According to a recent article in Entrepreneur, the American gig economy is growing and predicted to skyrocket to 9.2 million American workers by 2021. This “gig work” creates the demand for the new breed of entrepreneurs to have a productive home office.
Whether these gig workers are driving delivery vehicles, planning special events, or performing other freelance tasks, they need a space to retreat to when it’s time to work on keeping the books and marketing their services.
Beyond gig workers, growing numbers of employers allow—or even encourage—workers to telecommute to help them achieve a better work-life balance.
Many envision a home office as a spare bedroom equipped with a used desk, laptop, and chair. But why settle for such spartan surroundings? In just a day, you can set up a more productive home office that’s also a place that inspires you.
DIY Tips to Create a Productive Home Office
We have five handy DIY tips to help any homeowner transform a drab home office into a well-functioning room that enables you to manage your business efficiently.
The first rule of real estate: location, location, location
In real estate, we have adage—location, location, location. This saying also applies to determining the best room for a home office.
For some, it’s an unused bedroom, a small nook, or the bonus room over the garage. For others, it’s a finished room in the basement. Make sure you consider the following:
- Is the space relatively free of distractions?
- Do you have a window for natural light?
- Are there ample electrical outlets and connectivity?
It’s especially important to find a distraction-free space, allowing you to focus on your tasks. Even in a high-traffic area, a closed door can provide the separation that you need.
However, don’t discount the need for sunshine; otherwise, you might begin to feel like you’re working in a cave!
Invest in ergonomics
If you think the largest chunk of money spent on a home office should be your computer, think again. That equipment is essential, certainly.
However, it’s more critical that you provide your body the support it needs on the nights that you burn the midnight oil on working on your new social media strategy or the long days of entering financial data before you file taxes.
If you feel pain in the back, hips, or neck as you work on these administrative functions, it will negatively impact your ability to remain focused.
Consider a chair sized for your body—not all chairs fit all people! For example, if you are petite or tall, you might even need to special order a chair, specially sized for your height. You need support that will keep your back and neck aligned while you work.
Additionally, think about spending the money on a desk that converts to a standing desk—the option to sit or stand keeps you comfortable for extended periods. They are fairly inexpensive at your local office store. And, they allow you to keep working on your projects even while you stand up for a much-needed stretch.
Choose an inspiring color
Poor office workers--they are forced to look at institutional grey walls all day. However, you have the latitude to paint your office a color that inspires you.
Color creates an enormous impact on how we feel. So, whether you love Tiffany blue or rich earth tones, painting your home office that color that will make you feel great. When you feel inspired in your office, you’ll look forward to spending time there knocking out all that work.
A productive home office requires good task lighting.
Task lighting permits you to perform specific tasks such as typing, handwriting, or other close-up work. When you are placing task lighting, right-handed folks should place the lamp on the left side; vice versa for lefties. This placement ensures that your hand doesn’t cast a shadow across your work.
Select lighting that’s as beautiful as it is functional, as it doubles as a design element in your space.
Finally, a DIY home office is incomplete without enough storage space to stay organized. At minimum, invest in a filing cabinet for housing important paperwork and a printer cabinet to stow away office supplies.
Save some cash by up-cycling some thrift finds, and you’ll also have a unique piece.
Final Thoughts on a DIY Home Office
Spending one day on a DIY home office can transform your workplace from drab to fab. Adding the productivity elements will help you stay focused on your work and grow your business. It’s a win-win, all the way around.
As a graduate of William & Mary and hailing from a Military family, Monique brings an array of experience to the table and utilizes her background to help serve the varying needs of our buyers and sellers.