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7 Ways to Create the Perfect Home Office

7 Ways to Create the Perfect Home Office

As millennials in or entering the work force, we value a healthy work-life balance. Flexibility and time are seen as some of the most important benefits of a job—even over health insurance.

Part of this flexibility includes the option to work from home—something that over 92 percent of millennials would prefer. Whether you are an entrepreneur launching a business from home, a parent working part time, or a full-time remote employee, you need to create an appropriate home office space to increase productivity.

How do you create the perfect work space that will facilitate concentration and hard work? These tips and tricks can help the young working professional create the perfect home office space.

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1. Figure Out What Works for You

The beauty of working from home is that you get to create your own personal work space and a routine that is suited to your needs, style, and schedule. No more cubicle seating or required clock-in times. But before you begin revamping your home office, ask yourself this question:

What type of environment works for me?

You know yourself better than anyone else, so it only makes sense to design an office space that works for YOU. When decorating, determine if you’d like to use a standing desk or prefer to work from the kitchen table. Decide if you’d like to position your desk to face the window’s open views or if you’d rather face the wall and avoid outside distractions. Consider whether you work better while listening to music or if ambient noise is a better fit. Ask yourself what increases your productivity and energy and design your space according to those needs.

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2. Create an Action Plan for Distractions

While working from home has many perks, it’s often easy to get sidetracked. Create an action plan to deal with distractions and stay organized when working from home. Set boundaries and let people know your dedicated office hours. Additionally, consider establishing cues for your roommate, spouse, or other family members. Maybe a closed door means “do not disturb” or certain hours are quiet hours in the home. Whatever your plan is, communicate it to others to make your home office the perfect working space.

3. Paint the Walls a Color You Love

Color is an easy and effective way to boost your mood and productivity. As you will spend at least 40 hours a week in your office, take the time to choose a color that excites you each day. Colors can impact the way you think, behave, and perform, and the right color could have subtle effects on the overall success of your work.

4. Write with Nice Pens

While a Bic will get the job done, a nice pen makes taking notes a little bit better. While you can’t control the office supply purchasing at a brick-and-mortar office, you can control which supplies you stock in your home office. It’s your office, and you get to choose what products you use.

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5. Install Automated Lighting

With a growing number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in use, millennials are increasingly connected to everything on their smart phone or tablet. Use smart technology in your new office by installing smart lights. If you connect these lights to your smartphone, you can change the hue and brightness of your lights while seated at your desk. Home automation features in your home office give you a better range of control over your workspace, ultimately leading to more productivity and progress at the end of the day.

6. Get a Delicious-smelling Candle

Purchase a candle with an aroma you can’t resist. A fresh scent is a great way to feel relaxed and focused throughout the day.  Because smell is associated with experience, you can choose a smell that reminds you of a have a happy time in order to boost your mood. While it’s a simple idea, a nice smell could make you more inclined to enjoy your work.

7. Install an Indoor Camera

Do you ever wonder how much time you spend working on legitimate projects versus how much time you spend surfing the internet each day? Consider installing an indoor camera in your home office. At the end of the business day, check the recorded feed and see how you actually spent your time. From the recordings, you can learn when you are most productive, what triggers sidetrack you, and how to avoid distractions in the future. An indoor camera can also come in handy if you want to check in on children or pets throughout the day without having to leave your office.

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Creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing home-office will help you increase productivity in your work day and career. Whether you remodel your entire office or add a few small fixtures to your desk, updating your home-office space is the perfect way to stay up-to-date with the other working millennial women.

Featured photo credit: Gabriel Beaudry via unsplash.com

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Sage Singleton

Outreach Strategist

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Last Updated on October 13, 2020

How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

Have you been stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?

Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:

  • Taking a job for the money
  • Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
  • Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
  • Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
  • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

There are many other reasons why you may be feeling this way, but let’s focus instead on learning what to do now in order to get unstuck and get promoted

One of the best ways to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization. Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or do some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrate added value?

Let’s dive right in to how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position.

1. Be a Mentor

When I supervised students, I used to warm them — tongue in cheek, of course — about getting really good at their job.

“Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else.”

This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some truth in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.

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This can get you stuck.

Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:

“Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role…You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong ‘personal brand’ equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call ‘a good problem to have’: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done ‘too’ good of a job!”[1]

With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?

From Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?

Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.

Let’s say that the project you do so well is hiring and training new entry-level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, make hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!

Are there any team members who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:

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  1. Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
  2. As a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower them to increase their job skills.
  3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job and creating team players.

Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.

2. Work on Your Mindset

Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is explained through this quote:

“If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you—not the job—who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”[2]

In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings to help you learn how to get promoted. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.

Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.

Present your case and show your boss or supervisor that you want to be challenged, and you want to move up. You want more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and the positive mindset you’ve cultivated.

3. Improve Your Soft Skills

When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills[3].

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Use soft skills when learning how to get promoted.

    According to research, improving soft skills can boost productivity and retention 12 percent and deliver a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention[4]. Those are only some of the benefits for both you and your employer when you want to learn how to get promoted.

    You can hone these skills and increase your chances of promotion into a leadership role by taking courses or seminars.

    Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!

    Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has a position similar to the one you want.

    Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of their meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what their secret is! Take copious notes, and then immerse yourself in the learning.

    The key here is not to copy your new mentor. Rather, you want to observe, learn, and then adapt according to your strengths.

    4. Develop Your Strategy

    Do you even know specifically why you want to learn how to get promoted? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan for your career path? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what”?

    Sit down and make an old-fashioned pro and con list.

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    Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

    Look at your lists and choose the most exciting pros and the most frustrating cons. Do those two pros make the cons worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes,” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want[5].

    The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain

    Here are some questions to ask yourself:

    • Why do you do what you do?
    • What thrills you about your current job role or career?
    • What does a great day look like?
    • What does success look and feel like beyond the paycheck?
    • How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?

    Define success to get promoted

      These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your work friends over coffee.

      Final Thoughts

      After considering all of these points and doing your best to learn how to get promoted, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. Then, you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.

      Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose.

      More Tips on How to Get Promoted

      Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

      Reference

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