After you’ve looked at the reasons you should start working from home, the next steps are to turn your home office into a powerful productivity studio!
The specifics will of course depend on the work you do, but there’s a few key ingredients that will work for most home office recipes.
Whether you’re in the attic, basement, or a general room in the house, the first thing you want to make sure you do is clear the room of EVERYTHING and build up from there. If you’re setting up in a previously un-used room, you may need to get a contractor to come by and fix lighting or install ethernet jacks into the room. Make sure you do this first, so you don’t hold up any work once you’re all setup.
If you’ve ready any books by Dave Crenshaw (And you should). You’d know that the key to productivity is a lack of distraction, especially in those he’d describe as the “chaos masters”, those (including myself) who like to think we thrive in the clutter.
Only move something in your office when you know you’ll need it, otherwise find another room to put it for now.
Silence is Golden
Similar to the above, see what can be done to keep the noise out. While it might not be efficient to line the doors and walls with acoustic foam wedges it’s certainly an option, you can at least try to find a room in the house that’s a bit more quiet than the others or upgrade your door to a thicker one.
Remember, on top of needing the quiet so you can concentrate, you will likely also be on phone calls, and you might not want a dog barking or baby crying in the background.
A Place For Everything
Depending on the work you do, you’ll have a different need for storage. Just about everybody is going to need some form of long-term and short term storage though, even if most of your documents are “in the cloud”.
For me personally, I’m using a very basic filing system. My office used to have a large black filing cabinet similar to this, but I removed it because I simply don’t need the space. Instead I decided to go with something much more compact. Honestly I use so little paper this little filer goes a long way.
For short term documents, a small portfolio like this one will usually do the trick. Remember, you don’t need to spend a fortune and don’t need to overthink it. Start small and work your way up as you need.
Where the magic happens
Your desk and chair are going to be where you’re at for most of the day, so make sure you find something comfortable, but still within your budget (so you don’t need to spring for that standing desk right away).
In my office, I had the opportunity to build a desk the full width of one of the walls, to give enough space for the printer and monitors. My first chair was a simple but comfortable gaming chair from Homall, and then I was later able to get a really nice office chair from a local furniture store.
But wait! What about the computer?
Picking the right computer is something that is going to take a post of its own. Your industry and specific needs will guide you to the right setup you’re going to need, so keep any eye out as we’ll have that out shortly!
Until then, take everything one day at a time. Whether you’re building a business of your own or moving your work responsibilities to your home office, remember that it’s a long term strategy. In the end you will have a more productive, successful, and fulfilling life.