Millions of people around the world now work from home. This has always been possible for those who work with information-related jobs but the move to remote work has been catalyzed by Covid-19. Around 80% have said that they will allow their employees to continue working from home after the risks of the pandemic subside. With all the traveling time saved, and the ability to take a strategic timeout from your family, you may be spending more time in your home office than anywhere else in your home. To maximize your productivity (and to have a believable alibi for those strategic timeouts) and to look the part during your Zoom calls, you need to make your home office look professional.
If you work from home, creating a space that is conducive to productivity and inspires a professional attitude is essential. One way to do this is by making your home office look more professional. A professional-looking home office can help you stay motivated and focused throughout the workday and can even boost your confidence and sense of pride in your work. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for creating a home office that looks and feels professional, regardless of whether you’re taking calls with clients or simply working solo.
Get Your Lighting Right
You may need to invest in a desk lamp or keep the windows open. Getting the lighting bright but balanced is going to help you wake up in the mornings and get into the zone. To get your lighting right in your home office, consider the natural light in your space. If possible, position your desk near a window to take advantage of natural light, which can be more flattering and energizing than artificial light. However, be mindful of glare and direct sunlight, which can be distracting and uncomfortable. Moreover, harsh light or light that’s just too bright you are going to create glare and contributes to eye strain and fatigue – you should feel relaxed and comfortable, your lighting must be doing the work and not your eyes. Bright or dim light is going to also mess with your video calls and may lead people to think that you are unprofessional.
In addition to natural light, consider adding task lighting to your workspace to provide additional light where you need it most. A desk lamp or adjustable task light can help reduce eye strain and improve visibility when you’re working on detailed tasks.
Invest In A Functional Desk
Your desk is the center of your workspace and where you’ll spend most of your time, so choosing one that is functional, comfortable, and well-suited to your work style is important. When looking for a desk for your home office, consider your work style and the tasks you’ll be performing. If your computer and papers take up a lot of space, you might need a bigger desk. On the other hand, if you do most of your work on a laptop or with minimal paperwork, a smaller desk may suffice.
Moreover, it’s also crucial to consider the ergonomics of your desk. A desk that is too high or too low can cause neck and back pain, so make sure you choose an adjustable desk that allows you to maintain good posture throughout the workday. In addition to being functional, a good desk can also look good and be stylish. Consider purchasing a desk that matches the style and look of your home office, whether it’s sleek and modern or more classic.
Lastly, remember to plan for storage. A good desk should have enough space to store your files, papers, and office supplies. This will help you keep your workspace clean and organized.
Is Your Home Office Private?
Even if you are one of those people who thrive in chaos, privacy for your home office is important for others too. For those who don’t share a home with other people, you still need to draw a line for where work starts and ends. At a behavior level, this can help your productivity as your brain begins to associate this space with focus and alertness. Most people share a home with other people and will need to set up a home office in a shared room, use dividers or a Glazed Screen to cordon off your desk. These will make you feel like you have your own space, signal to others that this is your space, create a protective Coronavirus barrier between you and others, and help you to look professional during video calls.
Keep Your Essentials Close
Keeping your essentials close is crucial to making your home office look professional. When you work from home, having the tools and supplies you need close by is important so you can stay on task and get work done.
Start by making a list of your most important tools and supplies. This could be your phone, a stapler, pens, paper, and other things you use often. Once you know what these things are, make sure they are easy to find on your desk or in a drawer or shelf nearby. Also, consider using desk organizers, drawer dividers, or other storage solutions to keep your essentials organized and within reach. This can save you time and let you focus on your work instead of looking for tools and supplies.
Furthermore, staying connected to your digital tools is another important part of keeping your essentials close. Make sure your computer, keyboard, and other digital devices are set up in a way that is comfortable and easy for you. You may also want to consider buying a charging dock or another device that keeps your devices organized and charged.
Help yourself get in the zone but trying to simulate the office environment. If your office environment doesn’t get you going, then grab this opportunity to create a productive environment you desire. Avoid cluttering your space and adding potential distractions. Consider adding some green, especially those stuck indoors because of lockdowns. Studies have been done on the effects of having plants in the office space in recent decades. These concluded that adding plants in the office environment boosted productivity and reduced stress. This is another signal in video calls that you care about your office environment and have put effort into setting it up. Some clever plants, like snake plants, are not only nice companions but filter the air, allowing you to breathe in the clean and fresh air in your home office.
Artwork can give your workspace more color, texture, and personality, making it a more pleasant and enjoyable place to work. When picking art for your home office, think about your own style and the way the room looks and feels as a whole. You may choose to display a favorite painting, photograph, or print, or you may opt for a more abstract or minimalist piece that complements the aesthetic of your workspace. Consider adding art, ornaments, posters, family photos, certificates, or even motivational quotes that make you feel inspired and motivate you to work. Some people like keeping a bookshelf in their office or a book on their desk that has had a significant impact on them to read passages or to refer to for inspiration and to trigger certain frameworks of thinking.
Think about how your office space is going to impact you on a physical, psychological, and physiological level. A comfortable chair is important as you are going to be spending a lot of time in it. However, there is no chair that is going to allow you to sit in it the whole day or night and not give you issues. Consider having a small area or shelf that could double up as a standing desk or swapping your chair for a swiss exercise ball. You can move between these when you feel your energy levels dipping or your body wanting a change of position. Put reminders up near your screen or on your desk to remind you to change positions or get up and stretch. Keep up with the principle of your brain associating your office space with alertness and productivity – not a sore back and low energy levels!
Home office space is now common and seems to be the offices of the future. It may be worth slowly investing in equipment that promotes good ergonomic practices, like laptop stands and standing desks. Make your space clean and green by removing clutter and adding some plants. Try to make it private if possible and decorate your space to inspire and motivate you to work.