Working from home is incredibly convenient. You save time on your morning commute, you don't have to run out and buy lunch in the middle of the day, and you don't have to waste your energy dealing with office politics. That should translate to more work getting done during the day, but it can be tough to shut out all the distractions of home. Pets, kids, neighborhood noise, and easy access to entertainment can all lead to decreased productivity at home. A good home office will help you shut out the distractions and increase your productivity. Take a look at some tips for furnishing a home office that will maximize your workflow.
Purchase Furniture With Ergonomics in Mind
You're going to be spending most of your time at your desk, so it's best to make certain that your office furniture is comfortable and good for your health. A desk that's too tall can cause you to put too much strain on your wrists when you write and type. A chair that's not designed for long periods of sitting can hurt your back.
Choose a chair that's ergonomically designed, comfortable to sit in, and adjustable. Consider investing in an adjustable-height desk so that you don't have to sit all day if you don't want to – you can raise the height of the desk and work standing up as well. Standing desks increase productivity by increasing your energy level – standing at work helps you keep your energy levels stable, which allows you to avoid those after lunch slumps. Standing while you work also creates a sense of urgency, which can help you shut out distractions and focus more effectively.
Use Your Space Wisely
Not everyone has a large empty room to use for an office. If your home office doubles as a bedroom or a living room, you may not have the space for new bookshelves and file cabinets next to your desk and chair.
Look for floating shelves that can be hung on the wall to get papers and books off your desk and out of the way, but keep them accessible when you need them so that you don't have to waste time hunting for documents when you should be working. Some pieces of furniture can do double duty. A nightstand or side table can function as a printer stand – these usually come with a drawer you can use to store additional paper and ink – and you can always move the printer after working hours if you're having company and want the room to look less like an office.
Separate Your Office
Another drawback of having an office in a room that serves a dual purpose is that you may need to work while other people in the house are using that room. It can help to find a way to separate the part of the room you're using to work in from the rest of the room.
A simple room divider can do the job nicely. Consider a Shoji screen – a wooden framed folding screen covered in rice paper. These are lightweight and foldable, so they're easy to set up at the beginning of the day and put away at night. The Japanese-style room dividers are also aesthetically pleasing, which can help you feel more relaxed and less like you're trapped in a cubicle. Blocking out the sight of other people in the house moving around can keep you from feeling distracted, and it also sends a clear message – when the room divider is up, you're working and shouldn't be disturbed.
Shopping for home office furniture is fun when you know what you need to make your home workspace productive. You may be surprised at how easy it is to create an office that allows you to excel at your job.