As a home-based entrepreneur, your office is the place where you spend most of your time and perhaps more importantly where you get most of your work done. Still, given this, most entrepreneurs neglect even to consider upgrading or improving their home office space past the basics minimums of a chair, desk and computer. While large corporations spend billions each year on furniture, design and much more to give their employees the best and most productive working environment possible.
What most entrepreneurs fail to realise is how important having a good home office environment is to being productive. Remember the fact that as a home-based entrepreneur or freelancer your primary resource is you, making sure this resource is well-taken care should be a key priority.
You need a distraction-free space where you can be at your best and most productive to maximise your work output. This is no small feet but here are 10 ways you can start to make your home office the ultimate productive space.
Dedicate a space to work and nothing else
Often home office space is mixed with private space or is covered with items from your private life. This adds a blur between your work and private life and can put you in a much less productive mindset. To avoid this issue, make sure you have a separate room or at the very least distinct space for your office space, also clear out any ordinary household objects and dedicate the space purely to work. This way you will have a clear distinction between your home and office life.
Maximise natural light
Human beings need natural light to see clearly but also to stay alive, having a source of natural light is critical to your health, motivation, mood and productivity. To make sure you are getting enough natural light start by placing your desk within the light field in the room you’re working from.
If you want to continually ensure you are getting the most natural light you can without receiving direct sunlight from side windows you should invest in a skylight and in the process you will get an added level of privacy and reduce distractions.
Make sure your desk is at the right height
It sounds like a small thing but making sure your desk is at the right height is critical to your posture, health and efficiency. This is something people rarely review and just end up accepting the height of whatever desks they have bought.
To fix this, you need to make some measurements by taking into account the height of your chair and then bring your desk to the right height for your sitting down position. This can be done with a hacksaw or by adding books underneath the legs, or if you have got a limitless budget you can also get a new adaptable desk that changes height at the flick of a switch.
Get an ergonomic office chair
When it comes to office chairs most of the ones you’re going to see look great but in practice, they’re not ergonomically designed to support you sitting and working for long periods of time. When buying a chair make sure you’re getting back support, the height is adjustable, the fabric is breathable (please no leather!) and that the chair can support your weight adequately.
Commonly office chairs can take between 110 and 130 kg, check each one for details. On a final note avoid the high-backed executive office chair with cushioning, these are not ergonomic and were designed for boardrooms.
Invest in Feng Shui or good design
Whether you believe in Feng Shui or something maybe more based on science, it’s good practice to look at the placement and distribution of furniture and equipment in your home office. As odd as it sounds this can be one of the most significant factors affecting productivity. It is worth taking some time and reviewing your office design.
Get the right stationery
Getting yourself set up with good business stationary is critical, especially if you write a lot you are going to want reliable and comfortable pens at a minimum. You should also look at getting a fast and dependable printer coupled with a suitable mouse pad.
Create a thinking space
Within your home workspace or broader home, it is a good idea to create an area where you can think, putting a bean bag in this space also doesn’t hurt! This space should be used for contemplation, meditation and problem solving.
Avoid placing technology in this area, the purpose of the space is to give you a distraction-free space where you can think, contemplate and solve problems in an environment conducive to how the brain most efficiently does this.
Get arm support in place
Appropriate wrist and elbow support are very important if you’re typing all day, the overall strain on your arm is significant. To solve this issue, you should find an appropriate gel based wrist and elbow support device, make sure the material is comfortable and the gel offers enough support before buying (or read lots of Amazon reviews).
Buy a standing work area
One of the worst health impacts of a home office is sitting at a desk all day, the majority of the time not moving. Aside from being terrible for your health, this also severely affects your ability to concentrate and stay awake, thus affecting productivity.
In reality, you’re not going to stand all day working but having a standing work area is a great way to make sure you are not sitting down the entire day and to re-energise yourself and gain focus. Standing desks have also become far more affordable than they used to be (even better, if you have an unlimited budget, get an electric adjustable height desk to fulfill both sitting and standing roles).
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A final thought on home office productivity
Having a work environment that enables you to be productive is critical to your success as an entrepreneur or freelancer but it’s often an area many will overlook. Don’t make the same mistake and invest in making yourself productive!