The beauty of being able to work at home is that you can achieve maximum productivity with minimum time; do a great job, but do it on your own terms.
Having a home office means no commute, a flexible schedule, and the freedom of being your own boss. But it also means no support in staying on top of everything. From piles of paperwork to time management systems, what you do in your home office will only be as profitable as you are organized.
Whether you’ve been working at home for awhile or are just getting ready to start, use these simple strategies to organize your home office for success.
Customized Comfort Zone
Sit in front of your desk and put your arms straight out to the sides. Now spin in a circle. Notice the area that you can reach? That’s the area I want to talk about first.
At a minimum, you should have found your desktop and computer within this circle. The key is to make sure that nothing unnecessary is cluttering this space, and that everything you need to stay productive can be reached without getting out of your chair.
Being able to sit in a position that keeps your body both comfortable and alert will go a long way toward determining how much you really get done in your home office. You should be able to adjust your chair so that your feet rest easily on the floor and your monitor is slightly above eye level. Make sure you can reach the keyboard without slouching, or bending your elbows at a sharp angle.
Tips For Buying Your Desk Online
When buying your desk online, be sure to check actual dimensions and read reviews to ensure that the model you’re interested in can accommodate your specific needs. Depending on your height and working style, you may want to look for a desk with a raised monitor shelf, sliding keyboard tray or generous leg room.
Here are some office desk ideas:
- for an L shaped desk with retractable keyboard see the Bush Saratoga Executive desk
- for a desk with masses of leg room see the Mayline Straight desk
- for a desk with a raised monitor shelf see the Bush Tacoma Corner Computer Desk
- for modern desks click here
- for traditional desks click here
Buying Your Office Chair
Having decided on the ideal desk, turn your attention to your chair. Investing in a chair can be adjusted to the right height, allows you to pull comfortably close to your desk, and includes back support will help you stay focused while you work. Although it can be tempting to spend little or no money, please resist the urge to use the spare dining room chair. Whether you lean toward modern mesh back designs or classic executive style, you can find ergonomic options that will really make a difference in your comfort and productivity.
Hands On Organization
Now that we’ve covered your comfort, let’s talk about your basic tools for success.
Make a list of the physical equipment and supplies that you need to put your hands on during a typical work day. Consider keeping a written log for a few days; even marking how many times you have to reach for each item. Your list may include supplies as simple as a stapler, paperclips and printer as well as frequently accessed reference material, your phone, or more specialized office equipment.
Ideally, this list will be as short as possible. Don’t clutter it with things that you really don’t use often, but do include anything that will keep you on task if it’s close at hand.
Although some items may require desktop space (like the phone), look for storage solutions that will allow you to keep your work surface as clear as possible while still allowing you to grab what you need without getting out of your seat.
Look for desks that include built in storage: drawers sized for hanging-files or supplies, desktop cubbies and under-desk shelves. If your desk of choice doesn’t meet all your storage needs, consider file cabinets, supply caddies and bookshelves placed within easy reach, including wheeled versions that fit under the desk.
Inner Space Program
Your home office design will have some practical limitations based on the layout of your home, but with a little research you’ll be able to find the best furnishings and accessories to set up a work space that really suits your needs.
You may have the option of dedicating an entire room as your home office, in which case budget and creativity are your only limitations. However, don’t let the bounty of space lure you into setting up an office that doesn’t support your needs. You’ll still want to focus on creating an efficient work space which will allow you to keep your attention on your priorities while you work.
If you’ll be meeting with clients in your home office, make sure that your choice of desk and complementary office furniture create the effect that you want. Whether it’s a classic, traditional look or contemporary high-tech, make sure that you create an intentional impression that supports the image you want for your business. A bit of online research before you buy will give you a variety of quality options to choose from.
If you’re forced to squeeze your office into a shared-use room, don’t feel that you have to settle for less functionality and storage than you need. You can still use well designed furniture, partitions and accessories to carve out a truly useable space.
A desk like the DMi computer armoire can provide a dedicated work area that includes storage for office supplies, but seamlessly blends into the decor when the doors are closed. You may also consider a compact space-saving corner design to take up the minimum amount of floor space but still provide built-in storage and ample desktop work area.
Home office organization success strategies lie (literally) within your reach. Investing the time to determine your needs, then researching what’s available within your budget will not only allow you to find the furniture and accessories that are right for you, but also in the long term bolster your bottom line.