There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.
Wouldn't it be great if you could get all of your work done from the comfort of your own home?
Working from home is an ideal way to have the freedom to be your own boss.
That said, setting up a home office requires a significant change if you're used to working in a formal office setting. It takes a bit of planning and a bit of effort to make sure this space maximizes your efficiency and productivity.
In this article, I'll go over the best home office setup and 18 items that should be included in your work area.
(Side note: One of the best ways to get what you want from life is to create and set SMART goals. To get started, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.)
What You Will Learn
- The Best Home Office Setup (and the Danger of Distractions)
- What You Need to Understand Before Designing Your Home Office
- Should You Personalize Your Office?
- How to Set Up Your Home Office
- 1. Natural Lighting
- 2. High-Speed Internet Access
- 3. Network Router
- 4. Surge Protector
- 5. Printer/Scanner or Multipurpose Machine
- 6. Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
- 7. Desk
- 8. Clear Workspace
- 9. Ergonomic Chair
- 10. Adequate Lighting
- 11. Telephone and/or VoIP
- 12. Filing Cabinet
- 13. File Folders and Hanging Folders
- 14. Storage
- 15. Greenery
- 16. Fire-Safe Box
- 17. Paper Shredder
- 18. Set Boundaries
- 10 Tips to Maximize Your Home Office Setup
The Best Home Office Setup (and the Danger of Distractions)
Working from home is enticing because it gives you an opportunity to set up your office to be as comfortable and efficient as you desire. But it can also be a challenge due to the number of distractions that are unique to the home environment.
You should consider how to effectively set up a home office to avoid the temptation to start a quick load of laundry or catch up on that episode you missed last night. Sometimes, when I work from home without creating a proper environment, I'm not very productive.
It is just too easy to get distracted!
To help minimize distractions, and ensure peak efficiency, here is the ultimate home office setup guide for productivity.
What You Need to Understand Before Designing Your Home Office
Let's jump right in. You need to ask yourself several questions before planning your home office. Here are a few:
Do you want a fancy office?
If you want your home office to be fancy enough to be showcased in a magazine, it may be best to hire a professional to design it for you. This will cost money, between the fees of the professional and the decor they suggest.
This guide is for a more generic home office design, geared towards things you can do yourself. We are really just looking for an effective home office where you can be as productive as possible.
We want our office to be about getting things done, not about getting on the cover of “Home and Garden. “
Do you want bells and whistles?
This home office design guide covers the basics of home office decor. If you want to come up with some creative and personalized office ideas, keeping a board on Pinterest may give you some inspiration.
On Pinterest, you may find all sorts of inspirations. Such as ways to use corkboard. Ideas on organizing from dollar stores and quite a bit more. If you want to find some cool organization ideas, check out some home & office organization boards on Pinterest.
This might help you add some fun and functionality to your home office, but in this post, we are just concerned about covering the basics of home office setup with an eye on increased productivity.
Does color matter?
Yes!! According to Harrington College of Design, the colors surrounding you can impact your mood. The psychological impact that color has on you should be considered when choosing a palette. When chosen with purpose, the color of the walls in your home office can enhance productivity.
Freshome.com says that green is considered the most relaxing color for your eyes. While green encourages the unwinding of the mind, it is also warm enough to promote comfort.
Green also has a calming effect that is believed to relieve stress. This is a great option for a home office because having excess stress can strain your work. A soothing atmosphere will help you concentrate. However, we will focus more on the functionality of your office than finding attractive attributes.
What if office space is severely limited?
Have you ever heard the saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place?” If you can carefully think through what kind of storage you need, you will be able to create the necessary space.
The chances are that you will likely spend the most time at your desk, so it is crucial to keep your desk organized to stay productive. The last thing you want is to be spending time searching for a missing piece of paper among the mass of disorganized piles on your desk.
Studies have shown that, on average, workers spend a week each year looking for misplaced papers or items. Your desk surface should support your computer and work-related items. Some solutions are simple, such as having a cup to keep all of your pens together and a folder or tray for papers.
If you like to keep pictures or other display items on your desk, hang them on the wall instead. This will leave your desk space for only work-related items.
The challenge is to find the most efficient design with your flow of work. If you often need quick access to files, make your filing cabinets the legs of your desk.
Here is a great tutorial on making your own desk with filing cabinets built-in.
A bare wall is a valuable asset if you're short on space. Consider buying floating shelves or even corner shelves that will not take up any floor space. Again, consider your flow of work and how often you would need to access your shelves to determine where they should be placed. In other words, position anything you use the most within reach, while things you rarely need can be stored away.
Additionally, make sure to build up rather than out. Use all of your wall space from the floor to the ceiling, even if you need a step-stool to grab something occasionally. Another very important thing is to make use of your corners. A corner bookshelf is a great space-saving storage idea.
Finally, keep a paper shredder under your desk. This way, you won't have confidential papers piling up until you dispose of them properly. Clean up as you go with a shredder that is within reach of your desk chair.
Should You Personalize Your Office?
Because you spend so many waking hours in your office, it is no surprise that you want to personalize the space. To do this, you can use things that mean something to you, such as family pictures, drawings, art, and keepsakes. This will help claim the space in the house just for you, so you feel a sense of ownership over your workspace.
So, while your childhood trophies may not be on my list of decorations, display them if they are important to you. Allow your workspace to tell your story with little touches of what reminds you of inspiring and uplifting things in your life.
While your workspace creates the perfect opportunity to reflect your personality and creativity, extreme personalization can decrease productivity. Primarily, these items will add clutter to your desk and its surroundings.
According to Entrepreneur.com, keeping your work environment free from clutter helps you think more clearly, which will produce better results. Clutter quickly accumulates over time, so the fewer unnecessary items in your office, the better.
Personalized items may even become a distraction to your work by encouraging you to reminisce about a fun vacation or think about your summer plans for a while when you should be working. I think it is best to have a few personal items in your home office to make it comfortable for you, but don't overdo it.
How to Set Up Your Home Office
The trick to being an efficient worker at home is having a comfortable and productive home office. That's why I recommend the following 18 items as part of your perfect home office setup.
1. Natural Lighting
Make sure that you have access to natural lighting in your office. One of the best ways to do this while also saving space is to put your desk in front of a window. Studies have shown that having exposure to natural light has a wide range of health benefits, including increased productivity.
For instance, natural light helps constrict your pupils, which benefits the function and reading ability of your eyes. Our eyes are not meant to function with artificial light but rather under full-spectrum lighting. Exposure to natural light will help boost your productivity and improve your vision.
But wait, there's more. Working in a naturally lit environment will trigger critical signals in your endocrine system to help manage sleep, moods, and immune system.
According to a study done by researchers at the interdepartmental neuroscience program at Northwestern University, there is a strong correlation between daylight exposure in the workplace and your quality of sleep, mental health, visual acuity, productivity, and physical health.
Don't have access to natural lighting? Here are our recommendations for the best home office lighting. Remember, you don't want flickering when it comes to task lighting, or your workspace won't be as happy, healthy, or as productive as you want.
Our Home Office Lighting Recommendations:
If your home office does not have a window or other access to natural lighting, consider investing in full-spectrum bulbs. While these bulbs are more expensive than a typical light bulb, they provide a crisp, bright white light ideal for reading and doing work that requires visual accuracy. These bulbs have the same balanced temperature as natural daylight, providing you with most of the benefits of natural light.
Nothing is as healthy as having access to natural lighting, but these bulbs are about as close as you can come to “unnatural” natural lighting. Good task lighting can completely transform your office space, and an amazing lamp can make a statement.
The Philips Hue Starter Kit is another great option and comes with everything you need to get the best home office lighting. Bonus? This kit works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and the newer version of the Apple HomeKit.
2. High-Speed Internet Access
We've all been there. You are trying to get work done, and your brain is working faster than your computer is. This lag in time can not only slow you down but also offers you an opportunity to be distracted by other things.
A recent poll in Australia confirms that the primary cause of employee frustration is slow internet. A slow internet connection is frustrating, but it will also hinder your productivity. While you wait for attachments to download, files to transfer, or web pages to load, you could be getting work done.
One study revealed that, on average, workers waste a full week each year waiting on their internet connection to respond. One week wasted on looking for missing papers and a second week wasted waiting for your computer to load—that is an entire year's worth of vacation!
3. Network Router
Having a network router is necessary if you have more than one computer or laptop that you use around the house.
According to PCMag, with today's connection of home products, including smart TVs, mobile devices, and laptops, it is critical to outfit your home office with a network router to handle your demand for Wi-Fi connectivity.
When shopping for a network router, consider the size of the area where you need coverage and the kinds of devices connected to the router. You may not necessarily need a network router that offers the highest performance, and you shouldn't pay for features that you won't use.
However, if you have multiple family members using the bandwidth to stream videos or play games online, having a new router can help with your work productivity.
Our Network Router Recommendations:
The NETGEAR N750 Dual Band 4-Port Router is a mid-range router that helps improve the Wi-Fi range for a medium home while providing good internet speed for several devices at once.
The TP-Link AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router is a dual-band router that reduces buffering and upgrades to 1750 Mbps of high-speed internet. It provides fast access to multiple connected wired devices.
4. Surge Protector
Believe it or not, The National Institute of Standards and Technology reports that regardless of where you live, your house will experience power surges. While power surges are brief, they are considered the most destructive kind of electrical power disturbance.
A brief spike in voltage can harm your appliances' electronic circuit board and other electrical components at home.
Even small, repeated power surges can slowly damage your equipment. Although a few small surges may go unnoticed, the integrity of your computer and its components will be compromised and eventually stop working.
To protect yourself from this, a surge protector will help keep your computer equipment safe from voltage spikes.
The Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip is a12-outlet surge protector that has eight rotating outlets, so it is ideal if you have devices located in various places around the room. It helps provide both convenience and flexibility to your home office.
The Philips 6-Outlet Extendor Surge Protector is designed to turn two grounded AC outlets into six, so you can power all the electronics you need in your home office.
5. Printer/Scanner or Multipurpose Machine
Even though we live in a predominantly paperless world, having the option to print and scan at home is a large part of being productive. Before I got my printer, I knew that there was always that “one thing” I needed to run out to print at the library or scan into an email.
While the cost of buying a machine seemed high when I could get around these hurdles for free, it would end up costing me so much time not having access to these machines at home.
Our Top Printer/Scanner Recommendations:
If you need the option to fax, the Canon Office and Business MX922 might be right for you. This printer is wireless, so it allows you to print from wherever you are and from any application that you're using. It also lets you share your printer with anyone that you choose.
Two other wireless machines, HP OfficeJet 4650 and HP Envy 4520 are cost-friendly options that might be better for your needs. While they still have multiple functions, they do not have the option to fax, which is something you may not need anyway.
If you want to save desk space, look into getting a CamScanner. This will allow you to use your smartphone as a scanner. While it does result in lower quality images than a desktop model, the quality is sufficient enough to read anything you scan.
CamScanner is budget-friendly because it has a few options to suit your needs. Its free plan comes with 200MB of cloud space, and it also offers an inexpensive monthly plan if you need more storage.
6. Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)
A few years ago, I was hours into working on a project when we lost power. Because I had not saved my work, it was all deleted. Don't let this happen to you.
To keep your work safe in case your electricity unexpectedly goes out, having a UPS will give you backup power for a limited time. This will give you a chance to save your work and safely shut down your computer. Trust me. It will all be worth it.
Our Top UPS Recommendations:
If you want a heavy-duty power backup, consider getting the CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD PFC SInewave UPS system.
It corrects power fluctuations without consuming battery power. It has 12 outlets, six of which have battery backup and are surge-protected. The other six outlets, meanwhile, have surge protection only.
This product also has two USB ports for phone charging. An LCD panel with a 17-degree screen tilt shows important information about the device's status. This display also serves as an alert when potential problems arise.
The product has a three-year warranty, including its battery. It also comes with $500,000 insurance for connected equipment. This UPS is the slimmest device in this review and the most expensive option.
If you’re looking for an affordable UPS option, you might consider the APC UPS BE600M1, 600VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector. The device has seven outlets, two of which have surge protection. A 1.5-A USB charging port is also provided.
This product has approximately 25 minutes of backup power for plugged-in devices during utility power failures. Its battery lasts for approximately three to five years, and it comes with a three-year warranty and a $75,000 connected-equipment policy.
Among the UPS systems featured today, this one is the most affordable and has the most space-saving dimensions at 10.79″ x 4.13″ x 5.47.″ However, this UPS system can accommodate the fewest number of gadgets and devices among the products featured in this review.
If you need heavy-duty duty performance at a reasonable price, the Tripp Lite 1500VA 900W UPS Battery Back-Up UPS system may be the best option. It has 10 outlets—five with backup power, while the other five have surge protection only. An LCD interface provides important information about the device’s status.
This UPS system also features data line surge protection for your phone, DSL connection, and Ethernet. It comes with a limited, three-year warranty and a $250,000 connect-equipment insurance. This device is the bulkiest option in this review, with dimensions of 19.29″ x 9.00″ x 11.00″.
Odds are that your desk will be your primary work area. There are a few options for types of desks that you can buy, and it really just comes down to your preference or your line of work. You can opt to get an adjustable desk if you don’t want to sit all day, or you can get a traditional work desk.
Our Top Home Office Desk Recommendations:
The Ameriwood Home Dakota L-Shaped desk can fit well into a corner if you need more space to lay out your work. It also has two open bookshelves, which will help cut down on your office's extra storage space.
If you are looking for a small desk option, consider the FURINNO Efficient Home Laptop Notebook Computer Desk. It is simpler and much less expensive. This small desk is a good option if your space is limited, but it still has storage for your CPU or a printer.
If you want a more modern look, the Walker Edison Ellis Modern Glass Top L-Shaped Corner Desk might be the right desk. It has a glass top, so it is easy to clean and looks chic. It also has a sliding keyboard tray to help save space. It is big enough for dual monitors.
Standing Desk Extenders: A Healthier Desktop Option
For a healthier option, consider an adjustable laptop desk rather than a traditional desk. The problem with sitting at a desk doing work all day is that it contributes to a sedentary lifestyle that negatively impacts our country's health.
Did you know that adding exercise to your day does not undo the eight or more hours you spend sitting? The human body was not designed to sit, and the long-term consequences include upper back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, bad posture, and even spine or back injuries.
According to the World Health Organization, a sedentary lifestyle is a significant risk factor for developing non-communicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.
The good news is that standing desks keep you on your feet all day, which is an effective way to burn calories. Standing during your afternoon of work has been shown to burn 170 more calories than sitting for an equal amount of time.
Over the course of a year, this difference can greatly impact your health and weight. (To learn more, read this article about the 9 health benefits of standing.)
Our Top Standing Desk Recommendations:
The Varidesk height adjustable standing desk option is more intricate, as it can work with two monitors. Its two-tier design provides you with many options to customize it to your personal needs.
This Executive Office Solutions Portable Aluminum Laptop Desk is a more cost-effective option and is lightweight and fully adjustable. If you don't need extra space around your computer for folders or other work-related tools, it may be ideal.
8. Clear Workspace
You need to make sure that your desk has a large empty area for you to work, or you need to dedicate some space elsewhere. According to a study published in Forbes, about 57% of people think that one's work directly correlates with the tidiness of their office. This means that if your office is messy, your work is likely to be messy as well.
Beyond that, a survey conducted by OfficeMax reports that the clutter in your office can undermine both your productivity and your motivation. If your workspace is too crowded, you need to either consider buying a larger desk or start looking into a more efficient system for organizing your things.
Here is a great tutorial on how one person could maximize their space and declutter their working area.
Having a cluttered workspace can not only slow you down but can also cause undue stress and make you feel overwhelmed. You have to maintain order in your office so you can think clearly, finish tasks on time, and have a work environment that promotes productivity.
Our Top Recommendations to Clear Your Space:
If you need to clear up some desk space so you can work easier, here are a few things you may want to consider adding to your desk setup.
While it doesn't necessarily clear up a ton of desk space, a wireless keyboard is a good choice to eliminate all the extra cords and wires you will have to deal with.
The Logitech MX Keys keyboard is illuminated, features tactile responsive typing, backlighting, Bluetooth, USB-C, and offers comfort and stability.
A laptop stand has many benefits for any home office setup. The best laptop stand can help align your body ergonomically, helps remove clutter, improves airflow for your device, and ultimately protects your investment. It also allows you to achieve the best viewing height when working.
This Roost V3 Laptop Stand is adjustable and portable. So, if you don't want to be confined to your desk, this is a good option. It fits all laptops including the MacBook Air. It is also versatile and can be used for enhanced functionality at standing desks, as a keyboard riser to clear desk space, a laptop base, desk raiser, or writing desk.
9. Ergonomic Chair
If you choose to use a traditional desk, it is important to have an ergonomic office chair. Sitting adds stress to the structures of your spine, so to avoid developing back problems, it is critical to have a chair that supports your body shape and evokes proper posture.
Even though sitting doesn't require as much physical effort as standing, it still puts undue stress on your lower back. Combine the effects of a sedentary lifestyle with sitting all day, leading to various health problems.
A well-designed ergonomic chair will let you sit in a balanced position. Selecting the best office chair for your body is important in preventing some physical ailments.
Our Top Ergonomic Office Chair Recommendations:
This Flash Furniture Mid-Back Swivel Chair uses ventilated material in the back to help keep you cool throughout the day. This simple chair is also great for smaller spaces.
With a 360-degree swivel, the BestOffice Ergonomic Computer Chair allows you to move easily around your office if you need to quickly access files or something that is located behind you.
To learn more, check out our review of the 5 best ergonomic computer chairs.
10. Adequate Lighting
While having natural lighting is best, having enough lighting in your home office setup can be important. Good lighting can help you see your work and set your office's mood and atmosphere.
If you do not get enough natural lighting in your office, you can use floor or desk lamps to supplement, as we mentioned above in our natural lighting section.
Our Top Lamp Recommendations:
The Brightech Sky LED floor lamp is a slim design, so it may be good for you if your workspace is small. It also has a rotating head so you can pivot it to where you need the most light.
The Brightech Litespan LED Bright Reading and Craft Floor Lamp is adimmable lamp designed to last over 20 years without the need to replace a light bulb because the LED lamp does not produce any heat.
The Ikea 101.398.79 NOT Floor Uplight Lamp is an inexpensive option if you are looking for even light distribution. However, this lamp will not provide the bright light that the others will.
Top Desk Lamp Recommendations:
The LAMPAT Dimmable LED Desk Lamp had four lighting modes, a 5-level dimmer, a touch-sensitive control panel, a one-hour auto timer, and a USB charging port.
The Consciot ATL001-US-V1 LED Desk Lamp is dimmable and adjustable. It also has a touch-sensitive control panel, five lighting modes, and seven brightness levels. It is a soft but bright light that is easy on the eyes.
11. Telephone and/or VoIP
I'm sure you know that it is very important to have reliable communication while conducting business. You may do the bulk of your business through email or on a server, but having consistent phone service is crucial if you want clients to be able to reach you.
Our Top Telephone and/or VoIP Recommendations:
The new 2022 magicJack VoIP phone adapter, portable home, and on-the-go digital service allow you to make unlimited calls to the US and Canada. There is no monthly bill, and it features magicIN and magicOUT services.
The Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service is a superior option. It blocks robocalls with optional premier service and can interact with your “smart” products to create a safe and convenient environment to work.
However, the OBi200 1-Port VoIP Phone Adapter with Google Voice and Fax Support for Home and SOHO Phone Service is a mid-range product that comes with support and premium features at no extra cost.
The product you choose depends on what type of business you are in. Consider your needs and match them with the features of the products and the price to find which suits you best.
In addition to having a reliable phone service, make sure to have a Skype account if you need to have a virtual face-to-face conversation. This is a free service that allows you to contact other people who also have Skype accounts to have a clear form of communication.
12. Filing Cabinet
A good home office setup requires keeping your workspace and papers organized. One of the best ways to do this is with a filing cabinet. Filing cabinets can be used to store important documents and other materials that you will need easy access to.
It is a great way to get organized and avoid stacks of papers and other items from piling up on your desk and creating clutter.
Our Top File Cabinet Recommendations:
If you want a file cabinet that can be used as the legs of your desk, check out this Lorell File Cabinet. It has two lockable file drawers, casters for easy mobility, and a smooth suspension with a three-quarter drawer extension.
Alternatively, if you want something small and portable yet still secure, try the Master Lock Security Steel Box filing system. If you are short on space and can't fit a full-sized file cabinet in your office, you can still safeguard important items and stay organized with this storage box with a key lock.
Finally, this Devaise 3-Drawer Slim Vertical File Cabinet may be your best bet if you want an easy storage solution for a small space. It has an interlock system, three drawers, and comes with two keys. It offers ample storage space and five casters for easy mobility.
13. File Folders and Hanging Folders
File folders and hanging folders are a great way to keep all your papers organized and within easy reach for when you need them. They are also great options if you are working with limited space because they don't require any drawer room.
Our Top File and Hanging Folder Recommendations:
The Smead Cascading Wall Organizer has six pockets with removable file folder pockets in bright colors. They cascade down your wall, so they don't require any drawer space.
However, if you have a drawer that accommodates hanging folders, Smead colored hanging file folders with tabs work nicely with any file cabinet. Each of these folders has a repositionable poly tab and coated rod tips that allow the folders to slide into your cabinet easily.
For something even more durable, consider the Amazon Basics hanging organizer file folders in green. They are suitable for letter-sized documents and include clear plastic tabs and replaceable white inserts.
For something more basic and standard, these Smead File Folders in manila will fit nicely into any vertical or lateral filing system.
You will need somewhere to store your office supplies, such as pens, paper, sticky notes, ink, and business cards. If you want a simple storage cart with wheels so you can maneuver it around your office, here are some great options to consider.
Our Top Storage Recommendations:
The Seville Classics 10-Drawer Organizer Cart provides plenty of space to organize all your office supplies. The drawers are also removable, and it comes equipped with four casters, and two locking, for easy mobility.
The Iris 4-Drawer Rolling Storage Cart with Organizer is another option when you need to organize your workspace. It has two shallow drawers and two deep drawers with a built-in organizer top for easier accessibility.
However, if you need more space to store your items, the following options may better fit your remote workspace.
The ClosetMaid Cubicals Organizer comes in different sizes and colors. They are also stackable units offering quick organization. They can be used to eliminate clutter and maximize space in your office.
If you are looking for something small to tuck away, look at the Snap-N-Store Letter Size File Box. You can keep all your important files organized and easily accessible. They also have large tops designed with steel reinforced edges for durability.
Studies have shown that employees are 15% more productive when their workplaces have a few houseplants. People who engage with their surroundings (such as watering plants) are better workers. Plants can get you psychologically engaged and promote happiness, which will result in better work.
Our Top Greenery Recommendations:
These Succulent Plants come in a pack of five. They are much more appealing than plastic or faux plants. They don't require any fertilizer and can be planted in a decorative planter of your choosing.
with a bamboo tray may be a great addition to any home office space. They have drainage holes and come with a bamboo tray.
16. Fire-Safe Box
Can you imagine losing your most important documents in a fire? Would you know where to find duplicates? To be prepared for this type of disaster, invest in a fire-safe box for your security.
Our Top Fire Safe Box Recommendations:
This SentrySafe chest is a simple box that uses a lock and key to be easily accessed, as long as you keep the key in a safe place. It also has built-in straps inside to easily store smaller documents like your passport, social security card, and birth certificate.
SentrySafe X055 Security Safe
This fire-safe box allows you to set your own digital combination. It also has concealed hinges, bolt-down hardware, a carpeted floor, and durable steel construction.
AmazonBasics Security Safe
This security safe has a digital keypad lock and backup key. It is made from durable carbon steel and has pre-drilled mounting holes and hardware for either floor or wall mounting.
17. Paper Shredder
To prevent yourself from worrying about the privacy and security of your business, make sure you have a good paper shredder to get rid of confidential materials.
Our Top Paper Shredder Recommendations:
This AmazonBasics Shredder is a budget-friendly yet effective option. It features auto start and overheat protection and has a manual reverse to clear paper jams. It can shred credit cards, small paper clips, and even staples.
If you want something a bit larger and more durable, this Fellowes PowerShred shredder may be a better option for you. It can shred up to 11 sheets of paper per pass and can run for up to five minutes before a cool-down period is required.
18. Set Boundaries
Do you ultimately know the most effective thing to have in a home office? Boundaries. Home offices are great because they provide you with the freedom to work at your own pace and be close to your family. However, this can be an easy distraction that can take away from your productivity.
Here's the bad news:
On average, it takes over 23 minutes to get back on track after being interrupted.
So, it is critical to set boundaries with your family and set aside clear working hours for yourself. Avoiding distractions will help you work fluently throughout the day to be as productive at home as you would be if you were in a regular office. And that's why I recommend these tips that can help you maximize your home office setup…
10 Tips to Maximize Your Home Office Setup
There is more to creating your home office than the products you need to buy. Here is some additional information to help get you started.
1. Stock all of the supplies you may need in your office and keep track of when you are running low on something.
You want to have anything available at your fingertips when you need it without running out to a store to buy something or waiting for supplies to be delivered to your house.
2. To eliminate a chaotic look that may lead to feeling overwhelmed, hide any cords or other eyesores, so you don't have to look at them.
Here is a good tutorial for hiding your computer cords. Also, consider putting your printer out of the way and hiding your UPS and surge protector.
3. While studies have shown that personalizing your office can give you a sense of control and satisfaction, make sure to do it carefully
Avoid cluttering your space with too much decor.
4. If you have room, set aside some extra space for comfort
Get a small couch or a comfortable chair to put in your office when you need a short breather. This will help you mentally separate your breaks from your productivity. If you choose to take your breaks at your desk, you are more likely to lose track of time and spend much longer than needed scrolling through the internet. Make your work area strictly for work.
5. Keep your space decluttered
One of the most useful of these tips is taking everything out of an area, so you have to go item by item and determine what you need and what is trash. To learn more, check out one or two of the 15 books on decluttering that we profile here.
6. Create a work “triangle” where everything you need will be within arms' reach.
Here are several home office work triangle design ideas to help inspire you.
7. Be strict about your office hours
Just because you are not in a traditional office, don't think that you can come and go as you please. Stick to office hours just as you would at a job. Arrive on time, take appropriate breaks, and quit working at a reasonable time. Sticking to a schedule will increase your productivity.
8. Learn to manage your time
Several tools can help you better manage your time. To get started, we recommend reviewing these articles:
9. Separate your work computer from your home computer
Don't give yourself the temptation to log onto social media or play a quick computer game while you are in the middle of doing your job. Make sure that the computer you use in your home office is strictly for work.
10. Check your email only three times each day
Email is a huge time-suck in business. It's simple: To help minimize this distraction, close your email program. Work through the day with your email closed and only check it soon after you have started working for the day, after lunch, and before you finish up for the day.
Now you're ready to start planning your home office. I truly hope that these tips will help you create a personalized yet productive home office that works for you.
We have covered the basic products that you will need to buy to be productive and some tips and tricks to keep you motivated throughout the day.
Do you have any other home office setup tips you would like to share? Please comment in the area below with any additional ideas for things needed for an effective home office design.
I look forward to hearing your great ideas!
Finally, if you want to take your goal-setting efforts to the next level, check out this FREE printable worksheet and a step-by-step process that will help you set effective SMART goals.