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Home Office tip Julie Ciarallo

If job changes, life events or other circumstances find you working from home instead of the office, upfront planning and informed choices can make the difference between an effective home office and a frustrating one.

People working from home need the right space and the right technology to meet their job’s demands — for whatever they do and however they work with colleagues and customers. Laptops offer the portability to do some after-hours work from home or while traveling, but for most people, a typical laptop’s smaller screen, keyboard and touchpad can’t fulfill their home office needs full time.

Here are top keys to optimizing your home office setup.

Find the Best Location

For some people, choosing a spot for their home office is easy. They’ve got an empty room that they use as dedicated office space. It can be an actual “office,” but many people use an empty bedroom or even the basement. However, not everyone has that kind of free space in their home. When space is tight, you have to think creatively about your “office space.”

You can always use part of the kitchen table as your office space—if you don’t mind packing up your office before every meal. But resetting your office after every meal may not appeal to you. In that case, you may have to think about using what space you do have creatively. Check out unused corners in larger rooms, large (but empty) closets, or even under the stairs! There are plenty of spaces that can convert to an office with a little bit of creativity.

home office

Add Privacy

If you’re fortunate enough to have a dedicated room for your office, that room probably has walls that go all the way from the floor to the ceiling and solid doors that close. That makes privacy—and quiet—easy to come by. But when your office is in, say, the corner of your bedroom, you might find it hard to separate work from home.

Consider adding a privacy divider to your home office setup. You can get traditional dividers that sit on the floor. Or you could hang a curtain from the ceiling or on a rod. Curtains are a lightweight and generally inexpensive method of “closing the door” to your office. And, with a curtain, you can choose something subtle that blends in with the rest of the decor.

Clutter and Organization

This point is particularly crucial if you have an open space in your home. You will want to keep it clutter-free to minimize the messiness when you have visitors. Plus, less clutter will keep the area open and give a more substantial feeling. Having a bunch of clutter will continuously remind you there is work to be done.

You may want to consider going paperless or at least decreasing the amount you need. In today’s environmental climate, it’s certainly a hot topic. Consider external hard drives and digital storage devices for this purpose. Not only will they keep the space bright and clutter-free, but they are more mobile too.

Natural Light is Naturally Beneficial

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, allowing natural light in a home office will increase productivity. Have your desk or chair facing a window or door with unobstructed views. Just make sure you don’t start daydreaming!  

This natural source of vitamin D will increase your happiness level, helping you keep calm and creative, and boost your immune system – which we all need right now.

If you do work nights, make sure you have a work lamp at your desk and a soft light that’s not too harsh on your eyes.

Extra tip: Blue light blocking glasses are definitely a must in this case too. You can find them online in various shapes and prices.