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Setting Up The Ultimate Home Office

There’s something exciting about creating (or revamping!) a space in your home that’s dedicated to growth, creativity, and inspiration.

Many may not think of their workspace as such, but do you feel more productive in a space that you enjoy or a space that you’re forced to be in? Having a workspace that you LOVE and WANT to be in may just be what you need!

Whether you’re updating an existing space or creating a brand new one, here are some tips (and products!) to help you along the way!

The Setting.

We suggest finding somewhere outside of your bedroom to create this space, if at all possible! Having your workspace in your bedroom really doesn’t allow for time apart from work – as it’s one of the first things you see when you wake up and before you go to sleep. While this may not be feasible for everyone, if you have to have it in your bedroom, try your best to separate it from your sleeping space.

We were once big fans of the “laptop in bed” office (and we sometimes still are…) but we don’t make it a regular habit. We find it takes away from the relaxing and unwinding qualities of the room and then associates “bed” with “work”. And that’s not what we’re about.

If you do have an extra bedroom (or even a spare bedroom that can be shared with an office!) this should be more than ample space, depending on your business. We prefer somewhere where the door can be closed so that others don’t interrupt us, and we don’t interrupt them.

Essentially, you want to find a space that allows for enough room for you to work, create, dream, and stay organized. This may even be a small nook in your living room – whatever suits you best! Just make sure it’s comfortable and that there are limited distractions.

The Furniture.

This is probably our favourite part of having an office. As organization freaks, we love our bookcases, shelves, desks, filing cabinets – #AllTheThings

The type of furniture will once again depend on your space, but we suggest having a desk that is big enough for your computer and also space to write. You don’t need a million organizers on your desk, as that only promotes distractions.

We discovered recently that Amazon has some amazing office furniture and we quickly picked up this desk, shelf, and small bookshelf. This update helped transform our office to somewhere we were more inclined to WANT to be in, rather than feel forced to be in, easy and affordable!

The Tech.

Now, everyone has their own preferences on technology and we agree that no two people are the same when it comes to these preferences.

We can only say that for ourselves and our business, this is what works best for us.

We keep our business fairly tech simple: a desktop computer with two monitors that we use all the time (and this monitor stand riser) and also a laptop for when we prefer working outside of our office, or if we’re travelling (ah, the good ol’ days). The only other “gadgets” in here are a Google Nest Mini and a cell phone! (Oh, and a printer that usually doesn’t work). We don’t operate like Inspector Gadget in here and need all sorts of everything, as we find that’s just more of a distraction than a helpful tool.

The Routine.

There’s more to setting up your home office than just the physical items that are inside of it. Setting up your work routine is just as important. Here’s why:

When you work from home, it’s easier to mold it into your home life.

If you see your work just laid out on a table, it’s tempting to just send “one more email” or “check on something”. That’s why we recommend having your home office behind a door, so that you aren’t tempted to jump back into it right after dinner (or during dinner…). Unless you already decided that you are working overtime or working split hours, you need to force yourself to disconnect after your workday is done.

Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule, but as a general guideline we suggest logging off – and staying logged off – until the next day.

The Benefits.

An office at home is much like a friend with benefits – so many positive attributes, no drama, but it can get messy if you let it.

We have found that by working at home we are:

  • at least 50% more productive than working at the office
  • more productive in our home life (you can do things like laundry, dishes, and light cleaning throughout the day)
  • less stressed: you don’t have the pressure of people around you or having to physically run meeting to meeting
  • able to get ahead of schedule and not be completing tasks as they’re due. Sometimes we’re even a full week ahead of schedule!

 

But it can get messy, real quick:

  • Overworking: stick to your schedule/boundaries and have a “shut off” time
  • Distractions: it’s easy to float away from your office, making coming back to your tasks-at-hand tricky. Try to get your most important work completed at the very start of the day.
  • Expectations: if you’re always “on” at your desk, others will come to expect this (more on this in a future Boundary post!).

 

There are a multitude of positive things about working from home and if this past year and a half has taught us anything, it’s that we’re actually more productive at home.

 

Photo by Ken Tomita

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