Optimizing Your Home Office for Productivity and Success | 1099 - Mom
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Optimizing Your Home Office for Productivity and Success

By Dane O’Leary

Office space can make or break your productivity. Especially for those whose home office is their only office, it’s easy to fall behind when your office is cluttered, unorganized, and inefficient. However, there are ways to ensure that your home office is a space that nurtures productivity and success.

Here are some tips and inspiration for optimizing your home office.

Scout a Great Location


You’ll probably be spending quite a bit of time in your office, so don’t resign yourself to the basement — even if it’s finished — or a room that’s small and stifling. Choose a room for your home office that’s reasonably spacious, preferably one that also has plenty of windows and natural light.

The Importance of Illumination


Speaking of windows and light, natural light is probably one of the best commodities you could have in a home office. While overhead ambient lights and lamps can provide plenty of light to work on important tasks, natural light is second to none. It improves mood and mental clarity, plus it will help to keep you from feeling cooped up and confined.

Cottage-style office by Luis Caicedo via HGTV

As for windows, office design experts tend to recommend having as many windows as possible in your office and even positioning your desk adjacent to a window so you’ll have a view of nature and the outdoors. Being near a window tends to boost morale, allowing you to work a little harder for a little longer and making you less likely to get burnt out.

Let Yourself Love the Space


Have you ever noticed how the majority of offices are bland? There’s even a common color used in offices that’s casually referred to as “office beige.” Don’t be afraid to invest in the design of your office. Choose energetic, vibrant colors that you love and a style — traditional, modern, industrial, shabby-chic, etc. — that appeals to you. Let your office space be something you’re proud of, that represents you and that you don’t mind spending a lot of time in.

The Desk and Chair


Your desk and chair are like your office’s galactic center, arguably the most important pieces of the puzzle around which the rest of your home office revolves. When shopping for a desk and chair, take your time to find ones that you love and provide the functionality you need while being consistent with your chosen style. Maybe you prefer a small writing desk, or perhaps you’re partial to a strong executive-style desk; whichever you prefer, make sure it’s worthy of being the centerpiece of your home office. Splurge a little on your desk and chair if you’re able to because they will likely remain in your office even while other components are replaced over time.


It should also be mentioned that your chair should also be comfortable. Again, since you’ll be spending so much time in your office — and, more specifically, sitting at your desk in your chair — you should invest in a chair that is ergonomically correct, supporting your lower back and posture. In short, your chair should be as comfortable and functional as it is attractive.

Organization

Via Home Designing

One of the things most people struggle with is staying organized. You can alleviate this problem by giving yourself plenty of ways to keep your office clear of clutter and make sure you know where all your important things are kept. Shelves of all types — bookshelves and rows of shelves on the walls — are an essential component of your home office and prevent things from piling up on your desk and any other surfaces. It’s not a bad idea to have a file cabinet as well, especially if your work involves maintaining a lot of individual files that can get messed up and become a real nightmare.

Finishing Touches


There are some final components you should consider as you’re pulling your home office together. Having some sort of seating or a “lounge corner” for when you have guests or clients in your office is a great idea; this small area doesn’t have to be elaborate, just an area where you and others can sit that’s away from your desk. This is also a good idea for those times when you’ve been working hard for hours and you need to move around or sit somewhere that’s not at a desk.

Via Home Designing

Technology is also an important piece of your home office. You’ll likely need a computer, a phone if your home office has a landline, perhaps a printer-fax combo, and a label-maker is never a bad idea. Finally, consider some decor and things that give your office visual interest. You don’t need to have an authentic Monet hanging on the wall or otherwise spend a lot of money on your office’s decorate flair, but some level of decor will make you a little more proud of the space and make it easier to spend lengths of time in your home office.

For more design ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.


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Linsey Knerl (the "1099 Mom") is a professional blogger, public speaker, consultant, and mom of 6!
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