70% of business now start life in a bedroom or home office, according to The Telegraph.
It’s not hard to see why: working from home is a lot cheaper than renting out office space, and if your business largely operates online, there’s no need to work from a set physical location.
However, while working from home comes with a host of benefits, it can also be a hotbed for distraction if you’re not smart about it. So, if you’re planning on starting your own business from the comfort of your home, follow these tips to make sure you end up with home office that maximises your productivity.
If you’re planning on running a business from home, the dining room table isn’t going to cut it as a workspace. If you want to maximise productivity, you’ve got to create a dedicated home office.
So, claim a room in your house, clear it out, and refurbish it following the tips we delve into later in this article. Then, if you’re serious about your productivity, don’t use your new home office for anything other than work.
This might seem overkill, but think about it: when you used to work in an office, did you have any trouble concentrating throughout the whole workday? That’s because, psychologically, you associated your desk with work. As soon as you sat down at the start of the day your brain went into ‘work mode’.
If you only ever enter your office to work, you’ll find it a lot easier to enter ‘work mode’ each day at home too. So, be very strict about only using your home office for work. The success of your business could depend on it.
Getting plenty of sunlight during the day can improve your productivity and the quality of your sleep, according to a recent study from the Northwestern University of Chicago.
The takeaway here is simple: convert a room that gets lots of natural light into your home office. If this isn’t an option, then make sure you go for plenty of walks and enjoy your lunch outside whenever the sun is shining. This might seem like a luxury, but it can have a significant impact on your productivity, allowing you to get more done in less time.
When it comes to decorating your home office, it’s important you approach it a bit differently than you would any other room. Here’s why.
While you might want to stay on trend when you’re revamping your main living spaces, don’t forget that your office is a place of work. This doesn’t mean you have to paint the walls magnolia and install a water cooler. However, you should avoid trends and instead go for styles that aren’t going to be distractingly outdated in a year’s time.
Maximise productivity in your home office by decorating it in muted colours that complement each another and furnishing it with matching pieces that will never go out of style. For example, pick up a solid wood desk from Oak Furniture Land’s range of computer desks and a swivel chair to match from Timeless Chesterfield’s selection of office chairs and your home office will never go out of style.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of having your own home office is being able to tailor it to your tastes and needs.
For example, if you have your best ideas when you’re exercising, you can set up a treadmill or install a pull-up bar in your office. When you’re stuck in a rut and need some inspiration, you can start running or do a few sets of pull-ups and you might have the breakthrough you’re looking for. This is the kind of freedom you’re not given in most offices, so make sure you take advantage of it.
Furthermore, if there are any photographs or pieces of art that inspire you, fill your office with them. They may very well help inspire you when a difficult problem needs solving.
While you might not think adding a few houseplants to your home office will make much of an impact on your productivity, you’d be surprised. In fact, introducing houseplants to a “lean” workspace can increase productivity by an astonishing 15%, according to a study led by Dr Chris Knight of Exeter University. And that’s not all: houseplants have been shown to improve memory retention and concentration levels, according to Texas A&M.
So, make sure you add a few houseplants to your home office. Succulents like cacti are attractive and low-maintenance, meaning you don’t have to consider yourself a gardener to enjoy their benefits.
So, there you have it: everything you need to know before you set up your own home office. Follow these tips and you’ll end up with the perfect launchpad for your business that is sure to serve you for years to come.