Your home office doesn’t have to be exactly like the traditional one you’ve left behind. You’ll definitely want to skip the headache-inducing, overhead lighting, and stale office air. But if you want to be productive, you do need to keep your space work-focused.
You don’t have to have a traditional desk or space, but you do need a work area. In my office, I have both a desk and drafting table. I switch between them, depending on my projects and how much space I need. I also work from the couch, sometimes. It’s all about staying motivated, and, sometimes, comfort helps with that.
Ultimately, it comes down to creating an atmosphere that puts you in a work frame-of-mind.
These are a few things a home office requires:
- No clutter: Stuff like dirty clothes or dishes are distracting. They stress you out and cause you to think about all the other tasks you have to do after work.
- No distractions: Keep the TV or loud music in another room.
- No pets or kids: If you don’t have an office with a door, try a baby or pet gate.
- The right lighting: It’s hard to work if you can’t see.
- Space: You need room to spread out or store any materials or supplies you might need.
If you’re working in a shared area of your home, think about setting up your workspace as a cubicle. Get a paneled room divider to give yourself some privacy during your workday. You can block off the recliner you like to work from or set up a desk in a private corner of the den.
Lighting is important. Too much of it, like the fluorescent lighting in a typical office, can cause headaches and eyestrain. Not enough light can cause the same thing. I prefer having both an overhead and desk light, and the ability to let in natural light on sunny days. If you do a lot of work with colors, natural light will help you see things more clearly.
Whatever tweaks and changes you make, the critical part is creating a space—whether big or small—that your brain associates with getting work done.