Time to Telecommute? 5 Tips for Transitioning to Your New Home Office



Advances in technology and the proliferation of mobile devices are allowing more and more employees to work for their companies from home. And while telecommuting offers employees several benefits, there are a number of challenges associated with moving from a company office to a home office. Among the biggest challenges is making the new home office functional, effective, and comfortable so that those who work from home can continue to experience high levels of job satisfaction and productivity in their new surroundings.

If your company is providing you the opportunity to telecommute, here are 5 tips to help you make a successful transition to your new home office.

1. Make Your Home Office a Real Office

You had a real office when you worked onsite for the company. And you need to make your offsite home office a real office as well. Your office needs to have a distinct identity, an identity that is separate from the rest of your home. This means dedicating a clearly defined space, such as a den or spare bedroom, as an “office only” space. In this designated space you will keep only work related files, materials and supplies, so that nothing detracts from your office becoming a true work environment. Having a designated office will also keep the rest of your home free of work related items. That’s important because it promotes a healthy work-life balance by allowing you to relax at home when you are off the clock.

2. Get Organized

One of the big challenges of having a home office is to keep it organized and uncluttered. After all, clutter is the enemy of productivity. A recent survey by OfficeMax of over 1,000 adults found that 90 percent of Americans believe that clutter has a negative impact on their lives and work. Even more surprising, 77 percent of respondents said that clutter damages their productivity. In addition, more than half of those surveyed said that disorganization impairs their state of mind and motivation levels. If your onsite office was cluttered, keeping your home office organized and clutter free will be even more of a challenge, since bosses and coworkers won’t be physically entering that space. But taking steps to keep clutter to a minimum will pay big dividends as you work more effectively and productively.

3. Choose the Right Office Furniture and Color Scheme

Since your home office is your dedicated workplace you want to make sure that you select office furniture that will help you work comfortably and productively. A good place to start is to ask yourself when you do your best work. Are you more productive standing? Then a standing desk would be a smart addition to your office. In fact, you’ll find that there are a number of accessories designed to turn your sitting desk into a standing desk and vice-versa. When sitting you’ll want an ergonomically designed chair so you can sit comfortably without experiencing back fatigue. The color scheme of your home office is also important for maximizing productivity. Studies show that the color blue tends to be stimulating, green has a calming effect, and yellow stimulates creativity. Avoiding red, orange and other bright colors is smart, as these can make you feel anxious and eager to take your work to another room of the house.

4. Take Control of Your Office Environment

It’s hard to be productive in a room that is warm and stuffy, or dark and cold. If the room that you have chosen for your home office tends to be either of those things you will need to take measures to create a more conducive environment in which to work. Portable heaters or air conditioners can help to provide a comfortable office climate. And if your office is lacking natural light, you should consider adding a window or a skylight. After all, nothing energizes, lifts your mood and provides a warm and pleasant working atmosphere in a home office like natural light. If remodeling is not an option, try using light bulbs in your office that give off a whiter and warmer light as opposed to a colder bluer glow.

5. Keep a Home Office in Mind When Moving

More and more companies are giving their employees the option to work from home. This may not be the case with your company right now, but that could change. Or you may find yourself working for a new company that gives you that option. With that in mind, if you are contemplating a move into a new home or apartment it’s important to determine whether or not the place you are considering moving to has a room that could be converted into a suitable home office. It’s also important to consider just how easy it will be to move your office equipment and furniture into your new home office. New York City residents may want to conduct an online search for “moving companies NYC” to find professionals that can help them make that transition as smooth as possible.


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