15 tips to increase productivity in your home office

October 6, 2011

by Justine Parsons


My commute time is a 30 second walk down the hall, set apart from living quarters (and their distractions) and a place where I spend many hours during the average week.  Therefore it was important that I set my office up to be productive, workable and a pleasant area for both myself and clients to spend time in.

Below the photos are tips to help you maximise your home office productivity.

Your Virtual Assistant's office

Your Virtual Assistant's pinboard

Your Virtual Assistant's office

An organised and streamlined working space will help you to keep focused and make the most of your working hours spent in your office or work area.

  1. Never position your computer opposite a window as the glare from the monitor will strain your eyes.
  2. To create an illusion of space, place the largest (or tallest) piece of furniture at the furthest point away from the door or entry point.
  3. If you have the space, a great way to get organised is to position two desks in a L-shape, allowing you to dedicate one desk to computer work, and the other to offline paperwork and writing.
  4. If space is scarce and your ‘office’ is actually the corner of another room, buy a specially designed computer workstation with concealed office storage. That way you can simply close the doors on all your office equipment when you’ve finished working for the day.
  5. Make full use of daylight wherever possible, but make sure that you have sufficiently lighting in addition to avoid eye strain.
  6. Keep electrical cords and computer wires tidy and untangled to avoid mishaps. Use a cord tidy where appropriate, and try and buy office furniture specially designed with cable openings at the back.
  7. To minimise the number of cables and wires, take the cordless and wireless options for your phone and computer equipment.
  8. Sometimes good old-fashioned handwritten notes and post-it notes are the best option for reminders and ‘notes to self’. To avoid clutter, get a corkboard for this purpose, or use a blackboard.
  9. Live houseplants can make a real difference to the atmosphere in your office, figuratively and literally! Some plants, like the peace lily, are very easy to grow, even without natural light and fresh oxygen can reduce the stress of a working day.
  10. If possible, use natural light when working in the day, to save power. For working at night, overhead fluorescent lighting (natural light variety) or a lamp that illuminates your entire office.
  11. If your work requires the use of a drawing table or drafting, there should be a window on the left side when right-handed or right if you are left handed. This is to minimize the shadows on your work.
  12. Get storage space (either built on your desk or on the wall) and file cabinets to keep books, manuals, documents and other office materials. Cabinets keep these records accessible but not in the way of your work.
  13. Make sure your home office has a window to let air circulate, or have air conditioning in the room.
  14. stress of working all day.
  15. The choice of colours for your home office is important and blue (fanciful and progressive) is a popular choice. Most office furniture is available in neutral colours allowing you to introduce colourful accessories to suit your personality and make the space a pleasant one to work in.

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