9 Home Office Setup Mistakes to Avoid
Though many of us fantasize about creating Instagram-worthy at-home offices, anybody who has worked from home understands that looks aren't everything.
Most people make the mistake of creating a room that seems so inviting that we want to spend the entire day there. However, when we spend a whole day there, we have an uncomfortable chair, the décor to be distracting, or the setting to be out of balance.
On the other hand, a home office space is only as strong as its least functional piece of furniture. We humans will find any excuse to postpone and we get easily distracted. So a distracting workplace is a productivity catastrophe waiting to happen.
But what are the biggest home office design mistakes? And how can we avoid them?
Home offices, thankfully, are about as simple to enhance as they are to derail. Minor changes, such as removing a curtain to allow more light in or change out the wrong office chair can make a big difference in our effort to work efficiently again.
You can modify your home with a few simple substitutions. And a workplace that formerly promoted only distraction may soon transform into a home office that will increase productivity.
What's the most straightforward place to begin to undo common mistakes?
If the line between energizing and distracting has blurred to the point where you can't tell the difference, don't worry—we've got a few suggestions on how to start transforming, renewing and reinvigorating your at-home office.
With these suggestions, you may make your office more dynamic and so maximize your productivity. Because, according to trend forecasters, the home office will be around for a long time.
It doesn't matter if your home office merely is an office desk or if you can set up a separate space, or if you've been working from home for a long time or are still a beginner to the home office:
There is always a method to enhance your work environment to be more productive and to undo home office design mistakes you made.
MISTAKE 1: NOT ENOUGH LIGHTING
When you're used to working in a cubicle with no windows and only fluorescent illumination as far as the eye can see, it's easy to make this mistake. However, with a home office, there's no reason why you can't improve your dull lighting to meet your specific needs!
THE SOLUTION: GOOD NATURAL LIGHT AND LAYERED LIGHTING
If feasible, set your workstation close to a window to let in as much natural light as possible. That sunshine will not only brighten your environment, but it may also improve your attitude! Then, on dreary days (or if you can't position your desk near a window), add tiered illumination to your office.
Start with a task lamp, but try a floor lamp in the corner or overhead pendant light for further illumination and atmosphere.
""A common error individuals make in their home offices is not having adequate illumination or access to a view of the outdoors. Natural lighting may boost your mood and productivity significantly. Plus, who wants to work in a dimly lit cave?"
MISTAKE 2: CONGESTED WORK SPACE
We've been working from home for more than six months, so if you haven't already, it's time to graduate from your temporary workplace. There's no excuse to be squished into a small space like corner or working from a makeshift desk!
THE SOLUTION: MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF TO BREATHE.
Find a location in your house where you may have a more permanent office as well as some breathing room. Also, get some actual office furniture for your house! Set it up as though you're planning on staying for a while by adding some individuality!
You can setup your home office near a window or in a large area to give yourself some space to breathe, think, and create.
After that, add some plants, candles, paintings, or anything else that inspires you. Make it a dedicated workspace, even if it means it needs to double as a place to dine or rest when you're not working!"
MISTAKE 3: BEING DISORGANIZED
Some people are naturally disorganized, while others become so due to the current state of affairs. A cluttered workspace, on the other hand, leads to a cluttered mind!
THE SOLUTION: MAKE USE OF ORGANIZATIONAL TOOLS
Make sure you have the organizational tools you'll need to stay organized in your home office. Invest in a file cabinet for all of your documents, or utilize memento boxes to store notebooks and other office supplies on a floating shelf or bookshelf.
Put everything in its dedicated space, so you don't have to waste time organizing and reorganizing. Rather, please take two minutes at the end of the day to put everything back where it belongs so you can start the next day with a clean desk!
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"I've seen a lot of unorganized home offices," says one interior designer. "However, having a defined area for your belongings makes it simpler to work and be productive—and eliminates the need to spend time clearing up a mess of papers or playing catch-up.
Additionally, some plants and a seasonal candle help to create a work-from-home atmosphere and boost morale!"
MISTAKE 4: HOME OFFICES WITH A STERILE WORKSPACE
A sterilized, unadorned office will not make you happy or motivate you to begin working each day. You're working from home, so there's no reason you can't personalize your surroundings!
THE SOLUTION: MAKE YOUR SPACE YOUR OWN
Because you spend so much time at your desk, why not make it more personal? Bring in photographs of your family, favorite artwork, or any other happy memories that will inspire you. Make a place where you may spend time every day that you like. Also, think about adding a few small pieces of furniture that make the room more functional and also cozy.
"People neglect to customize their area much too often. You won't like sitting at your desk every day and all day if you don't arrange it to match your personality.
MISTAKE 5: FORGETTING ABOUT YOUR VIDEO CALL BACKGROUND
Some individuals consider customizing the desk in front of them, but they completely overlook the area behind them. With numerous days of video conversations ahead of you, it’s worth thinking about what your coworkers are looking at throughout the conversation. It shouldn't be distracting, but it also shouldn't be completely barren.
THE SOLUTION: A BEAUTIFUL BUT SIMPLE BACKDROP
Set your workstation at an angle such that the natural light in the room illuminates your face properly, and supplement with a lamp or overhead light as needed. Hang a basic poster or picture, or a bookshelf with basic yet lovely style, on the wall behind you!
"Not taking into account the surroundings, especially for video conversations. You want to make sure it doesn't distract you or your coworkers while you're on the phone."
"Voices are essential! Not only what you glance at during the day, but also what your employees on video calls behind you are looking at! I always make sure that my clients' home offices include a window (if the view out there is worth it!) and a basic yet gorgeous wall behind them (add a colorful accent wall back there!) to surprise their peers during meetings."
MISTAKE 6: YOUR AT-HOME WORKSPACE IS TOO CLOSE TO YOUR BEDROOM
Sleep specialists advise against using screens in the bedroom and advocate that they be used just for sleeping. Reserving your bedroom only for sleep (and sex) might help you perceive it as a more relaxing place, which can help you sleep better, according to experts.
What is the problem? Many of us keep our home office in our bedrooms, or worse, work from our beds.
THE SOLUTION: FIND A BETTER PLACE FOR YOUR HOME OFFICE
Keep doing what you've been doing if it's been working for you. However, if you've noticed a significant drop in the quality of your sleep since starting to work from home, consider creating more separation between your bedroom and your workspace.
Remember that if you don't have enough space for a desk elsewhere in your home, you can always work at your kitchen table or in your living room.
MISTAKE 7: AN UNCOMFORTABLE SPACE
Too many individuals settle for an unpleasant home office, whether it's because of an office chair that's too firm or the incorrect height, a place that's too chilly (both aesthetically and literally), or because they've recreated their cubicle at home.
THE SOLUTION: MAKE IT COZY AND COMFY
Paint your walls, hang some artwork, and invest in a comfortable chair and desk that you love to celebrate the fact that you aren't working in a cubicle. To add some color and life to space, layer a rug underneath your setup and add a plant or two. Whatever it takes to make the setup cozier and comfier!
"Your house doesn't have to resemble a boardroom or a business office. It depends on the individual, but I prefer an office that resembles a comfortable, inviting living room.
It reminds me that we all need to feel at ease, and it also reflects the reality that we are living in these settings. A warm, fluffy home office may be an extension of the rest of your house's décor. It doesn't have to feel like a more "serious" job."
MISTAKE 8: BAD SEATING
You're doing something wrong if your back aches after every workday. Stop neglecting ergonomics, whether it's a squishy chair, a table that's too tall or short for your desk chair, or a mix of the two.
THE SOLUTION: INVEST IN AN OFFICE CHAIR THAT IS BOTH ERGONOMIC AND COMFORTABLE
Even if you don't have room for a formal home office, you can still sit in an ergonomic and comfortable task chair every day. Find one that can be adjusted to fit the height of the table or desk you're working at. If it has lumbar support, you'll get bonus points. An ergonomic and comfortable chair is a must for your home office!
"Too many individuals are working without ergonomic equipment or a comfy chair daily!"
MISTAKE 9: A DISTRACTING ENVIRONMENT
You can't operate effectively in a noisy or cluttered environment. Distractions prevent us from performing at our best.
THE SOLUTION: CREATE A DISTRACTION-FREE WORK OFFICE SPACE.
Set up your home office in a location where you can close the door if at all feasible. Not only will this help you with video chats, but it will also provide you some time to focus on your job. If that's not possible, make sure your space is clutter-free and clear of as many distractions as possible.
"When working from home, most individuals overlook the importance of having a peaceful, uncluttered area. Distractions such as noise and having too much stuff around are unavoidable.
Whether you're just getting started with your first home office or you're looking to reorganize and upgrade, it's important to take the time to get your space just right. Nothing can stop you from working productively within your own four walls if you avoid these seven home office blunders.
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