If you work from home, you’re in a great position to make it the best environment for productivity for you. The long Labor Day Weekend will be over before you know it, and wouldn’t it be nice to start fresh with an upgraded home office? Here’s our checklist for making your home office space work for you.
1. Buy a better chair
It sounds silly, right? But when you’re sitting down for hours a time it’s important to do it right. Look for a chair that’s as adjustable as possible. Make sure it has lumbar support, and that the armrest height can be adjusted. When it comes to spending money on your home office setup, your computer is first, but your chair should be second.
2. Prevent Carpal Tunnel, and Neck Pain, and Back Pain…
It’s not just about the chair: take some time to make sure your whole setup in ergonomically correct. Is your laptop or monitor at eye-level? It should be, otherwise your neck and shoulders will hurt from staring down at your computer all day. Make sure you can sit up straight, and that your arms and wrists are straight out in front of you: use a wrist rest if you can. Read more on how to prevent carpal tunnel and other repetitive stress injuries from the NYTimes.
3. Go paperless (or at least less paper-y)
Minimizing the amount of paper you have to keep around means you can minimize the amount of precious storage space you’re using up. Pay bills online, and turn off paper billing. Go through your filing cabinet(s) and ask yourself if you really need to keep that. Throw away what you can, and consider going electronic with everything else.
The Neatdesk system lets you scan receipts, business cards and documents so they can be filed digitally. Unlike a normal scan, Neatdesk can “read” your documents so you can search, export or file records easily based on what they actually say.
4. Keep organizing
Don’t stop with just the paper! Do a serious purge of stuff you don’t need. See if you can hide those devices you don’t use everyday. Maybe your printer will fit in your filing cabinet. Get your cables organized so they won’t make a spaghetti-like mess all over your desk.
Mostly you just need a system that works for you. And the more that system gets things out of your immediate sight, the more relaxing and calm your workspace will feel. Real Simple Magazine has some great tips to help.
5. Make sure your office space makes you happy
You work from home, and it’s your home, so take advantage of it. If you feel like you’d work better if the walls were neon yellow, go for it. Listen to music over speakers, instead of headphones, if you feel like it. Get a couple plants. Make sure you have pictures of your kids, or cats, or whatever works for you. If you’re going to be working in your office, make it a place you want to be.