If you are one of the more than 3.5 million of Americans who works from home at least part of the time, you need to set up your workplace for optimal productivity.
When you set up a home office, we know you have to create the most workable professional environment possible while still enjoying the creature comforts of home. Everything from your furniture choices to what’s in your desk needs to set you up to succeed — and it’s all on you whether you do or not.
We’ve asked the smartest people we know, and collected our seven best tips for you to set up a home office. It’s not easy, we learned.
Tips to Set Up a Home Office
Having control of your stuff means having control of your time and, ultimately, your own health.
Check out these seven tips to open up your home office to multidisciplinary methods and solutions. Be true to yourself and have fun!
1. Less is More
When you are working to set up a home office that reflects your style, remember that less is more. Decorate the room with things that inspire you, but just before you finish up — take two things off the walls and surfaces.
It’s much easier to add things later, and true productivity comes from clean visual lines in a safe and inspiring space. Give it a month. If you hate it, add your stuff back.
2. Office Supplies for Success
When setting up your home office, what’s inside your desk matters as much as what’s outside of it. Keeping clean lines is important, but it’s no use if your drawers and closets are filled with junk you can’t use.
Make sure you have pens, pencils, staples, paperclips, and the like in your desk. Keep them as organized as possible, especially if you’re the type person who accumulates Post-It notes and to do lists. People who create papers create chaos, and your supplies need to be conducive to your peace of mind.
Make sure you have at least one “fun” thing in your desk that’s personalized, whether it is for your brand or your personal use. This website offers personalized stamps for your correspondence or branding. Perfect for your home office!
3. Purge Often
One of the best things you can do for your productivity is to purge your materials in your home office often. If you let things accrue that you don’t want or need, you will stifle your ability to be productive and continually get distracted.
Make sure you have adequate storage space for the things you need to keep, as well as a comprehensive filing system. A place for everything — and everything in its place.
Have abundant trash cans and recycle bins, and make sure you clean as you go. Don’t keep anything that doesn’t make you happier or directly more successful.
Five minute cleaning sprees every day will save hours of cleaning on the weekends!
4. Pick a Color Pallet
Another simple hack for people who work from home is to adhere to a color palette for the whole room. This could be something modern, such as greys and periwinkles — but the key is in the consistency.
Pick a swath of colors that’s soothing or energizing, or one that feels academic. Many people like dark wood, while others prefer white and chrome. Depending on the nature of your work and mind, you can be creative with this as long as the statement is clear.
As far as colors go, blue is trustworthy and green is peaceful. Purple can make people treat you like royalty, and red has been the symbol of power for centuries.
5.Consider a Landline
If you’re constantly on conference calls or need to simultaneously text message people while you talk, consider having an office phone line installed instead of just using your cell phone. It can feel more official, and can change your attitude and the whole “vibe” of your home office.
If you really want to set up your home office like a corporate office, get a colleague or virtual assistant to record an answering machine or voicemail greeting, and have you’re landline calls forwarded to your cell when you’re out of the office. If people think you have an administrative assistant, they will treat you like an executive.
6. Have (and Keep) Office Hours
One thing many people forget to do after they set up a home office is to actually work in it. Even if your job requires travel, establishing and trying to keep regular office hours showcases personal respect for your space and time and for the work you do.
Make sure your boss or clients know when you will be in your home office, and be responsive at those times. You can even take an online course while you’re in your office!
7. Win the Gadget Game
Having working technology and all the devices you need can make a huge difference in setting up your home office. Make sure you have a printer, scanner, fax machine, or a way to fax over the internet, if you’re expecting to need them. Many startups need a photo printer for promotional materials.
You don’t need every new gadget that comes on the market, but consider splurging on one thing that makes your home office setup feel modern. Standing desks and yoga ball chairs are all the rage, but you could even add a small gadget like a nitro coffee press or hip electric kettle.
Enhance Your Lifestyle
Knowing how to set up a home office that sets you up to succeed is a vital part of millions of Americans’ occupational realities. You can have a peaceful, productive, or energetic workplace depending on your personal preferences and choices.
After you’ve set up your home office, you can tackle the rest of your house. Progress is key to peace in the home, not perfection. Check out our tips on keeping your bathroom squeaky clean for a long time!