Working from home has immense benefits. Not only do you save on gas money and other utilities associated with the traditional office, you also get to choose your work schedule. Controlling your time is probably the most popular incentive of working remotely.
But when you have the freedom of working in your pajamas, a lot can go unnoticed, including your need for a comfortable work environment.
So, how do you create a home office that improves your productivity at work and quality of life?
You need at least three things.
1. Basic Office Supplies
Image via Flickr by Luigi Mengato
The first thing you’ll realize about a home office is that it’s still an office. Sure, you have the flexibility of working from anywhere at any time. But work has to be done, and deadlines have to be met.
If you’re going to earn a living working from home, your new office needs basic office equipment such as a computer, reliable internet connection, desk, telephone, fax machine, and a typewriter if you’re reading this in 1950.
The equipment you need depends on the kind of work you do. If you’re a consultant, for instance, you may not need two separate working desks like a graphic designer would, but you might need a waiting area for your clients.
Determine how you intend to use your office, and make a list of essentials.
2. Dedicated Office Area
This is the first thing you need that most people working from home just come to realize later.
While they may have an office, some people only use it for a while. The rest of the time, it’s an open space for everyone. Picture such an office, and you can see a toy car in the middle of the room, unpaid bills, an unfinished zombie novel, and a heap of laundry right on the chair you work on.
Such a chaotic environment discourages flow, hugely affecting your productivity.
3. Robust Air Cleaner
There are many agents of indoor air pollution and, for the most part, the pollutants stay in different rooms. Mix that with outside air that gets trapped indoors, and you have a deadly cocktail. Poor-quality air from the cold temperatures in winter is recycled in the summer by the use of air conditioners, maintaining a cycle of unhealthy air that never goes out, just like you in your home office.
The bad air not only affects your health over time but also your productivity.
That’s why purchasing a robust air cleaner is a smart investment to make when you’re working from home.
Discipline is the key to having a successful remote work life. But the three items mentioned above make it a lot easier to exercise.
Set up your home office around the same principles that a traditional office is built upon. Dedicate enough time periods, have the necessary office supplies, and make the office area a permanent one. Some people will even dress up, but it’s a home office — you can wear whatever you want.