benefits, like reduced blood sugar levels, better heart health and improved mood, according to Work-Fit.
Here are a few ergonomic accessories to consider for your home office:
- Supportive chairs
- Standing desks
- Write-friendly keyboards and mouse pads
- Monitor stands and screens
7. Wireless speaker for conference calls
If you’re on multiple calls throughout the day, a wireless speaker will be your best friend. A wireless speaker improves the sound quality, ensuring you don’t miss anything being said. The key is investing in a speaker that also has a microphone so you can be mobile during the calls — no need to stay near your phone to talk or listen.
Check out this ReviewGeek guide on the latest Bluetooth speaker with phone functionality.
Get your home office set-up for success
Make your home office a place where you can be productive and efficient. To do so, you may need to invest in new equipment or a few fresh plants. You may even need to move your space to a brighter area. In the end, however, you’ll get more done, feel less stressed and finish each day ready for the next.