When you’re creating a productive and organized home office, keep these tips in mind for a workspace that really works for you.
About 12% of full-time employees in the U.S. currently work fully remotely, and 29% follow a hybrid model where they work both at home and a physical workplace or office. You may also be self-employed, have a side job, or be enrolled in online classes. Not to mention those who take care of the bill paying and organizing the family’s schedules. Personally, I’m a hybrid employee and my spouse is getting a degree online, so I can say with confidence that having a dedicated home office space is becoming an essential home feature.
Whatever your situation, sometimes working from the couch or the kitchen table just isn’t going to cut it. You need an organized place where you can concentrate and take calls or meetings. Plus, if you have children, a quiet homework spot can be handy when they get home.
Now, not all of us have the space to use an entire room for a home office. However, we all deserve a spot where we can be productive, so let’s get into what you should consider when creating a home office space that’s perfect for you.
If you’re working from home, you don’t have to worry about a commute, but the location of your office is still important. This is an area you’ll spend a lot of time in, so you’ll want enough space to get up and move around. You’ll also want to consider the traffic in your home and how private you need your office to be if others are there during your work hours.
Maybe you need a dedicated room, or maybe you just need a place to finish things up when you get home at the end of the day. Or, you may need an office during the day, but then a workout room in the evening. Clayton has floor plans that offer features like dedicated home offices, built-in desks and flex spaces with multi-function storage options. Examples include an office nook at the end of the hall or in the utility room.
Optimized organization is one of the most essential parts of a productive office. Knowing where everything is and having reminders and due dates visible can decrease your work stress levels exponentially. Clayton’s built-in desks and study nooks typically have storage like shelving, cubbies and cabinets already in their design, but if you’re creating your own office, invest in storage solutions. Add baskets that are clearly labeled, a handy whiteboard for memos and dates, and a filing cabinet if necessary, to ensure each item in your office has a set place and is within reach.
When I say personalize, I don’t necessarily mean decorating with funny inspirational desk signs. (Though absolutely have those if you want. I have a sign that says, “I work so my dogs can have a better life.”) The matching stapler and tape dispenser you see online may look good, but if you don’t use them regularly for your work, they aren’t needed. You know your workday better than anyone else, so your office should focus on what you need.
First, start with plenty of desk space, especially if you need a computer with double monitors or work with a lot of physical papers, as well as a comfortable chair. You may be spending hours sitting in one place, so a chair with posture and back support is an important investment. And you’ll be more productive if you’re comfortable while working.
Second, good lighting is a must, so open those blinds for natural light. I always enjoy working with the blinds up and seeing the sunshine. If your office is in a dimmer part of the house or you work at night more, be sure you have plenty of lighting with different brightness settings so you aren’t straining to see.
Third, if you concentrate better when it’s quiet, noise reducing headphones are a great way to block out distractions. And Bluetooth headphones are handy for online meetings, calls or listening to music when you prefer background noise, like me. If you’re frequently on camera in online meetings, you can also invest in some background art or wall decor to if you want. And the rest comes down to any supplies or technology you need for your specific work, like a printer or wireless mouse.
I hope I’ve helped you brainstorm about adding or improving an office space in your home. And to see more of what Clayton has to offer, from home offices and storage solutions to spacious floor plans, make sure to check out the Home Features category on our Studio blog.
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