Let's face it: we could all stand to be a bit more productive.
This rings especially true for solopreneurs and freelancers working from home. The fact remains that there are so many distractions out there due to the digital age (think: social media, entertainment sites, mobile apps, etc).
Likewise, you can find yourself in a constant state of interruptions if you're juggling family life alongside your business.
Creating the perfect home office in terms of productivity doesn't have to be rocket science. However, you do need a keen sense of detail and an understand of what exactly produces results in terms of a productive environment. Thankfully, you have plenty of freedom to pick and choose those elements to create an office that works for you.
Whether you have a designated office space or are cornering off a section of your home to serve as your workspace, consider the following seven ingredients as crucial elements of a modern, productive office.
Relying on the Right Furniture
Picking out pieces of office furniture is perhaps the most important yet often overlooked aspects of any home office, regardless of what you're working on. Some people think they can just stick any old desk in a corner and call that an office. No problem, right?
After all, consider the multiple functions of furniture in regard to your workspace:
- The right furniture ensures your comfort: having a low-quality chair can result in back problems over time and ultimately keep you from focusing
- The size of your desk matters: something too big will ultimately wasted space, whilst a tiny desk may leave you feeling cramped and crowded
- Stylistically, your furniture ties the room together: while you may not be laser-focused on aesthetics, your office space should be easy on the eyes
While you should obviously strive to stay within your budget, don't skimp on furniture as you could ultimately be sacrificing your productivity in the process.
Make Some Audible Investments
Some people need peace and quiet while they work: others find that they focus better while listening to music.
Noise-canceling headphones may be a sensible investment for those really struggling to focus; meanwhile, a high-quality bluetooth speaker is a solid solution for those who don't mind jamming while they get down to business.
There's no need for you to soundproof your office or drown out distractions with noise; however, you should ensure that your office space isn't too prone to echos (which may impact the quality of calls with clients).
Tune Up Your Tech
Although this may seem like a no-brainer, make sure that you have reliable and up-to-date technology in your office to avoid any potential snafus when working with clients.
While you should obviously have a working desktop or laptop handy, bear in mind that you should feel pretty comfortable with seemingly “smaller” tech such as your router, microphone and mouse. In short, don't deal with ancient equipment that could potentially fail on you or prevent you from getting your work done.
Put Something on the Walls
There may not seem like much of a link between your productivity and what's on the walls; however, you shouldn't corner yourself off in a barren room. After all, such a setting may be rather depressing and distract you from your work.
Instead of going overboard with décor, consider finding the balance between having something to look at (such as a bookshelf, paintings or posters) which jive with your work environment. Likewise, you should have a clean, stylish space behind you in case you need to record a video or take a Skype call with a client.
On a similar note, make sure that you keep your home office clutter-free. While it may be tempting to fill up your desk with knick knacks, you can quickly crowd your space if you aren't careful. In addition, you need to associate your office space with work versus feeling like you're trapped among a bunch of junk.
Do everything in your power to keep your space clean (think: don't take meals in the office or use your space as a dumping ground for clutter around the house).
Get Into the Right Light
Again, much of creating a sense of productivity within the office comes down to finding balance.
This also rings true when it comes to ensuring that your office is well lit. After all, light impacts our ability to focus as well as our mood. Therefore, you should strive to light up your workspace without making it too bright.
Playing with a combination of natural light (think: from your windows) and lamps is crucial to keeping your spirits high. The better you feel in your office space, the more likely you are to stay focused.
Invest in Some Productivity Apps
Your workspace isn't the only element that contributes to your ability to concentrate and get work done. After all, we live in a digital age: therefore, consider what apps and tech you can use on your phone or computer to help you stay on task.
From project management apps like Trello and Slack to productivity apps based on the Pomodoro Technique, even the smallest changes to the way you manage your workload can have a huge impact on your ability to stick to any given task.
There are many moving pieces to creating the ideal office environment; however, your investments you make now will ultimately pay off in the long-run. After all, increasing your productivity now will only boost your business' earning potential as you're able to accomplish more.