Whether your job requires work done from home, your business is going online or you’re freelancing at home for good, the right home office environment can have many benefits, such as fewer distractions, better mental health, and increased productivity. Check out our guide to set up your home office to get the most out of working at home.
The essential first step – where to put your office
If your home allows for it, try to set up your home office in a dedicated space – for example, a spare bedroom. Make sure there’s enough natural light to keep you energised, but not so much that glare or heat is a problem.
If you don’t have a dedicated space, you can still carve out a place for your home office in a multi-purpose or open plan area – try some crafty partitions, plants, or shelves to make a physical barrier between your workspace and other parts of the room. Not only will this limit distractions, but it’s also a great reminder to others that you’re not to be disturbed while you’re in the zone. Invest in a great pair of headphones to block out any excess noise!
Getting organised with the right setup
Having the right setup is important for your physical wellbeing as well as long-term success. Your office should have an ergonomically supportive desk and chair at a minimum. From there, it’s about organising your space to keep everything you need within easy grasp. Investing in a good wireless keyboard and mouse can also keep things tidy and provide a bit more flexibility.
If you’re working at night, a high-quality desk lamp is a necessity – don’t rely on room lighting which doesn’t provide enough light and can hurt your eyes. Keep your desk free of debris with a good filing cabinet, which can be used to store a lot more than paper.
Get more zen for more success
The right workspace is not just about a desk and chair. Spend some time personalising your environment so that you enjoy being there – your mental health will thank you for it. Some artwork can provide a welcome reprieve from looking at the screen all day, and plants serve the dual purpose of brightening up your environment, as well as freshening the air.
While it’s important to keep things clean, don’t steer away from your knick-knacks. They keep you focussed on one of the key benefits of working from home – more control over your surroundings. If you’re spending a lot of time video-conferencing, set up a side table in front of your main camera, and add some personal touches. Feel like a post-lunch break? Add a hammock or a beanbag to your space. Feeling creative? Setup a second space beside your primary work area for a creative break.
In Australia, if you’re working at home in a dedicated office space, you can often claim office supply and furniture expenses on your annual tax return. Check with the ATO for all the details.