Working at home has some clear benefits: a shorter commute, no traffic or crowds, lower overhead costs, no insufferable coworkers.
Working at home also has some undeniable drawbacks. For outgoing types, it can be lonely. It’s rife with distractions, real and imagined. It’s boring. These and other drawbacks add up, potentially, to a less productive work environment.
So, what can you do to keep your home office from turning into a creative wasteland? Try these six strategies, for starters.
- Invest in Ergonomic Furniture
We all feel better, and work better, with comfortable furniture. If you haven’t already embraced the standing desk trend, do it now — you’ll be shocked, and a little upset, when you realize what you’ve been missing. Check out these top-rated standing desk options to get started.
- Choose the Right Work-at-Home Angle (Or Side Project)
Where you work is important, but how you work — and what you work at — can make a big difference too. Consider a work-at-home opportunity or supplemental project that aligns with your values. Fundraising distribution, for instance, is a great way to earn money while supporting organizations that do good in your community. And it’s not a bad living: According to research done by ABC Fundraising, full-time fundraising distributors can earn up to $5,000 per month while working from home.
- Get a Bigger Filing Cabinet Than You Think You Need
Three words: organization, organization, organization. If you don’t want boxes and folders to slowly consume your home office’s horizontal space, invest in a first-rate filing system.
- Buy Blackout Curtains
Those late nights, early mornings, and brilliant afternoons all have one thing in common: They demand privacy and even lighting. Blackout curtains are about as close as you’re going to get to a one-size-fits-all solution, and for far less than the cost of a custom blinds system.
- Get Out of the House at Least Once Per Day
You probably don’t need a refresher on the benefits of regular exercise. Whether your busy life allows you to enjoy those benefits is another story, of course.
Or is it? Mounting evidence suggests that regular exercise is actually a boon for professional productivity — that we think more quickly and clearly in the hours after a moderate-impact workout. If a morning jog or swim or bike ride could set you right for the rest of the workday, you’d take the 30 or 40 minutes necessary to make it happen. Wouldn’t you?
What’s Your Work-at-Home Secret?
How many of these strategies have you moved on already?
You’ll notice that none are particularly costly or time-consuming to implement. You probably get out of the house to work on a semi-regular basis, perhaps to exercise. You’re a few Amazon clicks away from affordable, effective blackout curtains. You very likely have an old filing cabinet sitting around — and, if not, the nearest office surplus store is closer than you think.
The point is, you shouldn’t have much trouble turning your home office into a productivity machine. That is, if you’re not too caught up in the daily grind to make a few long-delayed strategic moves.