For many people, 2020 has been a year of transition –– in terms of their professional life at least. That’s because millions have started working from home more often than before. While a good number of professional workplaces have reopened to some extent, many individuals are still working remotely on a full-time (or nearly full-time) basis. As such, it’s reasonable for new remote workers to wonder if, or when, it makes sense to invest in a home office. Here, we’ll analyze this issue, explain the pros and cons, and help you develop a plan of action to ensure you can perform your best at work, while also at home!
The first thing to consider when contemplating a home-office investment should be the amount of time you plan on operating out of your home office. Obviously, if you’ve more or less switched back to working at your company’s headquarters on a regular basis, then it may not make sense to spend a lot of time and money creating an office you don’t plan to utilize very often.
On the other hand, of course, if you are still working remotely and you plan on continuing this for months or even years into the future, then now could be a great time to build a home office for yourself.
Living alone is, unsurprisingly, quite different from living with roommates, family members, or even small children. People who live alone in an apartment or house may still benefit from a home office, but they may also be able to function just fine working in another area like their living room or bedroom. For people with roommates, though, a home office may quickly become a necessity instead of a luxury. Privacy is essential to productivity, and home offices can cut down on annoying distractions and guarantee quality performance.
The good news is that it actually doesn’t take all that much to transform a “regular” room into a vibrant home office. Most professionals who work from home at least some of the time will likely have access to vital products like a printer, fax machine, desktop monitor, and WiFi modem. Of course, if you don’t have any of those relatively basic tech amenities, then it’s crucial to invest in them regardless of whether you decide to create an entire home office. It’s also worth noting that no two professionals have the same needs in terms of their home-office setup. A professional at a medical company may need extra space for specialized equipment like 10 ml serological pipettes. Similarly, individuals who need to Skype every day, could probably benefit from investing in high-quality microphones and headphones.
Tips to Keep in Mind
If you eventually decide that building a home office is in your best interest, then you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind.
- Do your best to include certain natural elements in any home office setup. Having access to a window with natural sunlight, for instance, is one of the easiest ways to boost productivity and mood while working. Additionally, adding a plant or two can transform the look and feel of a room. Plus, plants are very cost-effective decorations as well.
- Make it a point to keep your office space tidy and to clean it whenever you get the chance. It doesn’t make any sense to spend money and time arranging a quality office space only to let it fall into disrepair after a few weeks or months. Discard old files, clean up any trash, and, in general, dispose of rubbish in your office as soon as possible.
- Quality furniture is crucial to creating a home office that you can use for years to come. Obviously, your desk should be big enough to accommodate your work needs. What’s more, you should also consider spending a significant amount on an excellent office chair. Keep in mind that you’ll be spending a lot of time at your office, so solid furniture will go a long way toward ensuring positive outcomes.
- Separate your office from other parts of your home. Of course, if you share a living space with roommates, family, or children, then do your best to sound-proof your office area and cut down on any potential distractions. Even if you live at home, though, try not to mix other aspects of your personal life within your home office. Otherwise, you may not be able to focus on your work.
A home office can be an extremely beneficial addition to your house, so if you’re looking to refresh your home, this could be just what you’re looking for. Just make sure to keep the above tips in mind before you start throwing money around. Also, now is not the time to go over budget. Cautious spending isn’t always the most exciting path forward, but it’ll prevent some big (potential) purchase mistakes all the same.