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Making the Most of Your Home Office

One of the many perks of being an Independent Contractor is having the ability to work from and use a home office.  Ideally, your home office would be set up in a large spare bedroom or den that is dedicated solely to your home office space, however sometimes a home office is limited to only a portion of a room or a small corner in a larger living space.  Regardless of how much space you are able to dedicate to your home office, it is important to create a workspace where you will feel comfortable and enjoy being for the many long hours a successful independent contractor spends working in their home office. This article includes some helpful tips to make your home office the best environment for your productivity.

Splurge on a good chair – When you are sitting for hours at a time, it is important to have a comfortable chair.  Look for a chair that has lumbar support as well as adjustable settings.

Set-up – Make sure your office is set up ergonomically correct.  Is your monitor or laptop at eye-level?  If not, your neck and shoulders will be strained from staring up or down at your computer all day.  Adjust your chair so that your arms and wrists are straight out in front of you.

Organization – A large portion of your home office is storage space.  Important documents and files need to be kept organized and stored in a safe and convenient location. Many people use filing cabinets which can take up a lot of space.  Over time, the documents and files get larger and larger requiring more and more space.  A great option to minimize the physical storage requirements is to go paperless.  Not only is it better for the environment, but a paperless office can be much more organized.  You can create an electronic filing system to keep all of your important documents.  Elect to have paperless billing and pay your bills online.  Go through your old filing system and determine which files you need to keep, and scan them into your electronic filing system.  Make sure to back up your system on a regular basis.

Good lighting – Lighting in your home office can make a huge difference for your mental and physical well-being.  Insufficient lighting can make for a depressing, dark, cave like setting that can cause eyestrain and headaches.  If possible, try to set up your home office in an area that has plenty of natural lighting.  Natural lighting is known to be a mood booster, so pick a room that has lots of windows.  You should also be sure to have additional lighting in the room, and a good desk lamp works great.

Give your space personality – While many corporate work areas are designed to be uniform and bland in color, your home office should be designed and decorated with things that are important to you.  Family photos, knick-knacks, awards or achievements are just a few examples of items that can make you feel comfortable in your work zone.  Paint the walls to create an even more personalized space.  Consider bringing some nature inside.  The right potted plants can help control humidity and provide cleaner air by filtering and absorbing pollutants.  Don’t be afraid to get creative!

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