Work from home lifestyle has become a norm for a considerable working populace. Everyone agrees that remote work has benefits like zero commutes, freedom to set your hours, working from the comfort of your home, or having sufficient work-life balance.
However, things can feel rough if you do not have a proper home office or reliable tips up your sleeves to make the lifestyle work. Fret not; we have an ultimate guide perfect for any new remote worker or a seasoned one.
We are optimistic that this comprehensive guide can help you achieve an ideal routine, create a remote lifestyle and set up a home office that genuinely encourages productivity.
Working From Home
Before diving into the topic, it is essential to understand the work from home lifestyle to its core. Below we have presented a list of pros and cons highlighting the positives and negatives of working from home.
Remote working enables more independence: Work from home truly gives you a more flourished sense of independence and autonomy. Since remote workers perform their tasks with minimal supervision, they feel independent. You can even work while playing a loud rock band and still get your work done, which one cannot easily do if they work in an office.
It saves time and traveling hours: This point is by far the most significant positive of working from home. People do not have to prepare themselves for a long drive with the additional heavy traffic issues. Traveling every day ends up taking a considerable chunk of people’s time, leaving them with lesser energy to carry out work or leisure tasks. These issues sneak their way into sleeping patterns, giving sleep deprivation. Constant sleep deprivation is linked to exhaustion, irritability, burnout, and more long-term mental health issues. Remote workers thus feel fresh and rejuvenated by the extra time they get to sleep, which ultimately increases their efficiency.
Remote work allows flexibility in schedule: Many corporations allow flexible working hours to their employees while working from home. This flexibility will enable people to set up their everyday schedules accordingly. They can even give time and complete their personal errands even in the middle of the day.
Work from home reduces distractions: Many people despise the simultaneous clattering of keyboards and impromptu talks with other colleagues while working. Even HR events or the freezing temperature of the centralized AC is enough to keep you from working with concentration. At home, people have the luxury of setting up the environment the way they like.
Rich work-life balance: Work from home allows people to bifurcate their time equally and take care of personal and work life. People can take care of their families while spending more leisure time with them. Trying to take care of everyone while working at the office can feel exhaustive; thus, remote working allows a rich work-life balance.
Employees can get distracted: Remote working needs a severe level of self-discipline, and a person lacking self-management can often see its result in their work productivity. Often you will feel a lack of personal space while working from home. Even television, pets, household chores, children, chats, or noises can distract you from working.
Costs of setting up a home office: While you eliminate your typical daily expenses by remote working, one cannot work efficiently without a proper home office setup. This setup may cost a lot for people who wish to invest in a fully functional workspace. Additional electric, internet, and stationery costs also add up, thus increasing the overall expense budget.
Feeling of isolation: Remote employees mostly fall prey to the feeling of isolation. This feeling often occurs due to limited physical presence and less communication between colleagues and the office environment. Having no one to talk or communicate to while you work can make one feel lonely, thus further affecting morale.
Work from home can cause communication gaps: Communication is faster when one is in the office than remote work. Often delays in replies, possible delays to attend team meetings, or unable to identify tones can result in a lot of miscommunication.
A home office can take up your living space: Many people decide to work from their living room, which takes up a lot of space from their living room. This shared space can especially be an issue if your home is tiny or has limited sq footage compared to a big house plan. To keep the novelty of living space, we highly recommend creating your own home office space. Read the following points to create your very own home workspace.
Organizing Home Office Vs. Working From Living Room
While it may be intriguing to set your office essentials on your favorite couch and call it a day, you are bound to see its adverse effects on your work quality, efficiency, and focus throughout the day.
Many people like working from their living room to enjoy the homely feeling while working. But it can soon lose its novelty and create an unhealthy coalesce between home and work life.
The additional noise of your entertainment unit, pets, and children can make it even more challenging to concentrate on your tasks. Working from the living room also looks unprofessional, especially when attending team video calls.
On the contrary, having a home office allows individuals to have their personal space to work. This bifurcation creates a healthy separation from home and work areas.
Your brain will surely be more focused, thus making you efficient in your day-to-day tasks.
Essential Home Office Furniture
Setting up a home office is a challenging task. There are many things to consider other than what meets the eye. If you create a wrong space, you won’t just see it, but you will feel it and would have to live there, every working day!
So making a home office perfect is quite imperative. It would be best to start with essential home furniture to shape your ideal office.
Consider splurging on your comfort to create a more healthy and inviting workspace that should get you focused while allowing your creative juices to flow.
Desk: Pick an adjustable work desk
Work desks are indeed the focal point of your home office, so consider investing in a purchase that looks excellent and works perfectly with your line of work. If you enjoy the freedom of sitting and standing work setup, consider opting for an adjustable desk.
Lastly, we suggest buying the most oversized desk that you can find. You will thank us later when the desk easily incorporates all of your necessary stuff and clutter.
Chair: Invest in the cushiest hydraulic seating
Never underestimate the usefulness of an ergonomically designed office chair. Since you will be spending most of your time sitting, opt for a comfortable chair that is well quilted with fabrics.
Additionally, buying an ergonomic chair favors people who often complain about body pain. Even working overtime won’t wear you out with a comfortable office chair!
Filing cabinets: Purchase a tall filing case
A filing cabinet not only keeps your important documents safe but also makes your home workspace well organized. You can find numerous filing cabinet models that match your office style and interior.
If your line of work doesn’t require physical paperwork, consider opting for mesh filing organizers that are smaller in size. These mesh organizers can thus act as a general organizer for your stationery items.
Laptop Stand: Find a sturdy rust-resistant stand
If you work with a laptop, consider opting for a stand to keep a healthy posture. These stands are excellent in elevating your laptop to your eye level for a comfortable working experience.
You will automatically stop hunching forward and maintain a great posture throughout your day.
Shelving units: Buy a big shelf for more storage space
Often shelving units are an excellent choice for people who have a lot of stuff in their home office. It keeps the space tidy and clutter-free while enabling your electronic devices to have a dedicated space.
Additionally, matching them according to your desk can give a cohesive look to your entire workspace.
Lighting: Add a mix of task and ambient overhead lights
No home office space is truly complete without a proper lighting setup. Since you do not want to squint your eyes, nor do you wish to burn them with excess light, consider opting for a mix of overhead and task lights.
Task lights are excellent for a focused light-throw, while overhead lights give an ambient glow throughout your workspace.
Essential gadgets: Invest in units that are most required
Ensure that you have a perfectly working computer, an extra monitor, a shredder, printer to complete your home office setup. Before purchasing, ensure your requirements and only buy if your role requires the items mentioned above.
Similarly, do not forget to check your internet connection and opt for high-speed internet and an extra router for smoother connectivity.
How to Organize Home Office
Setting up an office with the furniture mentioned above is a child’s play, but organizing it to create a fully functional working space can feel a bit challenging.
Consider looking at the points written below to make your home office a step closer to an ideal and efficient workspace.
Create a neat organization system
The organization plays a crucial role as you need to keep your office clean and tidy at all times. We recommend spending some time studying your requirements before purchasing any organizational tool.
An ideal home office setup has a few systems for various items, tools, and equipment. You might want to clean your office before leaving so that your future self can have a head start without the need to organize every morning.
Consider opting for a file rack to hold your current projects, a trash basket for your old and unwanted papers, a filing cabinet for tax return files, public documents, and confidential files.
Lastly, tiny organizational cubbies can work excellently to store your cables and other small electrical items.
Toss what’s not needed
We suggest you bring out your inner Marie Kondo and start tossing things that are not necessary. Since your home office will probably have limited space, do not hoard stuff or hold onto items that are not useful.
It may take up a few minutes, but your office will surely be less clutter-free. Consider coming to this step once you have prepared your list of essential furniture decor and set up the office space according to your liking.
Home Office Decoration
Your last step in completing the home office is adding home office decor. Without decor, your workspace can feel bland, and you may lose your motivation to work in such an uninspiring setting.
Take advantage of plants and windows
We recommend placing your desk facing a window to get fresh air and light while you work. Setting your desk near windows will instantly make the place look more bright and inviting.
Go for at least two plants in your home office; it will improve the air quality and make the room look more lively.
Decorate with books
When you think of a home office, everyone imagines a book display. These books will spruce up your office space within minutes while allowing you the freedom to enjoy mini reading sessions in a break.
You can display your favorite collection of books on a shelf or keep a stack on your desk to add a nice feature to your work desk.
Mount a calendar
A calendar can be an excellent functional decor for people who like minimalism and practical pieces in their workspace.
You can plan and scribble your schedule for the entire month, week, or for the day to keep an eye on your task and upcoming commitments.
Warm-up your office with art and artifacts
Art is a genuinely excellent way to showcase your personality while warming up your office. No one wants to work in a white room with nothing but a desk; you need little art pieces to add character to the office space.
Similarly, you can add personal touches for a more inviting workspace. Hang up a few pictures of your family or friends and stick posters that will motivate you to give your best as soon as you enter the place.
Avoid cluttering your space with a lot of decors, as too much decoration can be distracting too.
Play with textures
This tip is for people who want to elevate their space and make it look like a completely different part of the house. If you’re going to fill your office with too much decor, it might feel distracting.
Try adding texture to your workspace during such cases, as it will elevate your space without any possible distraction.
You can add a cozy rug with a neutral color, a leather desk pad, or a chair with a completely different fabric to break the symmetry, thus making the room more dynamic.
Give room to move around
Most people get so engrossed in decor that they often forget about the space and its limits. You should avoid making your office cramped or crowded with too much furniture or decor.
An ideal office has lots of room for you to move and allow your creativity and efficiency to flow.
Home Office Behavior Rules
For most people, working from home correlates to working in comfort. However, it would be best to opt for specific office behavior rules to be productive without feeling burnout.
Look out for workaholic tendencies: One needs to pay attention to their working habits when working from home. When you have your office set up at home, you are always unknowingly reminded of deadlines and uncompleted work. It becomes impossible to close your laptop, shut the door, and be done with the day during such instances. Most remote employees work at night or even on weekends to push in and complete the tasks.
Schedule your days or week: Think of scheduling as the most basic framework for working efficiently from home. Having a neat structure for the day lets you focus on the work while completing the tasks on time. Apart from a daily schedule, create a list of weekly tasks to keep track of your work progress. It helps you divide the work accordingly without burdening yourself with extra work.
Multitask appropriately: With remote working, you must multitask, especially if you have kids. While it can save time, you need to ensure that multitasking doesn’t affect your work quality. Similarly, your kids should not feel neglected because you are working for so many hours. Find a neat balance between both and try home+office multitasking to a limited extent.
Remove every big-little distraction: You need to remove all the things that can be a source of your distraction. Having toys, a television, games, or even mobile phones can feel distracting. You need to keep them away during your work hours to perform your tasks efficiently. Similarly, explain your kids stay away from your workspace.
Be digitally accessible: It would be great to be accessible to your clients, employer, or customers during your work hours. Being inaccessible can make your boss feel that you are tardy and untrustworthy.
How to Stay Motivated Working From Home
While working from home may feel like a dream come true, it can surely lose its novelty after a certain period.
This loss of interest directly affects your work efficiency and quality, and thus it is of utmost importance to stay motivated. Follow our few tips to stay motivated while working from home:
Take strategic breaks
Taking periodic breaks is essential to keep the same energy and motivation level throughout the day. One needs to dedicate some time for physical and mental breaks to enhance productivity and creativity.
Eat healthy snacks, read something fun, go out for fresh air, or stand to break your body’s monotonicity.
Stay formally dressed
This tip is especially great for people who lose motivation to work within the first half of the day. As your body has gotten into the habit of working in formals, you can continue to do that.
This tip indeed makes you feel confident while working. Getting dressed and priming yourself puts you in work mode, thus reducing your chances of lethargy.
Listen to white noise
Listening to white noise or calming motivational tunes can improve your mood and put you mentally in work mode. Sometimes working in silence can feel monotonous, or you may feel isolated without external stimuli.
Music will often put you in a good mood, thus filling you up with an insatiable drive to work.
Write a to-do list
We recommend doing your most important work or tasks that you usually have zero motivation to do first in the morning.
You will often finish those tasks early and then relax and work for the rest of the time without losing your motivation or feeling anxious.
Study your most productive hours
Most people feel unmotivated to work during their non-productive hours. Consider studying your most productive hours and giving your full efforts during those hours.
You may take a small break when you feel the most drained and get back to work, thus keeping an excellent energy level throughout the day.
Change the layout frequently.
Changing your home office’s layout after every few months will make the place feel new, automatically filling you with lots of motivation to work in a new space.
You do not have to make significant changes; consider moving your office furniture or changing your artwork and motivational posters to fill you with new work energy.
We hope our ultimate guide to an ideal home office helps you in many ways. Working at home can feel fun, given you have the suitable space and all the tools to make it work.
Consider following this comprehensive guide that focuses on various topics to help you on your home office journey from scratch! Lastly, don’t forget to try the motivation booster tips to keep yourself highly productive and efficient!
Anthony Laird is an interior designer and decorator with many years of experience. He is passionate about helping people make the most of their living space. Leveraging his many years of experience, Anthony Laird teaches people how to create the most inspiring interior spaces. With the increasing rate of home offices across the world, Anthony Laird now uses LichtenCraig to help more people design home offices that suit their personality and increase productivity.