HomeGuides & FAQs10 Tips on How to Set Up a Home Office

10 Tips on How to Set Up a Home Office

Home office setup with laptop

Remote work has increased at a 115% growth rate in the past 10 years. This working from home trend was already on an upswing, so expect the pandemic and its fallout to keep those numbers trending upward. 

It’s only right that you create the perfect workspace when you work from home. Creating a home office lets you get all your work done with comfort, clarity, and focus. 

The tips in this article will help you set up a home office that’ll get results. 

1. Choose the Best Area in Your Home

A home remote office should be as separate from the rest of your home as possible. Choose a room or space in your home that is ideally situated for long hours of work. 

A spare bedroom is your best-case scenario for a home office setup. Using a spare bedroom gives you optimal square footage and a door you can close behind you for focus and privacy.

Many people convert their garage, or even their attic or storage shed, into a separate home office. 

So which spaces should you avoid for your home office design?

Using your kitchen space as an office isn’t advisable unless it’s your only available option. The living room is also a bad bet since it’s a high-traffic area where you’re used to unwinding and entertaining.

The bedroom is a huge no-no unless it’s an absolute last resort. Restorative sleep is a huge part of having a productive work-life. The last thing you want to do is blur those lines by bringing the stress of the workday into your bedroom. 

2. Designate It Solely for Business Use

Creating separation in your office means more than just physical separation. Set a strict rule that the office is only for conducting business. Limit any casual browsing and entertainment intake while in the home office. 

About 70% of people say that they feel distracted while they’re at work. Failing to create this separation only leads to more distractions, which is self-inflicted damage to your professional life. 

3. Invest in a Sturdy Chair and Desk

Your work setup has to allow for comfort, ability, and longevity. A sturdy, ergonomic office chair is the best investment you can make for your office and your body. 

Roughly 8% of the adult population in the United States lives with chronic back pain. Sitting in a chair with bad posture and a compressed spine is a surefire way to create back pain, or make existing pain worse. 

It’s a lot easier to stay focused on your work each day when your chair isn’t taxing on your body. 

Your desk should be equally as upright and comfortable and should serve as a complement to your chair. Both the chair and desk should come with adjustable settings that let you fix them to your liking.  

Many people are also moving toward standing desks. Standing desks allow you to stay fit and active while focusing on your work. 

4. Make Sure Your Internet Is Top-Notch

Internet is your most important asset when you work remotely. You’re relying on a consistent, speedy internet connection so that you can communicate via e-mail and access the web, jump on a video chat, download and upload large files, and participate in virtual meetings. 

Test your connection speeds and consider upgrading your internet service if the specs aren’t up to par with what you need. 

It makes sense to also set up a private home server if you can spring for it. A server protects your files and improves your cybersecurity.  

5. Add Lighting to the Home Office

Having an excellent lighting setup will help you more than you know. It’s easier to focus and work long hours when you have enough light to see your screen clearly. 

Use a combination of natural sunlight and light-emitting diode (LED) lighting whenever possible. Double-check your windows and make sure that they’re clean, and the best setup to allow plenty of sunlight.

Consider making a switch to a more green-friendly window, if necessary. When you’re exposed to natural sunlight, your brain creates a feel-good chemical called serotonin. 

Serotonin makes it easier to work long days without mental and emotional wear. 

Look into some stand-up LED lights and consider upgrading your overhead lights as well. This protects your vision, prevents headaches, and makes it easier for you to fall asleep at night. 

6. Make It a Comfortable Abode

Comfort has to be an operative word when creating a home office. You work better when you’re relaxed and not stressed. The home office conditions that you choose help to create the perfect environment.  

Get a nice couch that you can bounce between during breaks. Having a couch to sit on during breaks is especially helpful if you use the Pomodoro method during work shifts.  

Install an aromatherapy diffuser or a pod that can play classical, jazz, or epic music, or some atmospheric sounds that help with concentration. 

Get rid of dust and give it a deep clean before moving in and opening for business. Make sure that your carpets or floors are thoroughly cleaned, and that the room smells fresh. 

You might consider adding a refrigerator or microwave so that you don’t have to run up and downstairs to grab a snack or to hydrate. A standalone water cooler or coffee maker are also excellent additions to any home office.  

7. Set Up Systems for Organization

The way that you organize your home office will dictate a lot about your workweek and how productive you’ll be. Clean out the closet so that you can add some bins and shelves where you can keep supplies or inventory. 

Invest in a couple of filing cabinets, waste and recycling bins, and categorize stations so that you have a system that works for you. Invest in some external hard drive space and back it with cloud storage that can help you manage your files. 

Put dates and codes to use, and consider using a barcode system that lets you quickly retrieve larger amounts of data during your searches. 

8. Decorate in a Way That Serves You

A little decoration goes a long way when you’re setting up a home office. Consider the color schemes that invigorate and excite you so that you can stay focused and energized throughout the day. 

You might want to give the room a fresh coat of paint or might even want to swap out the carpets or rugs to coordinate. Work through color schemes for your blinds and drapes as well. 

Adorn your walls with things that make you want to work hard. This could include college degrees, awards you’ve won, favorite moments, family photos, a vision board, and any articles, mantras, or pieces of motivation that get you going.  

There are no rules with how you decorate this office since it’s in your home and you don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder. Get as creative with it as you’d like, and create a home office that is perfect for your temperament and personality. 

Look into some color psychology principles so that you can choose combinations that hit their mark. The color red denotes energy and urgency. Green denotes newness, freshness, and nature. Blue is an excellent color for enthusiasm and imagination. 

Hit your local hardware store and grab a few cans of primer and a paint color that best decorates your home office. 

9. Know the Dimensions and Square Footage

Treating yourself like a business will carry you far through the years. A business owner needs to understand the specifications of any office they work out of.  

For your home office, this means getting to know the exact measurements and square footage. Understanding the office dimension makes it easier to buy new office furniture or rearrange. 

Getting specs of your office also helps you when it’s time to take advantage of the home office tax credit each year. This deduction lets you subtract a certain percentage of your mortgage note based on the percentage you get when measuring the square footage of your home office against the square footage of your entire home. 

Keep these measurements with your records so that you always have this information at your fingertips when you need it. Upgrade your homeowner’s insurance plan to add special provisions and protections for the office. 

10. Maintain Records in a Business-Like Manner

Recordkeeping is an essential part of any office. Create separate areas of your office where you keep all your important documents, mail correspondence, digital data, and anything else of importance. 

Consider the sensitivity of these items, and whether you need to include some of them in a fireproof safe. Most importantly, have a system for organizing them so that it’s easy to retrieve an item that you need. 

Be mindful to keep copies of your tax returns, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) correspondence, and any business contracts that you enter into. Constantly upgrade your tech so that you can store everything in multiple digital locations without worrying about security issues. 

Set Up a Home Office You’ll Love

When you learn how to set up a home office in a way that works, it’s easier for you to be productive. This office will be your home away from home – though it’s inside your home. 

Making the best decisions when decorating, organizing, and otherwise setting it up acts as an investment both in your home and business. 

The key takeaway is knowing that any upgrade is within your grasp when you learn the best tips for making it happen. Our site is dedicated to providing you with information on making home upgrades of all varieties. 

Rely on us when you need to get some work done in your master bedroom, bathrooms, home office, or any other room in your home. 

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