The Most Important Elements for a Home Office Design

Whether you’re a full-time work from home expert or you just work from home every so often, there’s no denying that one of the most important parts of working from home is having a good home office. However, not a lot of people really know how to craft a home office that looks great and works even more effectively. Here are a few elements to keep in mind for your home office design.

1. Natural and Artificial Light

Enhancing both natural and artificial light in a home office can be immensely helpful. Positioning your desk facing a window can help introduce more natural light into the room, especially when it comes to video conferencing calls. However, task lighting, like table lamps, LED lights, and ring lights, can help as well.

2. Desk Options

There are many options out there for a desk. Of course, a traditional desk will probably be what you initially think about, but in recent years, standing desks have gained popularity, and for some people, a treadmill desk could even be useful. This is largely a question of personal taste, so discover the type of desk you enjoy and go from there.

3. Your Office Chair

Next, you need to think about your office chair. A good office chair should help you move into a neutral posture – feet flat on the floor, knees slightly higher than your hips, and your hips, shoulders, and ears in alignment with each other. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to try out your office chair before you buy it for your work.

4. General Office Decorations

Now you want to think about how you’ll decorate your home office. The good news is that there are a number of opportunities for home office decorations:

  • Art
  • Plants
  • Religious Symbols
  • Family Photos
  • Travel Souvenirs
  • Stress Relief Toys

This isn’t a comprehensive list, and if there are any other things that you feel might be beneficial for your home office, feel free to add them. After all, it’s all about what you enjoy.

5. Software and Hardware

Lastly, it’s a good idea to think about what software and hardware you’re going to need. Computers and laptops are two of the things that most people will put in their home office, but the exact specs of your computer, as well as things like how many monitors you have and what type of keyboard and mouse you have, may vary. These are all things you’ll need to consider for your specific needs.

Conclusion

A home office can be a great place to sit down and get some work done. It can be difficult to decide how you want to decorate it, but at the end of the day, it’s most important to remember that your home office should reflect your own style. Even if you end up with a slightly uncommon home office style, the benefits of enjoying your home office can bolster your work and make it easier for you to enjoy your office.

Continue Reading

Security in Your Home Office

Security is a legitimate concern in today’s world, and being digitally and physically secure in your home office space should be the priority of anybody paying attention. Borrowing some ideas from the security gurus who implement security measures in cloud computing, you can bolster your home network’s strength. You can rest a bit easier knowing that you are matching some of the latest measures deployed to keep the ultra-sensitive and private information they host safe.

Physical Security

Your first step is to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe while being home for most of the day. Do this by securing doors, windows, skylights, and any external entrances to your house with simple locks. Save some time and hassle by hiring a home security provider to lend their expertise, or even do the installation of a home security system for you. 

Secure Your Router – Encryption and Firewalls

Paying a little extra for a router with a decent firewall and beefed-up encryption and security features is a good step. Updating it to the latest firmware available and changing the default access settings is normally a simple matter of following the prompts of a wizard. VPN’s will play a role in securing any sensitive data that you may transmit or receive online by adding layers of encryption to all your traveling data. 

Antivirus

Opting for a competent antivirus is always advisable, as cybersecurity threats are rife these days. Leaking information, or more devastatingly, having your identity stolen, can have far-reaching consequences for you, your business, and your family.  Secure yourself and your data before you have to learn what ransomware is.

Password Protect Yourself

Correct password protocols can go a long way in mitigating a hacker’s ability to breach your security, should they penetrate that far. Ensuring you password protect your accounts, logins, and networking equipment, as well as use complex and frequently changing passwords, will be one of the most cost-effective ways to add essential layers of security.

Backups

Losing any data can be catastrophic, but should you happen to be working from home for an employer and you suffer a hard drive crash, then the consequences would be far-reaching. Protect yourself from this by doing simple backups, either to external physical media, the cloud, or preferably, both. Bear in mind that it is always recommended to have some form of offsite backup, should a large event like a fire or natural disaster occur.

Due Diligence 

Crooks today are clever, and constantly evolving their methods to trick you out of money, information, or both. Some of the effective defenses against this are to employ constant vigilance and skepticism. Educate yourself on popular methods that these con-artists deploy so that you know when someone is trying one of the tricks in their book. Employing functional email filtering tools is an easy step to weed out many of these attempts.

Your security begins with you, and with some careful thought, adequate precautions, and a fair bit of common sense, you can avoid disaster and catastrophe.

Continue Reading

Workspace Wonders: How to Design Your Dream Home Office

When you work from home, it can be tricky to separate your living space from your working space. Creating a home office is a great first step in making sure you can tune into a working mindset when you have things to do, and back into a relaxed state when it’s time to spend time with family or de-stress. Designing your home office can be as big a project as you want, and the energy you put into it can help you be more productive and professional. Depending on the nature of your work, organizing your desk area, incorporating shelving and storage, and making the space inspirational are all important in varying degrees. It’s good to experiment to see what works best for you and suits your personal needs, but there are a few constants that hold true for almost all home offices and working spaces.

1. Create a focused space. 

Make sure your office or work room is clearly designated as a space different from all others in your home. Ensure you have a door or curtain that can shut and as much as possible avoid storing cleaning supplies, old clothes, or other clutter in your work space. Not only will it distract you and remind you of other responsibilities, but it can make it harder to find important documents and tools if they’re sharing space with shoes, bottles or boxes. If you have too much junk that you need to get rid off, get in touch with a waste removal company such as Kwik Sweep.

2. Separate work from life. 

Treat a home office like you would a cubicle in a busy office building. Keep it tidy, have a family photo or two, and decorate it in a simple, professional way. Your office might be at home, but the more you treat it as separate, the easier it will be to tune in when there’s work to do, and to decompress when you’re finished. Stock your office with everything you might need to avoid having to leave and grab something, which can take you out of your productive state and introduce all sorts of distractions.

3. Use soothing colors and decorations.

Working buildings and professional spaces often put a lot of effort into furnishings that promote productivity. Clean lines and neutral colours reduce distractions and can have distinct psychological effects. The colour blue acts as a relaxant, as well as an appetite suppressant, so consider painting the room a shade of blue or using blue furnishings. Keeping the space cool can promote brain function and focus, so make sure you can control the room’s temperature. Comfortable ergonomic chairs and desks reduce fatigue and long term damage like back problems and carpal tunnel syndrome. Incorporate as many of these as you can to help you be more productive, and promote well being.

4. Incorporate tools for focus.

A home office doesn’t need to feel like a jail cell, so using design elements like fountains, zen gardens, or executive toys can help break up the monotony without throwing your focus. A simple indoor fountain can help freshen the space up, and the sounds of running water not only relaxes, but it can act as white noise to drown out the sounds you might expect if you have kids, neighbours, or heavy traffic near your house.

Continue Reading

How to stay productive when working from home

Wondering How to stay productive when working from home?
Photo by CC user moleshko on Pixabay

The grass is always greener. Those who work in an office for someone else view working from home as a dream come true. You can sleep in, wear your pajamas, work when you want, and make your own schedule. If you want to take your kids to the park, you can. If you want to take a break to catch up on a few hours of your favorite Netflix addiction, you can. If you’re sick, you don’t have to call in. You get to stay in bed, rest, and get back to work the following day.

The reality isn’t exactly like the dream. Working from usually means making your own schedule. Working from home does mean spending more time with your kids, and you certainly don’t have to wear pants if you prefer not to. However, working from home presents its own set of challenges. You might not have coworkers gossiping in your ear or taking credit for your work at home, but you probably have diapers to change and grapes to cut into small pieces at every meal. It’s not always easy to remain productive working from home, but you can do it if you put forth a little effort and use a little creative thinking.

Designate a Workspace

One of the most important things to consider when working from home is your location. It’s far less productive to work at the kitchen table. You can see the dishes piling up throughout the day. You can see the television the kids are watching. You can see the mess they’re making. While no one is suggesting you leave them unattended throughout the day, it’s a good idea to work somewhere else. Turn a spare room into an office so you can shut the door and limit distractions. Keep this space clean and orderly, make it smell good, and make it comfortable. These all promote productivity.

Set Specific Hours

Now that you’re working from home, you get to choose your own hours. A good starting point is your own personality. Are you someone who doesn’t mind rising early because you’re more productive in the morning? Are you someone who can’t sleep at night because you prefer to stay up late being productive? What works for you is what works for your job. Set specific hours, and stick to those hours. Make them a habit, and work during that time frame.

Make Rules

One of the biggest obstacles between you and productivity working from home is everyone in your life. There are always going to be those people who think you spend all day sitting in front of the television watching Netflix or lying by the pool with a mimosa and your girlfriends because you work from home. These people don’t understand you working from home means actually working, so they’ve no problem calling, texting, and stopping by when the mood strikes. Make rules. You work these hours, and they aren’t to interrupt you during those hours. Your home is your office, and your friends and family should respect your office hours at home just as they would in someone else’s office building.

Utilize Lists

To-do lists are a work-from-home person’s best friend. These lists are helpful, because they minimize distractions. If you find it difficult to work from home because you have distractions everywhere, put them on paper. Cross them off as you accomplish them. When you’re not feeling productive, tackle a few of the smallest and most insignificant tasks on your list, and see how much more productive you feel when you’re done with those. This allows you to make money online without feeling overwhelmed.

Prep the Night Before

Working from home is distracting in that you have a house filled with things to do all around you all day. The night before is perfect for you to prep for a successful, productive workday. When you don’t have dirty dishes, laundry, and cleaning to tackle during the day, you’re more likely to work productively. When everything is cleaned, prepped, and ready for you in the morning, it makes your day that much more productive.

If you find yourself distracted by something at home during the day, handle it. Sometimes you’re unable to work productively from home if you’re house isn’t in order. If the kids left a mess before they left for school, take 15 minutes to clean it up and get things in order. It seems like a waste of time you should be working, but getting this out of the way in 15 minutes and working without the distraction the rest of the day is more productive than thinking about it all day. Eliminating distractions works.

Change Your Settings

One of the most productive things you’ll learn working from home is to change your settings. Unless you use your cell phone for business purposes, turn the ringer off or turn the “Do Not Disturb” setting on. It won’t notify you of new messages, emails, or calls until you check for yourself. Change your email settings to notify you of new messages only once per hour or once every other hour.

When your phone is constantly alerting you of new messages, new calls, and new emails, you want to look at them and respond. When you don’t know they’re coming in, you’re not distracted. Do yourself a favor and remove all your social media icons of your work computer, too.

Eliminating distractions, setting specific hours, and taking control of all you should do is what makes for a successful day in the lives of work-from-home business owners and/or employees. If these don’t work, it might be that you need a few minutes to get up and get moving. Go outside for a cup of coffee or a short walk. Stay healthy, don’t forget to move, and minimize distractions. This is what leads to a more productive workday at home.

Continue Reading

Ways To make Money From Home

Making money from home sounds too good to be true right? While you are right to be skeptical, there are plenty of legitimate ways you can make money from home. So have a look at this list for some tips of you want to make your living from the comfort of your home.
Make Money From Home

Choose Something You Are Good At
Do you know multiple languages? Maybe you would make a good translator. A sports nut? Maybe selling collectibles online would be a good way for you to make money from home. Do you have a history in the medical field? Maybe you could make a good living transcribing medical records from the comfort of your couch. The key is to isolate your skills, what sets you apart from others. With today’s global economy, the more niche your skill is, the more you are in demand and the more you can make.

Do Your Homework
Whether it is asking friends, family, or just about anyone; it is important to ask around to find a way to make money from home that will work for you. Web searches are a useful tool as well. Online forms are a good place to start. Try to find people that are doing what you want to do. Ask them how they got into the field and what advice they have. The more you know, the better. Make sure you have a good sense of the job markets, the salaries, and the required qualifications before you quit your day job.

Use Geography in Your Favor
Apartments cost more in Manhattan than they do in Idaho. This basic principle can be key to being successful making money from home. Just because your client or boss is based out of a city with a high cost of living, doesn’t mean you have to but it likely means the pay will be. So if you are living in a city with a low cost of a living and entry level position in a city with a high cost of living could be very lucrative. You can take this a step further and go the Digital Nomad route, earning an American salary while living a low-cost life abroad

Remember just because you may being working from you couch or in your favorite Sponge Bob pajamas, doesn’t mean you are not working. Don’t expect working from home to be any easier than your traditional day job, in fact it may be harder. When your boss (or clients) are not seeing you face to face, they will be more adamant about seeing your results, so be prepared to work. Keep that in my mind if you are planning to make money from home.

 

Continue Reading

How to Design the Ultimate Home Office

Ultimate Home Office

Are you lucky enough to have a job that lets you work from home? Then you know the importance of a home office. Whether you are remolding your current house or building out a new condo, here is a guide on how to design the ultimate home office.

Ultimate Home Office

Choose the Right Space
Depending on your unique situation you could have a large spare room, an attic, a basement, or maybe just the kitchen table in your studio apartment; no matter your situation once you choose a space you can start getting it ready for work. So pick a space that will have ideal privacy and ideal space. You don’t want to feel cramped and you also do not want constant distractions.

Make sure you pick a place with good wifi and plenty of power outlets if needed. You also want to pick a place that will feel cozy, while you can make an attic or basement work; chances are you will be spending a lot of time in your home office so you want to make it a place you’d like to stay. If you are going to be working from home long term, maybe it is a good opportunity to have AnyWeather Roofing inspect your attic and roofing system for a potential loft conversion. Loft spaces are all the rage nowadays and with adequate use of windows, they provide the perfect amount of natural light.
Get Inspiration
There are plenty of online publications to provide inspiration for your ultimate home office. Whether you are looking for a playful, hip, tech vibe or a classic leather, classy, madmen feel; you can’t find out unless you look. You can also head to furniture show rooms to get an idea for what trends are in and you may come home with plenty of fresh ideas. Also try searching online, once you have your furniture in mind, don’t forget about the decorations! Once you have an inspiration for your style, make it your own. Add a coat of paint and some framed art and your space will show your personal style and get you on the right track to coming up with creative ideas. You don’t wan’t to have a cookie cutter office, there is a reason you left the cubicle remember? So make some unique changes that reflect your style, needs, and your space.
Budget

So you have your space picked out and you have plenty of inspiration for furniture and style. Now it times to determine your budget. Take into account the amount you bring home from your home business and plan accordingly. Maybe the five-thousand dollar leather couch can wait until business is really booming. It is important stay to your budget once you fix it, remember to focus your budget on the most essential pieces, you can add more fun and secondary furniture pieces as you business grows.

What are you waiting for? Start walking around your place and deciding which area would make your ultimate home office. Once you have your space decided, get your inspiration on by searching online or heading out to your local furniture showroom. Don’t forgot the last step, plan your budget; while it it may not be the most fun, remember you are running a home business here. Next thing you know you will be working in the ultimate home office.

Continue Reading