Your environment and surroundings are very important when you’re working from home. If you’re not comfortable in your home oﬃce, your productivity will decrease and your work will suﬀer.
There are a few things that are especially important to keep in mind:
First of all, you need your home oﬃce environment to be free from distractions. You need to be able to shut out the outside world and focus completely on your work, so for one thing you need other members of your household to respect your situation and not bother you when you’re in your oﬃce. Peace and quiet are essential when you’re trying to get work done. If possible, choose a room as far away as possible from where the “action” takes place in your house, usually the kitchen and living room. Make sure you can shut the door and get some real solitude when you need it.
Your oﬃce should also be free from another kind of distraction: entertainment in the form of TV, video games and similar. Keep those in a separate room or risk losing entire days in front of them! Some swear by watching TV while you work, but most of us ﬁnd it diﬃcult to focus properly on two things simultaneously.
You also need to have good, ergonomic lighting in your oﬃce to stay alert and energized throughout the day. Some people spend entire days in a dark oﬃce with no lights at all, perhaps even with the blinds shut, and that makes for a very poor work environment. Invest in a good lighting setup and notice the improvement!
If you want to, invest in some nice decor and furniture to really make your oﬃce a place where you enjoy being. If you don’t like the way your oﬃce looks, chances are you won’t be at your most productive. A little can go a long way, and you don’t have to spend thousands unless you really want to. Don’t forget to add some nice-‐looking plants and put up some art on your walls!
Don’t forget that your oﬃce environment is just one of many factors that aﬀect how much work you get done. Some home workers get completely hung up on “optimizing” their environment instead of just sitting down and
doing the actual work. Remember that you can always adjust things as you go along -‐ it doesn’t have to be 100% perfect right from the beginning!
Essential Home Oﬃce Equipment
Anyone who works from home knows that a fully equipped oﬃce is one of the keys to keep productivity up and meet the challenges that arise on a daily basis. Of course, everyone has diﬀerent needs depending on their particular choice of profession, but there are a few things each and every home oﬃce should have:
A door that shuts
This should go without saying, but in case it’s not obvious we’ll include it anyway. You need to be able to shut the door so you can work without interruptions or annoying sounds that ruin your concentration.
Printer and scanner
Every home oﬃce should have at least a printer, and preferably also a scanner. A simple black & white laser printer will do in most cases, as most business uses do not need color printing. The scanner would mostly be used in situations where you need to sign and e-‐mail documents, so you don’t need anything fancy there either. If you prefer, consider a unit that has both printing and scanning built-‐in.
If you work from home you are most likely going to spend 8 hours or more every day in your oﬃce chair. If you use a cheap, uncomfortable chair for a long period of time you can actually end up harming your back, shoulders, or neck, which is why you should deﬁnitely consider shelling out a few extra bucks for it. A good chair may cost $400 and up (some famous brands will cost closer to $1000), but most likely you’ll be able to use it for many years to come. A reasonably modern computer.
You don’t need the fastest gaming rig to be able to work eﬃciently, but you don’t want to use a relic from the 1990s either. A decent computer doesn’t cost more than maybe $500 these days, so there’s no excuse not to upgrade. You should also invest a few bucks in your Internet connection to ensure that it’s reliable and fast enough for your uses.
Everything else is optional
Once you’ve got these things in place, almost everything else is optional. As long as you’re able to sit down in front of your computer and communicate with the world, you’re good to go. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest in some bonuses to make your oﬃce a place where you enjoy hanging out though. Spending some money on a nice couch, decent lighting and decorative artwork can really turn your oﬃce into your favorite room!