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home office solutions

Home office solutions for form and function

Home office solutions for form and function 3393 5090 Heidi McLean

The growing number of freelancers and independent contractors in recent years means that more and more people are working from home. While those unable to step away from their desks to do a load of laundry may have a little work-from-home envy, working from home has its challenges, too. A freelancer’s home office that is both inviting and conducive to being able to actually get work done is one of the most important ways to set yourself up for success.

Here are five tips for making your home office a place you want to spend your time:

1. Light up your life

The importance of good lighting cannot be overemphasized. Light your workspace appropriately for your task and also to limit eye strain. These tips, from eye care professionals, are more about function than fashion, but there is no end to lighting options that meet the needs while also allowing you to express your style.

2. Organize and de-clutter

When home offices become collecting places for clutter, you’ll end up resorting to a coffee shop or your dining room table. To combat this, you’ll need some organization techniques to keep everything in order, but don’t neglect the power of organizing’s less glamorous cousin: de-owning. De-own what you don’t need and you’ll free up your mind and creativity for the things that matter.

3. Invest in ergonomics

Sitting all day and staring at a screen is tougher on the body than it seems like it would be, but your body has a way of telling you (usually through pain and strain) that you need to do something differently. Consider ergonomic desks and monitors that allow you to look straight ahead. Here are some quick tips and OSHA provides a thorough checklist for safety in the office. Invest in your body’s future with exactly what you’ll need to be comfortable and position your body for success.

4. Accommodate your unique needs

If your space will never host a client or an overnight guest, feel free to make it a place just for you — even if that means including a spot for productivity-boosting naps. If, on the other hand, you’re going to have client meetings or use the space for multiple purposes, be sure you include the elements you’ll need to keep it from feeling like your clients are stepping into your bedroom.

5. And finally, add your style

The possibilities here are endless, but if you’re going to spend most of your awake time in your space, you should totally love it. Part of the benefit of working from home is being able to make it your own personalized home office. Here are some design tips/ideas and inspirational visual galleries for making your home office truly yours.

The bottom line

In her early days, J.K. Rowling wrote anonymously at a cafe and Stephen King set up a makeshift workspace in his laundry room. You don’t have to have a home office to get work done. Still, if you’re going to go to the trouble and expense of having a home office, make it worth it. Invest in lighting, workspace tools, and decor that make it functional and inviting. Because what’s the point of having a home office if you’re always escaping to work elsewhere?

 

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