Whether you want a quiet space to read or you sometimes work from home, here are four tips to help transform your home office into a professional haven:
A home office can be more than just a bedroom with a desk shoved in the corner. To help you stay on task while hard at work, consider making the room feel separate from the rest of your home, says HGTV. Make sure you’re thinking of a location that is suitable to your working style. You may also want to remove any distractions, like spare TVs, and put them in your basement or family room, so you can focus on your work.
You may want to build your office in a room that gets a good amount of natural light, or invest in some quality lamps. You can also paint the room a bright color to help you stay alert and focused, adds HGTV.
Staying organized and helping prevent your office from turning into a catch-all room is a top priority, so try splitting it into distinct parts. For example, you can have a workstation, recharging zone and reference area. Your workstation may contain your desk, computer, phone and a comfy office chair. Across the room, you may want to have a recliner or couch that you may use to help get away from the computer and relax for a minute or two. Along another wall, you may want to install a bookcase or shelves to hold all of your books, reference materials and work files.
If you work from your home office regularly, it may be a good idea to set some hours for your workday — say, from 9 to 5. Working set hours may help keep you from hitting the couch for an afternoon snooze or taking a 3-hour lunch. You may also want to create some rules for your family’s use of the office. For example, if you leave the office door open, it can be a signal to your family that you are welcome to come talk to you, but a closed door may mean you’re on a client call or doing something else that shouldn’t be interrupted unless there’s an emergency.
Having a dedicated space to get work done can be great for some work-life balance. Hopefully, these tips have inspired you to start creating the home office for your needs.
Originally published February 2, 2012.