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Six Smart Tips to Create a Productive Home Office

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If you want to improve productivity, you probably don’t favor the sterile view of office cubicles. How can we make our homes efficient places to get things done?

On the one hand it might seem like getting out of the office would be automatically better than going in every day. We save the time and stress of the commute, and we don’t have to deal with coworkers as directly.

But on the other hand, there are resources and patterns at the workplace that help us to be good at our jobs. Here are six tips for how you can achieve the same productivity at your home office without having to call your boss all the time to remind him you’re working.

Tip #1: Reduce Paperwork to the Minimum

Even though you’re at home, the nature of work nature contains certain static routines: printing, filing of papers, etc. If you go into the office, it may be a little easier to keep your space clean since others see it. Instead, try reducing how much you print and convert your magazine subscriptions to electronic versions. Cutting down on paper will keep your area tidy and help you stay on task.

Tip #2: Invest in Appropriate Furniture

If you’re working from home, you’ve got a unique opportunity to select furnishings that meet your personal tastes. But it’s also a chance to try out ergonomic or space-saving furniture that would never fly in the office. Plus, you may be able to convince your employer to pitch in thanks to the savings of having you work from home.

Tip #3: Natural Lighting Alongside Ambient Lights

It may seem obvious, but not everyone knows that lighting poses a direct impact on your physical and emotional well-being. A home office may be in a corner of your house that doesn’t have the best possible mix of light. Make sure you can adjust for the seasons as well as the type of work. And don’t forget to take breaks and go outside!

Home Office

© Flickr user Sean MacEntee

Tip #4: Design a Daily Plan For Yourself

If you’re among colleagues, it’s a little easier to get a sense of what is happening each day and what you should be working on. But if you’re home alone, you need your own daily plan. This may be a sequence of activities or a checklist that you always try and accomplish. It’s easier to stay motivated if you have a regular pattern.

Tip #5: Keep Your Family and Your Hobbies at Bay

We all love our families, but spouses, children, and other relatives can be a tremendous challenge when working from home. Plus, the radio, TV, and other technology can pull you away. Set clear boundaries about your workspace and your working hours. And, try not to have any distractions that you wouldn’t be willing to have if you went into work.

Tip #6: Manage Your Own Self-Development

If you’re working from a home office you’re more likely to miss out on training opportunities, both formal and informal. That means you need to set aside time and resources for self-development. That could be as simple as watching TED videos while you eat lunch, or signing up for webinars or virtual coaching services. To become a better remote employee, take control of your own remote career.

Sreejith MullappillyHopefully you’re reading this from your home office. Or your work office. Or anywhere you prefer. Because what matters most is being somewhere that’s comfortable but allows you to be as engaged as you want to be.

Sreejith Mullappilly has an MBA and is an aspiring content writer for OfficeRock.com. A square peg in a round hole, he likes to blog about cinema and sports in his free time. You can find him venting about his favorite films and teams across the Internet.

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