More and more people are embracing the idea of working from home. Even if you haven’t been forced into it by office lockdowns, you might have found the idea of starting a small business appealing, and so many jobs can be done largely from a computer today. Plus, you might just need an office should it become the case that you are snowed in or have an appointment that will only take half an hour out of your day.
Unfortunately, even in those circumstances, life goes on, and you will need to present a professional appearance for meetings with clients and colleagues – and a professional appearance rarely involves the Christmas decoration boxes lying in the corner of your office.
If you are looking for an office that keeps you organized and happy, take a look at our guide to creating it.
We know you are looking at that spare room with distain. You don’t want to go wading through the stuff that you never got round to unpacking, or putting in a cupboard, or can’t bear to part with. But your five guitars or boxes of out-of-date art supplies need to go somewhere, and your new office isn’t the place for it.
It’s important that you have your own space to work. It will get your brain into the game. Ever walked into a room and forgotten why you went in there? That’s because your brain resets when you enter a room. When you enter your office, your brain is now primed for work, rather than sleeping, like working from your bed, or eating, like working at the dining table.
So, take some time to go through everything and clear some space. You can separate everything into four categories: storage, charity, bin, and office. If you can keep on top of it there is nothing wrong with splitting your office into a shared room. It can be part walk in closet, or hobby room for all those crafts. As long as you have enough space to think, you’ll see your productivity go up.
In the small days before IKEA closed with the rest of the world, desks were flying off the warehouse shelves. Those of us who weren’t quick enough had to sit at the kitchen dining table, constantly interrupted by partners or roommates looking for another cup of coffee, or children who were doodling or running around the table.
A reliable table should be sturdy and roomy, but, crucially, it should have some storage. If you are looking to stay organized, every piece of furniture you buy should include storage, but particularly in the office. It’s easy to get swamped in work. Being able to focus on one thing at a time is based on being able to put away distractions until you need them.
For more information on tables, take a look at this guide to conference tables.
If this is going to be an ongoing thing, you might want to think about your chair. The leftover dining chair you’ve stolen for the kitchen is going to be of no use after an hour, when its inability to move means you are stuck in the one position for too long.
A decent chair will offer movement and support so that you don’t feel like you’ve been sitting with a boulder on your back for eight hours a day.
With most businesses conducting half their work over Zoom calls nowadays, it’s important to put your best foot forward. Sure, people joke about taking calls in their pajamas, but if you were to meet an important client or boss, you would need to look your best right?
The same goes for anything else your webcam lays eyes on. The wall behind you should say something about your professionalism and style, and an empty white wall won’t say much.
You have plenty of options if you are looking to decorate. You can give it some personality with an accent wall or install some bookcases to show off your wealth of knowledge, (or your vast “I’ll get to it eventually” pile). You can also put up an eye-catching gallery wall to show you are an art lover. Choose something that appeals to you, and you will quickly make an impression.
No one is begrudging you a few little touches to allow you to express yourself within your office. And now that you aren’t in a pod, you can do what you wish with the space. There is a wealth of stationary out there that doesn’t come in the standard grey and black, so that you don’t feel like you’re in a sterile prison cell and you can let a little color into your life.
Consider adding a plant or two to the room. With it oxygenating the room you will see your ability to think improve, as well as its calming effects which have been proven to lower blood pressure, in turn lowering your stress levels.