People typically associate a given mindset to a physical space they are familiar with: there’s the kitchen where you cook, a dining table to eat on, and a bedroom to lull yourself to sleep with Facebook. And I really mean space, like the three things I mentioned earlier sometimes account for an entire room as opposed to three. So when we talk about setting up a Home Office, we really mean setting up a room, a nook, a corner, or maybe even a coffee table that gets you into that zone where you can go crunch the numbers and slay the day until everything’s okay.
Of course, what gets you into the zone would generally boil down to preferences so let’s break this guide into 3 major steps: compartmentalize, optimize, and personalize.
Okay, we know you’re setting this up at home, and that’s the first problem. Since home usually equals relax, bringing in an element counter to that makes it hard to get into that work mindset. Even worse it could make the rest of your home less relaxing. This is what compartmentalizing is for.
In this step, you pick a spot you disassociate from the rest of your home and assign it just for work. You can do this by setting up a small partition to block out the rest of your home from view like setting up your cabinet, so you don’t see your bed while you work. If that’s not possible, you can also try setting up in a corner of the room and next to a window so if you need to move your eyes off-screen you’ll have the great outdoors and not the comforting image of your fridge and dining table.
The physical space aside, you also need to be mindful of what you do in this space. Watching YouTube, playing video games, or taking a nap will turn your special work environment into just another part of your home environment for relaxing.
Having marked the spot for your workspace, it’s time to optimize it. First consider your line of work and what it entails: are you completely digital and work solely online? Do you occasionally need to print and scan documents? How often would you need to use the space? Is the set-up ergonomic? Answering these questions will guide you on how to set up the space to make it better suited for work. Overdoing it with unnecessary office supplies and appliances only serves to waste money and increase clutter. Having stuff you don’t use often or don’t need at all will make your workspace radiate a negative vibe and make you less efficient in the run. As a general test, check the list below for potential stuff you may need:
· Filing Cabinet
· Stationary supplies (staplers, bull clips, folders, paper, etc)
· Desk Lamp
· Communication devices (webcam, microphone, dedicated work phone, and number, etc)
· Ergonomic furniture (if you sit and work for extended periods)
Having an optimal “work-only” space is great and all but putting a little effort into making it a reflection of you can also have great benefits. This can be anything from having a color scheme or theme for your set-up, display toys and figurines, a mug warmer, or even an inspirational poster from your favoring historical figure. Making your home office cater to your personal quirks helps raise your morale while also serving as a non-home distraction to destress or unwind while you’re in the zone, especially since you’re likely to be working alone. Here are a few ideas for personalizing your office space:
· A colorful or monochromatic color scheme for all the stuff in your office space
· A movie or pop-culture theme (like Star Wars or Teletubbies. Hey I dig it.)
· Fancy figurines for paperweights
· Photos of important events and or people in your life, or your dog
· A nice clock to keep track of the time and how long you’ve been working
So, there you have it, a general guide to setting up your Home Office. It isn’t as simple as hopping into the Department Store and buying “Executive” furniture since a lot of the process also involves a lot of mental and psychological work. But if you really put in the effort and follow our guide, you’ll come up with a Home Office that works for you.