Whether you are working for a company that allows you to telecommute or running your own business, having a productive home office is important. Working from home can free employees and business owners from the drudgery of the daily commute, reduce their overhead costs and possibly even lower their taxes. When set up properly, a home office can also boost productivity and help people get more done.
Unfortunately, many home offices are not set up for maximum productivity. In all too many home offices, chaos reigns, with toys and game consoles strewn about, and spouses and children constantly barging in. If your home office is a place of constant struggle instead of an oasis of productivity, it is time to make some changes.
Here are some tips you can start using today to make your home office more productive and less stressful.
1. Invest in a good door — and a “Do Not Disturb” sign. Simply keeping the door to your home office closed when you are working can help a lot. If your spouse and children need an extra hint, hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign up and get back to work.
2. Do a daily sweep of your office for potential distractions. TV sets, game consoles and the like do not belong in your home office.
3. Set regular office hours if you can. Establishing a routine makes it easier for everyone in the household to adjust to your working from home.
4. Invest in the best office chair you can afford. You will be spending a lot of time there.
5. Buy the fastest computer you can afford and keep it updated with the latest software patches and antivirus signatures. You will spend less time fixing your PC and more time working.
6. Make sure everything is within easy reach. From the telephone and the computer to the lamp above your desk, make sure the items you use most are kept within arm’s length.
7. Keep a pen and a notepad with you at all times. Be ready to jot down all the great ideas that pop into your mind.
8. Declutter your home office regularly. Set a few minutes aside each day to clear away the detritus and remove the clutter from your office. Regularly shred sensitive documents as opposed to letting them pile up for months. We are loving the 20-minute run time of our Fellowes 79Ci. The 100 jam-proof system and heavy-duty cross-cut blades can handle up to 16 sheets at a time. With that pile of paper and junk mail out of the way you will be more productive — and happier too. You can even get the kids involved. The SafeSense® Technology stops the shredder if hands touch the paper opening. You can pick up the 79Ci at Amazon and office supply superstores for $239.99.
9. Use music to set the mood. Crank up your favorite tunes and use them as background music for your day. Many home workers prefer up-tempo music, but play whatever makes you feel good.
10. Get out of your office once in a while. Nothing kills productivity like sitting in front of a computer terminal all day. No matter how busy your job, take a few minutes to stretch and maybe even take a walk. Even if you just walk around the house for a couple minutes, the break will energize and refresh you.