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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 March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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