Struggling to make ‘work from home’ effective for you?
Here we’ll give you essential guides on how to turn your home office into a more productive place to work in.
First, you might want to ask:
What seems to hinder my productivity in a home office set-up?
Your house or cabin normally provides a homey and relaxing feeling. Just look at the couch, TV set, games board, and oh, the bedroom. It’s where you take a good rest in or spend leisure time with the family in the first place. And that familiar comfort makes it a bit challenging for you as a home-based worker to push the ‘work mode’ button on.
And unlike standard offices, there are no company rules to regulate your work behaviour. So you can’t help but—embrace the freedom! But that’s another long story.
A lot of adjustments need to be done first on the physical aspect of your built-in home office.
So how do you begin? Read on to find out.
Take the distractions away
You might not realise it, but your office sheds could be infested with distractions. TV remote control, video games, gadgets, you name it. Having them around violates a basic job rule: Don’t mix work with personal life.
And if you’re committing this mistake, follow these super simple steps to untangle.
- Survey your office space today.
- Get the feel of each item. If you sense it invites you for an hour off your tasks or it has nothing to do with your work, label it down as a distraction.
- Resolve to keep those diversions away.
- Dedicate the place as your work area, from hereon. Personal effects end there, and work begins here.
Now you get a clear work and home boundary. All that’s left are the essential work stuff. Good.
But then, everything seems to be in a mess.
Declutter now (and see how your mind clears up)
Remember: Your goal is to set everything in tune to your working mood. And mood, as well as productivity, is highly affected by how things are arranged.
Ok, you or other people adapt and thrive in chaos. But a mess is still a mess. It affects you in more ways than you realise. Perhaps in the time it takes for you to find a notepad or cord?
So consider these guides:
- Get inspiration. Look through various professional office spaces or home office garden which suit your needs.
- Assess the clutter in your own office pod. You can even take its photo and save it for the end of your home office project.
- Draw out (physically or mentally, as you please) your ideal office plan. Desk position is one critical element.
- Resolve to achieve your plan. Start moving things around.
If you need more hand on how to simplify the task, we are more than happy to give you more tips.
Organise like a pro
From sorting out some great office spaces, you’ll find one element in common among them. Neatness. Why? It’s what make their owners, career men, work efficiently.
Best to follow their lead. Here’s how.
Make the most of your desk drawers
- Your desk is precisely where you spend the hours working so keep it clean at all times.
- Keep your most essential office items at the most frequently accessed part of your desk, such as the topmost drawer.
- Use mesh containers to sub-categorise smaller items like office supplies.
- Reserve the mid or lowest drawer or part of the desk for important files or receipts.
Create a system of filing
- Reducing clutter is as easy (and cheap) as using file cabinets, storage boxes, wall hangers and baskets and bookshelves. Options abound. Think pallets.
- Avoid paper piles on your desk no matter how orderly you pile them up. Either stock them nicely in a file folder rack or store them inside drawers. Even better, go paperless.
Mark tasks with boards and calendars
- Depending on how you work, choose a whiteboard or corkboard to give you a clean slate for paper notes or illustrations. Plus, it will serve as a visual map of all your tasks.
- If you need to keep track of dates, do so with properly placed calendars. Desk calendars are good, wall and pocket calendar too. But if you’re tech savvy enough, use google calendar, if only to lessen the stuff in your room.
Untangle those wire cords
- Wires haphazardly lying on the floor or desk are not only unsightly but dangerous.
- If your equipment or gadgets are located near the outlets, great. That will make the organising less stressful.
- If not, use wire organizers like plastic or metal caps, winders and cord covers to keep them neat however long they may be.
Aim for more space
- Leave a good amount of elbow room, literally, for you to move around.
- Use the floor area for much-needed facilities only.
- Install built-in desks or hidden storages, if possible.
Key takeaway: Don’t overdo.
Organising is about simplifying things and processes within your room so you won’t have to get caught up in a maze of clutter.
And who knows? Perhaps a little disarray could do just the trick to spark an idea.
At this point, you’ve succeeded to clear and minimise down. Now it’s time to bring in the things that will step-up your productivity.
Help yourself with the essential tools and facilities
Facilities should aid you in your line of work so pick your office belongings wisely. But normally, you could make use of the following:
1. Desks and chairs are staples. They come in a wide selection of designs and styles to choose from or custom-made in stores.
Just a pointer: Take note how ergonomically-bent they are. This way, you physically benefit from good seating position, and you enjoy the best of comfort whilst you work for long hours.
Another pointer: Refer to your office plan for the most preferable desk position. With access to natural light or a good view of the garden would be best.
2. Computers and telecommunication system. What work from home doesn’t need a computer, anyway. Have them in updated software or apps, good power supply, and reliable internet connection.
3. Good lighting. If natural light is inaccessible, invest in powerful but energy-efficient lamps, light tubes, or if you’re willing, go as far as a skylight.
4. Air Conditioner to cool you up (or warm down). Keep a balanced room temperature or as your working mood needs.
And you’re good to go.
But it’s your personal space and there’s a wide room for creativity. So you could always incorporate some personal touches – wallpapers, framed arts, indoor plants, the possibilities are endless.
Bottom line? Everything should feed your working mood.
No 9-5 routine will regulate your work, but a home office should enhance your job, not the other way around.
Here’s a great garden office shed for you to do business and get productive in.