Best Home Office Setup for Peak Efficiency
Working from home may sound simple. You envision yourself working from anywhere in your house. The kitchen, the living room, your bedroom, the basement. But your home can have distractions, too. So early on, you need to designate a spot where you will do most of your work.
Now, some people may have enough room in their home that they can designate one specific spot as the “home office.” Others may not have that luxury. That’s fine. The idea is to have one spot where you will always do your work. That means this space is meant specifically for this function.
Having a designated home office is important. It gives you a spot in your home where you can keep all your “business” related equipment and items, such as your printer, your laptop, research literature and books. A well-designed home office setup improves your productivity, makes you more efficient, and lessens your distractions while you’re working.
So today, we’re going to be writing about what could be your best home office setup.
Office Equipment and Design that Suit Your Taste
I don’t know about you, but I have not had a desktop computer in over ten years! They are bulky and static. And when you need to be mobile, they just won’t do. Besides, having a desktop and a laptop just for those purposes is far too expensive for people who are starting out.
Most home offices now seem to only need a few things in order to function efficiently. You need a laptop or a Chromebook, perhaps a tablet. I assume you have a smartphone, so that’s essential, too. You need a printer, something that you can wirelessly connect to would be preferable. And of course, none of these would work well without a good internet system at your home. That is a must!
Furniture are also important. You need a space where you can be both comfortable and relaxed. You need that spot to be distraction-free and clutter-free in order to be conducive to work.
Choose a computer table and chair that you will feel comfortable using for hours every day. Make sure that your decor fits your personal taste and will help you relax while you’re working. Choose background music (if you work better with music in the background) that does the same thing.
You have to make your work space, no matter what the size, as comfortable to you to work in, as possible. Remember, you will be in that spot for hours every day. You might as well make it the best spot in the house!
Administrative Tasks? Use Apps and Technology!
Having a home office means you’re on your own. No administrative staff to back you up. Here, you can use technology to act as your back office. There are also apps and technology solutions that you can utilize to help you streamline your processes.
Voice-activated technology has spawned the creation of Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Home. Both can help you with time-consuming tasks such as answering and sending e-mails and text messages, while freeing you to do other things. Here’s a short video tutorial on how voice-activated technology like Alexa can help make your home office more efficient.
I’ve mentioned this earlier, but using printers that allow wireless access will also save time as it allows you to print from anywhere in your home. There are even printers that accept print jobs from virtually anywhere else that has internet connection!
There are also communication apps that allow you to chat with people from anywhere such as Facetime (if you’re an iPhone user), or Viber. These are free apps you can use to discuss business plans and proposals face-to-face on video.
We live in a world today where technology can help streamline your business to a level business people have not seen before. And that’s likely to get better moving forward. Investing on necessary technology today, while taking care not to overspend on things that you do not need, is a necessary balance each business owner needs to master. But its not that hard. You just need to know what you need.
Organized and Clutter-Free
I know people work differently. But a cluttered work area gives the impression of chaos and will ultimately derail productivity. You might spend a lot of time sifting through papers looking for something that you need and misplaced. And this distracts you and wastes precious time. Make sure all documents are properly stored away.
Resist the habit of having papers out in the open. File them away, and make sure you label these files appropriately so that its easier for you to locate documents moving forward.
Having a clean and clutter-free work place also helps you maintain a relaxing atmosphere in your work area. It also allows you to be focused. And that’s hard to do that when your work station looks like a war zone.
Finally, visitors will get a negative impression of your home office if all they see is a mess. And this may impact your ability to successfully build business relationships with prospective partners and clients.
Save your Work – Back It Up!
Have you ever lost files because you did not save them regularly while you were working on them? This is more common during power outages, where important documents are lost when the power suddenly goes out. You must be prepared for such eventualities.
You need to invest on certain technologies that allows you to safely and effectively store data. Acquiring an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) combined with a surge protector, protects your equipment from power surges, and, just as important, gives you a few minutes to save your data and power down your computer.
It’s also recommended to use cloud-based data storage service to back up your files. The other benefit that you get is it allows you access to all your stored data from anywhere! Which opens up a wider area for you to do your work.
Work While You’re On The Go
That’s a great way to segue to our next topic, which is mobility.
Mobility is one of the reasons for working at home. That means you don’t need to be tethered to an office environment to be effective and productive. By extension, that means being able to work from virtually anywhere!
And really, all you need is either a laptop, a tablet, even a smartphone! And WiFi connectivity. And many places now offer that. You will also need chargers, perhaps a wireless keyboard, and a mouse.
One tool we’ve found useful is a data plan that allow us to turn our phones into mobile hotspots. This has truly become handy on many occasions when WiFi connection is either not available or is spotty, at best. Sometimes, my wife works on our website while she’s in the car, and I’m driving. She uses one of our phones as a hotspot and she is able to get a lot of tasks done while we’re on the move!
Using your phone as a mobile hotspot does drain your battery faster, so you do need to have a convenient charger handy. And if your data plan is not unlimited, then you do need to monitor your data usage.
There are companies now that do encourage their employees to work from home either part-time or full-time. They see the value in that business model. This model truly came into its own with the advent of mobile and wireless technology. And people are starting to take advantage of it. Especially start-ups.
Working at home is so much more rewarding if you’re working for yourself. And that is true for any business. And while starting a business is never easy, and it still requires a lot of work, especially on the front-end, the same technologies that allowed people to work from home has made starting your own online business less tedious, and easier to undertake.
Mind you, “easier” does not mean “easy.” All it means is that an individual can now accomplish much more tasks than a decade ago would have required far more people, and man-hours, to accomplish!
One such task is actually building a website. Today, you can accomplish this task in a matter of hours, and have it up and running in a day!
All these good habits, when followed diligently, will help you keep and maintain an efficient and relaxing work environment at home. And when you feel good working, you work better, and you accomplish more!
It will be great to hear other home office efficiency ideas from you. Please leave them in the comments section below so that other readers can benefit from them. Have a wonderful day!