Is commuting set to join pagers, PalmPilots and faxes in the annals of office history? Maybe so. According to a 2014 survey at the Global Leadership Summit in London, 34% of business leaders felt that over half of their workforce will be working at home come 2020.
Working at home can be a smart move for your career and an invigorating change of lifestyle. As your morning commute vanishes, you can regain control over your day-to-day routine. This is also a rare opportunity to work in your dream environment, creating a calm, clean and efficient home office.
Here are seven simple steps that will help you create a productive yet personalised home office.
1. Separate your living and working spaces
When working at home, it’s vital that there's a clear divide between work and play. Designate an entirely independent working space for yourself, away from the distractions of everyday life. Ideally this space should be in a quiet corner of your home, where family members won’t regularly wander through.
2. Declutter your home office
A clear space is essential for efficiency when working at home. This means taking a hard line on clutter. Invest in items that can help with your home organisation, such as box files, ring binders and perhaps a stylish leather desk pad to avoid garish post-it notes or endless memo pads.
3. Get artistic
Working at home gives you the opportunity to craft your own productive space, so make the most of this chance to decorate entirely to your preference. Experiment with hanging different pieces of art and repaint to liven up tired and bare walls. This room only needs to put a smile on one person's face, so focus on home office furniture that pleases you.
4. Embrace natural light
Lighting is an important consideration for any room in your home, especially your home office. Most work involves intense periods of looking at a screen or a page, so bright natural lighting stops you straining your eyes too. Make sure your home office has plenty of natural light during the daytime, and add a few table lamps to add a warm glow on darker days or during evening work sessions.
5. Bring nature indoors
House plants are an easy way to bring in some colour and a fresh feel into your home office. Choose your office plants wisely by opting for shade-loving species and avoiding types that require a lot of maintenance.
6. Store some healthy snacks
Hunger can provide an excellent excuse for a distracting trip to the kitchen. Set aside a drawer or a cupboard in your office for healthy snacks like nuts and dried fruits. This way you can keep going without unnecessary interruptions to your workflow.
7. Keep it clean
The occasional big clean is always a good thing, but it’s just the beginning when it comes to healthy space management. Try to keep your working environment clean as you go to keep your work haven free of distractions. It might not sound attractive, but setting aside some time to clean up your office at the end of the day means you can start each morning with a clean slate.