In these modern times, working attitudes are changing, and you no longer have to be chained to a communal office every hour of every day.
In fact, regular work-at-home situations, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 103% since 2005. That's staggering.
A lot of it comes down to modern attitudes to producing work and doing business - and it's primarily being driven by today's youth: fresh thinkers with big futures.
If you're reading this and saying, "yeah, that's me" (and we're sure you are), you might be thinking about setting up a home office from which to launch your freelance career or run your startup.
If you are, you're going to want to get it right; otherwise, working conditions will be a nightmare, and you'll never get anything done.
To lend a helping hand here is our quick-fire guide on how to set up a home office you will actually want to work in...
Stay away from distractions
All of us get distracted - it's just a fact of life. But, when setting up a home office (no matter how much - or how little - space you have), it is vital that you set up a work area that isn’t easily accessible to your TV or games console. You’ll constantly be tempted to keep checking what’s happening on the Ellen Show or something, and your work will suffer. Setting up your desk against a wall is a very good idea as it is proven to maximise focus.
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Get the Essentials
Okay, this should go without saying, but it is imperative your hardware (laptop, desktop, tablet, etc.) is in top working order: slow, unresponsive machines just make life challenging and stunt productivity. Make sure you take care of your equipment and carry out regular health checks on your primary desktop device to make sure it doesn't pack up and let you down.
Also, you will need a desk, a comfortable chair (if you don’t have an office chair, a dining chair with plenty of padding works well) a notepad, a paper filing box, a compact bin and stationary. These are the bare bones of any office workstation, and when you’re working from home, it shouldn’t be any different. If you don’t have room for a desk, use a surface around 2½ feet high (or even a stand-up desk if preferred) like a chest of drawers or a dining table - although not totally ideal, it is a good alternative to a desk if you lack space.
Sprinkle on Some Personality
Of course, keeping things neat, well organised, clean and tidy is important – and there are some great office based gadgets to help you do just that (more on this coming soon - watch this space!). But, even more importantly, sprinkling a few personal touches around your office space is proven to create a happier, more productive working environment (and if everything is dull as dishwater you'll probably end up falling asleep during every working day). Here are few ways you can do this:
- Put a few plants on or around your desk - it has a calming effect
- Have one of your favourite photo’s or trinket's next to your workstation
- Place a couple of beloved or inspirational posters, prints or calendars on your office wall
Some of the above advice may sound blatantly obvious, but so many people seem to neglect these key elements when it comes to setting up a home office. If you follow this advice and put a little piece of yourself into your working environment, you will notice an increase in motivation, concentration, happiness and ultimately, growth.