If you’re lucky enough to be in a profession that doesn’t necessarily dictate a 9-5 office environment, you can likely work from virtually anywhere. Of course, it’s at your headquarters that you’ll always be most productive, and this is probably going to be your home. There are quite a few reasons why you shouldn’t work from your couch that I’ll get into, and if you are aware of this, you probably already either have a home office, or at least an idea of what it should look like. For those who want to come up with a home office or improve an existing one, I’ve rounded up four ingredients for a sweet at-home workspace.
An actual office
As promised, let’s address the ’whys’ of a need for an actual office space. No matter how outgoing and focused you are by nature, quality work requires proper isolation, i.e. a door. Even if you live alone, you’ll still need a space where all your work-related stuff is; once a deadline starts getting closer and closer, for instance, running around your place trying to dig out that essential document or tool is the last thing that you’ll need. Focus, productivity and a professional vibe are the three pillars of work and you won’t be able to achieve any of these without a properly isolated home office space.
High-speed internet access
For those of you who don’t use the internet for home-based work, I salute you; you may skip this part. The rest of us, though, likely use the powers of the internet for an immense portion of our work. Even if you’re into handicrafts, you’ll want to use social media in order to raise awareness of your brand, so don’t think for a second that a high-speed connection is something that you can take care of on the fly.
A long-range Wi-Fi is definitely your best bet here – even if you spend the majority of your work time in-home-office, you’ll want an occasional change of scenery every now and then, and this is one of the main benefits of working from home.
Table and chair
Nope, you can’t just put your things wherever you see fit in the moment, even within the confines of your home office; believe me, I’ve tried it, it’s not going to work. Whatever you do, you’re probably going to need quick access to a wide variety of items, so a quality and spacious office desk, with large drawers and keyboard and mouse trays is essential.
The same goes for your office chair – you will probably be spending the majority of your worktime here, which means that not having a comfortable, functional office chair is simply out of the question!
Some people are night owls – they’re most productive during nighttime; I, on the other hand, definitely get the majority of my work done in broad daylight. No matter what category you are in, one thing is for sure – working in a badly lit room is a nightmare.
First of all, you need to do everything that’s in your power to make the most of daylight, and installing skylights is probably going to be your best bet here, unless you’re fortunate enough to have a huge window turned towards the right side.
Once the sun sets and you turn your office lights on, however, the last thing you’ll want is to find yourself in is a poorly illuminated room. I suggest that you go with LED lights here – I did, and I am perfectly happy. Regardless of whether they pay off in the long run or not, think of the LEDs as a business investment. And yep, they are worth the money!
You need to come to terms with the fact that you’ll need an actual home office if you want to live a happy home office life. Think about your internet access needs, make it as convenient as possible, and make your office desk and chair situation as comfortable as possible. Finally, take care of all your light needs, during daylight and come nighttime.