Remote working has gained significant traction in the last few years. While spare bedrooms or spare corners of living rooms might once have served as an extra space for laundry or wayward papers, they’re often used as working spaces in today’s world. As such, many professionals are trying to improve their home offices. This gives them that professional edge and enables them to strike the much sought-after work-life balance that we all dream of.
Working from home may have its challenges on occasion, but it also opens up a world of possibility. While your 9-5 office might have been characterized by drab décor and fluorescent lighting, your at-home office can showcase your individual style and amalgamate both function and style.
Here we explore five guaranteed ways to organize your home office to boost your remote working or freelancing experience.
1. Clear the Junk
When it comes to creating the perfect home office, it is best to start with a clean slate. All too often, our work desks resemble an overwhelming avalanche of papers. While some might be important (and should therefore be filed), others can be easily saved in digital formats or even thrown away. Before you begin sorting your home office, it is essential to clear out the junk. Pile your papers into three critical stacks, namely ‘save it, ‘scan it’, and ‘shred it’ piles. Documents that need to be kept in hard copy for legal or financial reasons should be filed accordingly and scanned documents should be saved onto the Cloud. Those which are no longer needed should be shredded to give you more space.
Once your paper pile has eased, consider sorting through the room in greater detail. Do you really need three misshapen chairs, three wonky bookshelves, and the exercise ball you’ve been threatening to use since 2015? Embarking on your home-office organization project without the stress of excess junk can alleviate any anxiety and give you a clear idea of the space that you are working with. Move furniture accordingly and sell or donate that which no longer serves your space.
Decluttering can even extend to your desktop computer. Organize your desktop into clear, easy-to-navigate folders and add a bookmark bar to your main home page so that you can quickly access your top websites when needed.
Once your space (and the endless papers) has been cleared, you can begin organizing your home office with clarity.
2. Create a clear-cut workspace
One of the biggest obstacles when working from home is finding the balance between home life and work life. While some individuals are fortunate enough to have large properties and separate offices, others have to carve out little office niches within communal rooms. A visual barrier is an effective and simple way to achieve this division and could be as simple as a room divider or a curtain to hide the workspace while not in use. When you are finished for the day, simply close the curtain much like you would the office door.
To strike the ultimate work-life balance, it is essential to create clear-cut divisions between the office and home. Another essential element of this is setting clear boundaries – since it is all too easy for those at-home office hours to leak into personal or family time. This boundary will be different for everyone but might entail not taking your work laptop into the bedroom, only answering calls and emails between 9 am and 5 pm, and giving yourself the weekends to relax. This balance is particularly important if you’re navigating a family or small children while working from home.
Setting clear boundaries and divisions from the get-go will allow you to strike this balance with ease.
3. Invest in efficient equipment
One of the most difficult aspects of embarking on the remote work or freelancing lifestyle is having to set up the at-home office’s practical elements. This is where reputable service providers will save the day since an essential feature of a successful at-home office is having technology that works. Spend time researching the best WI-FI or Fiber providers and invest in services that will make your work-life easier.
Once you have sorted top-notch Internet, you will want to efficiently organize your cables and add any office equipment you might need. You can, however, build this up gradually and make use of printing shops in the interim. Some top pieces of office equipment that you might invest in down the lines include:
- A printer/scanner
- A shredder
- A comfortable office chair
- A spacious desk
- Quality shelving
- A quality keyboard
- Computer glasses
- A comfortable cushion
Happily, you can add these pieces over time.
4. Organize Your Schedule
Another crucial part of setting up your remote working station is ensuring that your schedule is well maintained and efficient. Every freelancer needs a schedule (however loose or stringent) to meet their deadlines and produce enough work. Happily, there are some fantastic online freelance management platforms around that can help you to navigate the daily nitty-gritty. One such platform is the Indy freelance management tool. The site offers a suite of nine comprehensive tools for freelancers, including invoice generators, online calendars, time trackers, proposal generators, communication portals, and more. This platform can offer you the confidence to manage your at-home business with professionalism at the fore.
5. Add that personal touch
One of the most fantastic perks of having a home office is the fact that you can design it to your liking (and even have your furry friend right next to you as you grind). This means that you can create a space that evokes inspiration and happiness. Perhaps you’ll paint a bold wall in your favorite color or create a gallery wall with your favorite artworks or pictures of your nearest and dearest. When it comes to decorating your at-home office, the options are endless. Some affordable and delightful ways to add that personal touch include adding pot plants, personal photos, pops of color, and artworks that inspire.
Happily, the decor doesn’t have to happen all at once, and you can gradually curate your office space as you go.
Building the perfect at-home office certainly takes some dedication and time. However, it can yield some super positive results and allow you to live your work life on your own terms. Create an office space that brings you great joy and makes you feel motivated to start the working day!