The old stereotype of running a business out of a garage exists, but every businessman who works from home should have a proper home office. While you may think that building a small, cubicle-like space is enough for you, no one really likes cubicles. Running a business from home requires a huge amount of self-motivation and working in a dreary, drab space will not help in that regard.
You do not have to remake your home or be some master craftsman to construct an office that will make your work more enjoyable or functional. A few small hacks will spruce up your office, morale, and make the day-to-day grind easier.
1. Invest in a proper chair
You could just grab one of your kitchen chairs and plonk it down in your office. I used to do that. But it was difficult to sit back in that chair and plan the day’s events. I wasted so much time adjusting my seat or sitting position in order to make myself comfortable and had problems concentrating. When I finally got a good office chair for just $60, I could sit down without moving about. The chair had removed a distraction.
You will be sitting in your office chair for hours, so get one which is ergonomically comfortable. Don’t try to skimp – a little extra money here will go a long ways towards improving your comfort and morale. You can also look into creating a stand-up desk given the negative health effects of sitting day after day.
2. Manage your cables
Cables suck. A tangled jungle of cables looks ugly and signifies that you are not truly in control of your environment. And if you need to take your computer to a presentation, there is the mess of finding the right cable and untangling it from all the others.
The good news is that since cables are such a problem, there are a lot of guides out there that have tips on how to organize them. At bare minimum, take some time to label your cables with a sticker or twisty tie so you can easily determine which is which. I would also recommend tying similar cables which go to the same device such as a desktop together in order to organize which cables go where.
3. More Space is Better than Less
One of the biggest enemies of any home office is clutter. If you bring clients into your office, the clutter will convince them that you are disorganized. Cables and wires are a real problem, so it might be a good idea to look at wireless headsets in place of fixed line telephones. Even the mere presence of clutter is a distracting element and can waste your time as you try to remember where you put that important document.
In order to get rid of clutter, you need to have an organized storage space. If you have less place then you would like, then add some bins and shelves on your walls to give yourself additional storage. Try to organize things vertically and horizontally so that you can make the room which you might not have.
Even a small office or closet should be able to have enough room for everything you need. But if you cannot make it work, you may want to consider using a bigger room in your house as the office instead. Your living or dining room can be good choices to have additional space.
4. Green is Good
We all mock the artificial plants we find in many regular offices. But studies have shown that real plants can lower your stress, improve your attention capacity, and improve your work performance. A plant is a great way to spice up your office a bit and give out a soothing scent. Low-maintenance plants such as aloe, ficus, and cacti are great choices for an office.
Aside from plants, generally look for ways to add a personal touch of decoration to ease the stress of work such as photographs or small mementos. You want your home office to feel like home.
5. Light problems
A dull, dark workspace is not going to inspire creativity and imagination. And while your office will obviously have some lighting, additional lamps can offer a more personal touch and help you focus on your computer. A small lamp on your desk can help you read smaller-printed documents and reduce eye strain and headaches.
In addition to electric lamps, position your office so that it receives plenty of natural light. My personal layout is to position my desk in the middle of two separate windows. Most of the time, the light shines in my office and makes me feel better. If the light starts to shine in my eyes, I close the blinds.
But not all kinds of light are good. If you are going to spend a lot of time in front of a computer, I would recommend investing in a pair of anti-computer glare glasses. Also take some time every day to look away from the computer and take in your personalized, organized, and open office.
Featured photo credit: izzatFulkrum via flickr.com