Whether you are a full-time freelancer pumping out work emails 9-5, hustling on the side, or pursuing creative passions, the home office serves as a sanctuary. A place where you don’t have to consider the dishes or the laundry; you aren’t tempted to take a nap or turn on Netflix… at least that’s the goal. If you are planning to carve out a space that’s all your own or simply spruce up your existing space, gather inspiration from the following home office essentials.
Home Office Essentials Checklist
The Home Office
OK, this may seem like an obvious one. But having a space dedicated to your work can minimize distractions and also increase efficiency by allowing you to have all of your home office essentials in one space. Ideally you want a room with a door, but don’t let small spaces hinder your work-from-home productivity. Find a quiet corner to set up a desk armoire. What looks like a storage space from the outside opens into a computer closet turned cubicle.
Pro tip: If it can be controlled, avoid placing your home office in the bedroom. It becomes difficult to relax or fall asleep once you view the bedroom as a place to get work done. Vice versa, concentrating on work while in your bedroom can be quite distracting.
In order to be efficient, the home office should be equipped with all the tools you need to properly execute your job — the computer, high speed internet, desk phone, headset, printer, paper shredder, etc. Make sure you are stocked up on office supplies too!
Pro tip: More than just the equipment you need to complete your work, consider the equipment you need to do it comfortably. If sitting for long periods of time, an ergonomic chair is a must. Do you like to stand while you work? Consider a desk with adjustable height and a supportive standing mat.
When you walk through a place of business, you see personal flair on each of the workspaces, such as family photos, sports gear, or awards. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adorn your desk with items that represent you, especially if you will be spending a majority of the week in the home office. Decorate the space with items that inspire you or make you happy.
Pro tip: Houseplants can help filter the air naturally, create a sense of calm, and increase productivity. Consider adding some greenery to your home office to create some zen in the busy space.
If at all possible, choose a workplace with a view. Exposure to natural light can increase overall health, as well as boost alertness and productivity. Views to outside and nature are also known to increase focus. Use a room that gets ample natural light as your home office.
Pro tip: Home offices use a lot of energy. By having yours in a room with natural light, you can often go without turning the light switch on, which results in energy and money savings. And when the weather is nice, you can open the window for some relaxing fresh air.
Offices clutter quickly with books, papers, reports, etc., and disarray can create more stress in your life. Invest in some smart storage solutions to keep your space organized. Filing cabinets on wheels are great, but if you are a more visual person who wants to see and access your papers, you can try cubbies, wall shelves, or magazine rack holders with file folders. Figure out a system that works best for you.
Pro tip: Need to video conference? Whatever sits behind your desk chair is what clients and bosses will see, which is a good reason to consider the whole room when organizing, not just the desk.
Hopefully by embracing the tips above, you create a space with order. Even when you love what you do, work can be chaotic at times. By cultivating a calm and clean environment, you start your workday energized and in a clear headspace. Take some time to reorganize the space at the end of every day so you can continue to love “going” to work.
What do you consider to be home office essentials? Let us know in the comments section below.