Working at home is great, but it doesn’t afford the formal opening and closure of going to and returning from work. But this can be remedied by creating a work space that makes that you feel at ease, inspired, and ready to produce. If your current milieu isn’t doing that, it may be time for an upgrade.
Now, don’t let the word “upgrade” stop you. It’s fine to work within the limitations of your budget and your physical space–you can still make a world of difference to your home office and ultimately your productivity on the job. A small investment of time and money to improve your work space now will reimburse you with heavy interest in the years to come.
Start With What You’ve Got
We’re talking “on the cheap” here, so what’s already in place is important. Let’s look at what is partially working so far and modify it.
First, natural light. Try to arrange it so you’re looking at sunlight through a window at an angle, so you’re not getting monitor glare. Second, organization. Try to keep your most-used items within arm’s reach.
After these basics are down, you can get moving on making some changes. Just moving things around can inject you with new energy. Move things around until you find the space that is the most efficient and the most aesthetically pleasing to you.
Principles of feng shui dictate placing your desk directly across from the entrance to your office area. In fact, reading up on feng shui will introduce you to the Bagua Map, which lays out the parts of your life in a scientific manner, grid and all. This is something to consider, and tapping into the power of an ancient Chinese tradition isn’t to be dismissed out of hand. you may find, though, that just winging it will be best as a way of getting things how you really want them.
Know Where to Invest Your Money
Now that you know how you want things set up, having the best things possible in those places is key.
Start with your office furniture–this is where the bulk of your budget should go. You’d be surprised at how much more efficient you’ll be with a new desk that can actually hold all your equipment or an ergonomic office chair. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to get these things, either.
Many steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint will also add a necessary new energy to your space. For example, adding a plant or two can clean and filter the air you’re breathing. Likewise, the green measure of opening the windows to get a cool breeze instead of running your air conditioner can liven things up and make you feel new.
After all this re-arranging, when you’re putting the finishing touches on things with decorating, keep in mind how crucial it is to enjoy looking at the items around you. You may try some quirky items like toys, stuffed animals, robots, or funny art. Craft fairs offer some very spontaneous items, often on a budget.
Redoing your office doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. With these tips you can feel like you’re working in a brand new space without putting a big dent in your bank account.