How to Set Up Your First Home Office (like a pro)
With more startups, solopreneurs, remote and flexible jobs popping up, working remotely is slowly becoming the new “norm.” But most of us working from home lack the proper setup to thrive in that type of environment.
We as business owners and entrepreneurs love to think that we live by our own rules and schedules. After all, that’s why we started our own thing… we hate being constrained! But, in reality, working from home without the proper setup for success can wreak havoc on your physical and mental health in the long run.
We do need some degree of stability to thrive. This is true in our home and personal life and especially true in our work life. Even the most creative people developed a routine and workspace that encourages creativity, motivation and success. Creating that perfect work space may seem out of reach. But, I assure you that with a little planning, organization and minimal investment, you’ll notice a significant change in your mood, energy and results.
If you’re still working from your dining room table, rushing to find a seat near an outlet at your local Starbucks, fed up with the spotty Wi-Fi at your community library and ready to create a workspace that you love, read on.
Choose the right space
Your workspace should be situated in an area that fits the structure of your home, the type of work you do and your lifestyle. For homeowners with a spare bedroom it’s a little more obvious where to put that home office. But for the rest of us condo, apartment, or tiny home owners, you may need to get a little more creative.
In any case, first identify the spaces which you rarely use. Think spare closets, stair landings or even little nooks and crannies around your home. You can easily detach a closet door to transform it into a work nook or even better, incorporate the space into an existing room design like a bedroom or living room. Once you find an area or two which may work, ask yourself: would I enjoy working here? Will I feel focused, productive and inspired in this space?
If the answer is yes, then you’ve just found your place!
Before you begin rearranging furniture or creating your wish list, sit down and think about all the things you’ll need in order to successfully perform your job (while staying on budget). Make a list and sort these things by category such as: basic (lighting, outlets, temperature controls), must haves (computer monitor, laptop, power cords, shredder, printer, etc.), organization (sorting important documents, projects, notebooks) and furniture (office desk and chair, filing cabinet, book shelves, etc.).
Once you have a better idea of what you’ll need you can then plan out how to incorporate all of these things seamlessly into your design.
The most important function of a home office/work space is usability. The desk you choose (whether a traditional desk, table top or wall desk) should be large enough and the right height for you to comfortably work on.
If you’re limited for space, measure and draw (or virtually create) a floor plan and move things around until you get the combination that works best. Don’t worry about having too much floor space, the small home office hacks on Pinterest are endless and can help you transform virtually any area into a functioning workspace.
Comfort above all
When it comes to working, the two most important elements after a proper desk are first, good lighting and second, a good (and I mean good!) office chair. If you’re on a budget, be sure to invest in these two things before anything else. We really love the affordable (and beautiful) selection of chairs and desks available at Wayfare.com, though you can find a solution right for you in most furniture stores.
Choose a chair that is the right height for your desk and one which provides back and arm support. If you like to put your feet up, add a small footstool for underneath your desk (life changer!). Depending on your line of work, you may want to incorporate a slide-out keyboard and wrist cushion for when you’re using the mouse. Take some time to read up on ergonomic design and try to incorporate some of these functionalities into your own workspace. Plan a proper space from the beginning and work more comfortably until the very end!
Proper lighting is crucial to reduce eye strain. Install (or ensure adequate) lighting over your reading or work area, on the computer, and behind you so there’s no glare on your screen. Also, place the computer monitor at a comfortable distance from your eyes so you don’t need to squint or hunch over to work.
Less is More
The expression less is always more is true in your home and personal life and is especially true in your work life. You may think that you need everything in arms reach, but you should try to limit the number of things in and around your workspace. The more clutter the worst it is for your focus and productivity. Before organizing your workspace sort through all of your existing supplies and purge the things you no longer use.
If your work space is limited consider only storing the things you use on a daily basis close by and tuck the rest of it away in storage bins in another area of your home.
Add a Little Sass
You’ve done all the things leading up to this moment. You found the perfect nook, categorized your must haves, researched ergonomic designs, purged the boxes of craft supplies, you have the bare bones of your workspace and created your dream home office Pinterest board.
Now, it’s time to add some colour, personality and unique touches to make it 100% you! Find a decorating style that inspires you. Perhaps you use a colour that is different from the rest of your home or make it blend into an existing room design. Design it in a way which would make you excited to sit there every single day. Add photos, artwork and organize everything in style using baskets, wall shelves, cabinets or even mason jars. Hit up Pinterest and you’ll see that the DIY decor opportunities are endless!
And with that, your home office is complete! With a little bit of creativity, organization and DIY you can create a workspace in any area of your home. Say goodbye to the “cafe lifestyle” for good. By taking the time to create a workspace you love, I’ll bet that you’ll choose the workspace that’s all yours over a cafe any day. Plus, unlimited coffee is included… score!
Have a fab home office you want to show off? Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and post your home office ideas by tagging us at @bizsassy …if we’re feeling inspired, we’ll feature you on our feed/story!!