5 Simple Tips to Set up Your Ideal Home Office

Thursday February 23, 2017

According to a recent study from the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Online MBC program, 45 percent of U.S. employees work from home, and 53 million individuals work as freelancers. With the continued surge of employees working remote or from home full-time, a home office is slowly evolving into a necessity for the average American worker.

A properly equipped home office allows for increased productivity, concentration and efficiency, and with a few simple tips you can quickly achieve a home office set-up to meet your individual work needs.

With productivity and affordability in mind, every home office should:

Identify Your Individual Needs

Before beginning the process of putting your office together, first consider your individual needs and functionality. Are you an entrepreneur performing all operations out of your own home, or do you work from home occasionally, needing perhaps just a laptop and printer? Do you conduct most of your business on a phone, or are you perhaps a graphic designer who needs additional surface space to work on your art?

Once the needs have been determined, create a list of must-have items for the office, such as a desk, computer, printer, telephone, file cabinets and so on. You are now ready to optimize your workspace for enhanced productivity. 

Position a Desk Accordingly and Provide Adequate Lighting

After identifying where in your home you will house your office, position your desk near the window, parallel to the panes to capitalize on natural lighting. Rather than placing a desk in a potentially dark corner of the room, natural lighting will help fight the “corporate cubical” feel and provide a welcome scenic distraction when needed.

Adequate lighting in the form of lamps and overhead lights are also important for cloudy days or working after sunset. While overhead lights are a good start, lamps serve to offer concentrated lighting to specific work areas and allow you to incorporate some personalized décor. 

Consider Ergonomics

Paying attention to a few ergonomic rules will help improve your efficiency while working. For example, keep the computer screen at eye level or slightly below to reduce eye fatigue, type on the keyboard with forearms parallel to the floor and select a desk chair that will provide comfort and support. Adjust the chair to allow for your feet to rest firmly on a surface, and consider placing a telephone with hands-free capability within easy reach to avoid constant shoulder strain from reaching out for it.

Implement Organization and Storage

An efficient office is one free of clutter that provides the layout and equipment necessary for a smooth workflow. Give everything a place to prevent clutter pileups and make it simple to put things away throughout the day. To help maintain focus and concentration on tasks at hand, desks should be equipped with any materials and files regularly needed to avoid repeatedly getting up.

If your profession involves the accumulation of a lot of documents, invest in file cabinets or bookshelves to keep papers filed accordingly and out of sight to eliminate distracting pileups around the room.

Invest in the Proper Technology

Perhaps most importantly, a home office will not function well without the proper equipment to get the job done, both quickly and efficiently. After identifying what technology your office will need, you must then determine the models and versions that will best fit with your tasks.  

For example, while a printer is a common addition to just about any home office, different models possess different specializations. A graphic designer may need to rely on a printer with quality image capabilities, such as an inkjet printer, while a consultant who may need to spit out lengthy documents with speed may opt for a laser printer.

Local Experts
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