How to set up your home office
Many of us have fallen in love with working from home over the last few years: the 5-second commute, attending 'meetings' in your track pants, no one stealing your snacks from the office fridge. The benefits are numerous.
There is a catch though! Working from home can be difficult if you don't have the right space. Somewhere you can focus and avoid unnecessary interruptions. Somewhere you can actually hear yourself think.
Working in bed seems like a great idea to start with but it only 'works' for so long!
Now is the perfect time to consider how you can create a productive home office zone. Working from home, even for just a day or two a week is a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint and to spend more time with loved ones, rather than sitting in traffic. Here's how to create a zen-den productivity sanctuary.
1. Choose your location.
If you don't have a spare room in the house, the easiest place to create a home office might be in the garage. Other space-saving options are to convert a wardrobe into an office nook or install a shelf somewhere in your home at stand-up desk height that is deep enough to hold your laptop. In bigger spaces, consider adding a room divider to let family know it's work time and you need to focus.
If you are tight for space inside, you could consider adding a cabin outside your home.
2. Invest in carpet
One of the benefits of working from home is going to work in your socks (or bare feet). Nothing makes more of an impact on your daily comfort than floor coverings. If you would rather keep costs down, then secure a large rug instead. Purpose-made garage carpet is a great way to cost-effectively add value to your home by turning a concrete box into a 'multi-purpose room'.
3. Add mirrors
A home office can often be relegated to the coldest, darkest room of the house. The quickest way to lighten up a dark room is to add mirrors, which bounce light around and make any space feel bigger. Tall, skinny mirrors are best as they fit in those tight gaps between doors and cupboards where you wouldn't usually place a print or heater.
4. Bring in the plants
No zen-den would be complete without plants. Real greenery only, please. Ask your local garden centre what style will be sturdy enough to survive in your particular space. Plants clean the air which is important since you could be spending a lot of time in this room. If your room is small, try hanging one from a hook on the ceiling to save floor space. For an added bonus, place your plant next to a mirror. Now you have two plants!
5. Add some luxury - mini-fridge, music & a kettle
Do you know what's cooler than being 10 metres from your fridge?
Being 1 metre from your fridge.
You've got a home office now. You need to have something indulgent. Try filling your mini-fridge with healthy snacks like chia pudding or bircher muesli to keep you going during the day. The kettle is a critical piece of kit too. This will help you avoid any interruptions that might occur if you were to tempt fate and venture out of your zen-den to refill your cup of tea.
Bonus tip: Add a Bluetooth speaker. Many people find they are more productive with music playing in the background. Another benefit of working from home is that you get to pick the playlist!
6. Tidy your office every night
If you only have one rule for your home office, make it this one:
Always end the day by tidying your desk.
This will greatly increase your chances of starting each day in a positive frame of mind. Waking up to a messy desk is like having some nasty driver beep at you while driving to work. It's a bad way to start the day.