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Home Office Hacks: Ideas for Improving Your Home Office Space

By Barbara Beauregard   |    August 4, 2014   |    11:34 AM

How to Make Your Home More Work Friendly

According to numerous recent polls, more and more people, especially small business owners, are now working remotely. While many people do business from coffee shops, most people at some point during the week work from home. This often means distractions like kids, house work or even catching up with neighbors.

So how does someone working remotely from a home office stay productive? Here are some home office hacks to help stay on track.

  • Clean up before work begins: Nothing is more distracting than a messy environment. To avoid this interrupting thought processes, every Sunday, clean up the entire house, especially the work area. Remove any papers or other items cluttering the computer area.
  • Turn off the TV, and turn on the radio: Your home is bound to be full of disruptive technology like televisions or video games threatening to tempt you away from your work. Shut the TV off, and put away any other absorbing items. Turn on the radio instead. Music can be soothing and help with concentration.
  • Keep the errands to a minimum: Oftentimes, family members and friends think that a person that works from home can do a bunch of errands or even has time for chit chat. People working from home must remind friends and family that their home office is just like a traditional office. They don’t have time to run to the grocery store or pick up a friend’s mother from the airport.
  • Break up the day: Many parents who work from home get tasks done around their kids’ schedule. Get up early, and get some work done before the kids get up or while they’re getting ready for school. Do as much work while the kids are at school and after they go to bed. Take a break for a few hours when they come home from school.
  • Take a breather: People tend to work in sprints: performing a number of tasks in a couple of hours, and then usually needing a break. Improve vitamin D and energy by taking a quick stroll outside. The sunshine will also help improve overall mood.
  • Invest in a whiteboard or similar setup: Whiteboards are all over traditional offices, but they’re actually quite useful in home offices as well. Write down all the tasks for the day on the whiteboard, starting with the most difficult, time-consuming task first. Cross off tasks as they’re completed. Whiteboards can also be used for brainstorming or writing down creative ideas for new projects or business ventures.
  • Let the light in: Natural light has been known to boost the mood. It also reduces glare from computer screens, reducing eye strain and improving productivity. Set up office desk or other work spaces near a window.
  • Be comfortable: People work from home because it’s non-traditional, meaning that they’re not stuck at a desk or in a cubicle, sitting on uncomfortable office chairs. It’s best to invest in furniture and a setup that encourages productivity, but that is still comfortable. For some people, that may be a laptop on their lap with their legs propped up an ottoman. For others, that may be a full office desk with ergonomic furniture. Experimentation will help determine what works best for each individual.

Home offices are notorious for being distracting environments. Home offices, however, can be manipulated to encourage productivity. Try all of these hacks at least once to see if work.