Improving productivity by working out of the home office seems like an obvious choice to many professionals. Today’s guest post outlines the tools and technologies you need to make your home office most productive.
Your environment plays a huge role in your productivity. Based in part on a Cornell University study involving workplace temperatures, researcher and business consultant Dr. Rod Friedman says lower temperatures lead to lower productivity — as much as a 10 percent drop, in some cases.
Whether you are setting up your first home office or relocating from your kitchen table to the spare bedroom down the hall, take advantage of these environmental tips to create a comfortable and productive home office.
Cubby Holes and Cubicles
Even if you cannot afford a pricey office, you can lay out your office with a desk, file storage within easy reach, and an ergonomically designed desk chair to reduce back strain from long hours in front of the computer. Chiropractor Rodney Lefler recommends a chair with a firm back rest, soft fabric cushion and an adjustable height so your feet fit flat on the floor. Adjusting the height for writing comfort is essential, too.
Digitally Decked Out
Organizing desktop, laptop and iPad docking stations and wireless printers so the equipment is easy to reach, but not cluttering your work space, will keep you focused and reduce stress. Organization is essential for efficiency. When the budget is tight, equip your home office with an Internet package from a reputable company to tackle efficiency and financial goals in one sweep.
Even though business is serious, don’t forget to add fun elements to your office. Use brightly colored hole-punchers and staplers. The Tetris Stackable LED Desk Lamp is fun and functional. For only $40, you can use this to add a little dazzle and color to keep your spirits soaring. Another helpful gadget is the MMT Monitor2Go, a second monitor that works with your smartphone. It is a great device for taking your home office on the road, so you never miss a chance to make a sale.
Speaker phones are great for talking and working on the computer at the same time, but investing in the best noise-cancelling headset you can afford is a better option for your home office. Everyone knows when you finally get that VP of marketing on the telephone, the dog will bark, the baby will wake up, and the FedEx guy will knock on your door.
Once you have the basics in place, think about yourself. Make room for a small teapot or single-brew coffee maker, a couple of squishy stress balls and maybe even a nubby foot-roller to encourage circulation in your legs and feet.
Working from home can be an isolating endeavor if you don’t have a strong support system. Remember to carve out space for your support team. Whether it is a beanbag in the corner for your encouraging teen, a side chair for your significant other or a cushy spot for your labradoodle to curl up on, be sure you have room for visitors.
Lyle Johnson runs a small roofing business and studies marketing at his local community college. He writes about small business, marketing and how to leverage social media.