A lot of entrepreneurs work from home these days - but is your home office built for optimal comfort and productivity
? A couple weeks ago I wrote an article on ways to boost productivity while working from home, but that was assuming you already had a fully functional home work space.
If you're still working from the kitchen table and thinking about building a serious home office, here are 5 tips that will help you get started:
1. Keep It Simple
You don't have to build a mini Googleplex
in your house to be productive. It's okay to keep things simple. Computer, good-size monitor, fast Internet, desk, comfortable chair, phone, proper lighting and a filing system for paperwork. Depending on your needs, you may also require a fax machine, printer and copier, but you can save space and money by grabbing an all-in-one machine that fills all these needs.
2. Invest in Organization
Look at the picture above. Don't do that. Keep all your paperwork organized and nearby so you don't have to waste time
looking for a specific document. Invest in anything that keeps you organized, like a proper filing system if you have a bunch of papers. If you work primarily online (like most of us I'm sure), you may be surprised that the size of your monitor can be considered a key to your ability to stay organized and productive. Think of the size of your monitor as the size of your desk - it's easier to work when you're not constantly opening and closing windows, so give yourself some room to work.
3. Pretend You're an Interior Designer
Whether you have a dedicated room for your home office or you're in a corner of the living room, it's important that your areas are harmonized. You don't have to go all Debbie Travis on the place, but having a consistent décor and color palette throughout your office space and home will help you feel more comfortable in both work mode, and when you're off the clock. The last thing you want is to be stressed out by the sight of your home office on your day off.
4. Good Chair & Good Lighting
It's extremely important to choose a comfortable and ergonomic chair. If your butt is sore after a couple hours, you have to make an upgrade. Lighting is equally important, and especially if you're staring at a monitor all day. Keeping your work station ergonomic will not only make you more comfortable and productive during the day, it will help knock back some potential long-term health problems that may otherwise occur.
5. Inject Your Personality
You're working from home, so you don't have an office manager to answer to - unless you have an opinionated partner, that is. You're allowed to have a little fun. Hang up your favorite motivational poster
. Put some family photos on the wall. Download an inspiring desktop background
. Perhaps a beer fridge. As long as you stay in line with the rest of this advice, spicing up your work space will act as a mood-booster rather than distracting you. All Shopify employees are encouraged to do the same with their workspace. By the way, we're hiring