Do you dream of a pretty pink or Man Cave home office? Not only a stylish home office, but one where you feel motivated, focused and ready to get work done? It makes sense to outfit your new workspace on a budget, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, when no one is sure what the future holds.
You don’t have to spend a fortune setting up your home office, nor do you necessarily require an entirely separate room in your house to do your work — though that’s a helpful way to avoid some of the unforeseen challenges of working from home.
A motivating workspace is important to keep productive and avoiding distractions, whether you’re blogging or earning money from home. Some of us can work anywhere. If we’ve got our laptop and a comfy chair, we’re set. I know that a mobile office doesn’t work for everyone, especially not for me!
To get some inspiration, have a look at Pinterest, Houzz or Google images for some home office ideas. Once you’ve uncovered your office inspiration, you’ll know which of the ideas to mimic.
Take a look at your household budget first to see how much you can put aside for your home office, then make a list of what you will need. Ensure that you have the correct measurements for the room you want to decorate and that the colour you see is the colour you really want.
Remember this, you can:
- Buy Used or Get Free-A used desk or office chair can be just as sturdy as a new one. In some cases, older furniture is better quality than the stuff made today.
- Ask Around. Your friends or family can be a good source of cheap or free office furniture or equipment. Ask them to see if they’ve got anything on your list they’re looking to part with.
- Choose Energy-Efficient Products. Shop with energy efficiency in mind, to save money on your electronic purchases and to save money over the life of the product. Some printers are reasonably priced to buy, but the ink is quite expensive.
You don’t want to set up your office in the lounge/living area if that’s where the people in your home spend most of their time. You’ll want to use a room that has enough space, receives plenty of sunlight and is out of the way from high-traffic areas. Sometimes that means converting your garage or another spare room into an office space. If you have a huge space, you can divide it and put your office near the wall in a far corner.
Ensure that there is a plug point nearby for you to plug in your laptop, printer and other electronic gadgets that you need. Nothing slows down productivity like a space that’s messy and doesn’t feel comfortable. For safety purposes, don’t have cables running across the floor. Tuck your cables and wires away behind your desk and around the walls. You can use cable ties or cable zips to keep the cables neat and from tangling.
An important aspect of any office is access to sunlight. Sunlight improves your body’s vitamin D levels, improves your mood and creativity which directly relate to happiness levels. Sunlight also maintains your body’s circadian rhythm keeping you feeling awake.
**Tip-Having poor lighting in your office can make you look unprofessional on video calls. If there is a window in your video background or a large source of light, the video lens will focus on that and make you look dark. It’s a best practice to have a light shining in front of you and behind the camera.
A desk: Make sure you have enough space to work at your desk. There should be plenty of room for your computer and any other materials you’ll need throughout the day. If you prefer, you can get a standing desk, which can be used to either sit or stand at. A standing desk can reduce back pain, reduce weight gain, blood sugar levels and the risk of heart disease.
A chair: When choosing a desk chair, look for one with adjustable height and depth, lumbar support, a backrest and enough cushioning. Your chair should be comfortable and the appropriate height for your workspace
Book shelf and/or file cabinets: Decide if one or both of these storage systems work for you, depending on your available space and how many books and papers you have.
Technology needed for work: This includes a laptop or desktop computer, high-speed internet, a printer, video call equipment and perhaps a dedicated phone line, in that way, your boss or clients don’t have to call your personal mobile phone or home phone to reach you.
Are there phrases or quotes you find inspiring or motivating? Making or buying your own art instantly upgrades your office. Calendars are also great, because they offer the advantage of extra artwork to dress up your space along with a useful planning tool. If you have children, using their art to decorate the space will be a constant reminder of WHY you want to work at home and who you are working for! The colors in our environment affect our focus, energy, and productivity.