Learn ways to create a functional home office that’s an enjoyable, productive place to work

A man on his phone and at his home office

Working from home may be a benefit you enjoy. You can manage your day as you wish and avoid the daily grind of getting to and from an office. But whether you work from home every day or just a few days a week, you can maximize your productivity by creating a comfortable and functional home office space.

Consider the following tips when you design and manage your home office:

  1. Make it comfortable. When you buy a couch or bed, comfort is usually your focus. But what about your office chair or desk? When you invest in an ergonomically correct chair or desk, you’re investing in physical comfort that can also reduce the possibility of neck, back, hip, or wrist strain (and potentially any ailment associated with those issues).1
  2. Keep your personal life separate (as much as you can). Try to set up your home office in a place that separates you from the everyday activity of your home — an extra bedroom or office area where you can shut the door is ideal. You may even consider investing in noise-canceling headphones or earbuds to help you stay focused and productive throughout the day.
  3. Get the right technology. Select internet service, office equipment, computers, and other devices capable of handling the workload you produce. If you deal with sensitive customer data, take every precaution to keep that information secure. Additionally, keep your devices, operating systems, and apps updated regularly to protect them against outside intrusions.
  4. Choose proper storage options. Find ways to maximize your space and remove clutter from your workspace. It may be as simple as moving paper files to digital storage, mounting wires or cords to keep them out of your way, or putting up shelves (or a hutch) above your desk. You may also convert your closet into a storage unit with shelving and cabinets designed for your specific business needs. Remember that working in a clean, organized office is essential to being more productive throughout your day.2
  5. Install the correct lighting. Many times home offices are in spaces initially designed for other purposes, such as a den, bedroom, or dining room. Adequate lighting is essential and should include a combination of ambient lighting for the entire room, as well as lighting specific to reading and working at your desk.
  6. Personalize your space. Put up pictures of your family, post inspirational quotes, or hang artwork you enjoy. While you don’t want your space to be cluttered, it’s always a good idea to have things around you that inspire and motivate you.

Following these tips, you can create a workspace that’s pleasant and functional. Once your space is organized, take the time every day to keep it clean. You may even choose to take a few minutes at the end of each workday to jot down what you plan to accomplish the following day. That way, you’ll begin each day with a clean workspace and a list of tasks to tackle.