Thursday, February 27, 2014

Essentials for a Home Office

I work from home most Fridays, and my workspace to-date has been less than ideal. Enter: The Everygirl. Their editorial staff have chosen 12 essentials for the perfect home office:
  1. Designated Work Space: This is the most important factor. Even if you live in a tiny apartment, it's good to dedicate a small space that will be used solely for work. This is helpful in creating balance (i.e. you can shut down and physically step away at the end of the day), but it also aids in productivity.
  2. Natural Light: Countless studies (and my own experiences) have shown that natural light can improve your productivity and your mood. Without it, you can go stir-crazy!
  3. Artificial Light: The sun goes down, but sometimes the work day isn't over. You'll need a little bit of extra light to keep going. Pick a lamp that can also serve as fun desk-top decor. 
  4. Computer: For me, this seems obvious, but make everyone should make a place for it. Whether it's a laptop or a desktop, you'll want to have easy access to the internet, email, your calendar, etc. 
  5. Phone: Keep your phone handy. Even if you're an avid emailer, you'll probably need to pick up the phone and call someone at some point.
  6. Printer/Scanner: How frustrating is it when someone needs you to print, sign, and scan something back in and you DON'T have the necessary equipment? This is definitely a must for any home office, unless you live right next door to a FedEx/Kinkos.
  7. Coffee Maker (or Teapot): Not everyone relies on caffeine to fuel their 9-to-5, but if you drink coffee or imbibe in some Earl Grey when you're typically in the office, you might consider keeping it handy at home too. 
  8. To Do List: I don't know what I'd do without my planner. Start each day off by making a prioritized list of what you need to accomplish. You'll feel an incredible sense of satisfaction as you cross things off!
  9. Pencil Cup and Basic Office Supplies: This seems obvious, but I've scrambled to find a pen before. Traditional offices have basic supplies. Your home office should too. 
  10. Extra Storage: Whether you realize it or not, you'll accumulate papers. Rather than let them accumulate on your desk, file them away neatly so you'll know where to find them. 
  11. Calendar: I rely on a digital calendar, but having a paper calendar up on the wall is great for quick reference, plus it adds some professional flare to your workspace. Paper Source has great options, and they might also serve as a little inspiration (see #12). 
  12. Place for Inspiration: Neal is a graphic designer, and he's constantly archiving ideas, pictures, and things that inspire him. You don't have to have an artsy job to follow his lead. Put up a picture of your family, a quote that you love, or anything that inspires you to get the job done. 

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