Today’s guest post comes to you from Jamie Sward. (Merci beaucoup, Jamie!) There’s a bit of a story behind it as well.
Not long ago, I was a kitchen-chair web worker – if you can call a stolen bar chair worthy of either kitchen or office. Backaches, leg cramps, pins and needles… “One day I’ll get a real chair,” I said, but two seconds later, the thought was gone from my mind. I had priorities, you know.
Then Christmas came. I received my very own office chair for my total comfort and pleasure (in blue, too!). What a difference it made.
I invite everyone to rethink their work habits, workspace and home office strategies this weekend. Isn’t there at least one thing it’s time you changed for better comfort?
And now… the floor is Jamie’s. (The other Jamie.) Enjoy the post, folks.
Depending on how organized you are, working from home can be either a blessing or a curse.
Some might assume that life as a freelancer is stress-free, but we all know differently. Sure, a freelancer’s day-to-day schedule might be a bit more relaxed, but crunch times happen and four, five or six deadlines loom – all at once.
Freelancing can be every bit as stressful as working in a corporate environment.
Your home office setup directly affects your productivity and quality of work. Sound surprising? It’s true. Let’s explore a couple of troublesome home office setup scenarios and solutions that set you on the path to better productivity.
It’s very easy to let technology take over your life. Everything these days is mechanized to the point that you don’t really have to do anything for yourself.
Need coffee? Why grind your own when you can get one of those Senseo Coffee Makers with futuristic Jetsons-like pods to brew a perfect cup every time! And in the office? Electric staplers, zippy pencil sharpeners… there’s even an office chair that gives you a workout while you sit at your desk. With technology rapidly advancing, soon we’re not going to have to type anymore!
Solution: While technology is great, don’t go crazy and purchase every single gadget on the market. Not only will you waste money, you’ll often find these gadgets cumbersome, creating excess clutter.
If you’re going to spend money, get an ergonomic office chair. A nice Herman Miller might cost you a pretty penny, but you’ll be more comfortable sitting at your desk, feel better about yourself and end up being more productive. (And that equals more money!)
With the economy taking a nosedive, it’s understandable that people want to do whatever they can to save money. Freelancers and others who make their living working from home shouldn’t skimp when it comes to the place they work every day – their home office.
Propping your laptop on a collapsible TV tray and scooting up to your Wal-Mart desk in one of your kitchen chairs may seem like an affordable way to work, but it’s not comfortable and nor is it practical.
Solution: While there’s something to be said for penny-pinching, if you’re working from home (sometimes seven days a week), you need a comfortable workspace. There’s no need to be economical, both in terms or price and space. You should have a large desk with plenty of room for your computer, storage for necessary supplies and an area to spread out your work and take notes. Find other areas to save money, or else you’re not going to be very productive – which ends up costing you money.
The way in which you set up your office affects your level of productivity to greater extent than you might believe. Here are some important office setup tips that all freelancers should consider:
Spatial Relations: Strongly consider the location of your office before setting it up. An ideal home office location is away from high-traffic areas like the kitchen, the kid’s playroom and the TV room.
Let There Be Light: An ideal home office needs good lighting. This includes natural light as well as an overhead light and a desk lamp. Sitting at your computer in dim light (or even the dark) staring into a bright screen is damaging to your eyes and causes strain. It’s also likely to encourage poor posture, as you have to lean forward to read the screen.
Distraction-Free Zone: While the location of your office helps eliminating distractions, it’s important to consider small distractions that keep productivity at bay. Televisions, radios, and cell phones all have their own benefits but you don’t want any of them in your immediate vicinity.
Clutter-Free & Carefree: A clutter-free office is a carefree office. Some people claim they can work with papers lying about, but a carefree office actually boosts good spirits and creativity. Invest in a filing cabinet as well as some desktop organizers for writing utensils and papers. Have a paper shredder to discard sensitive documents and a recycling system to cut down on office waste.
Creating your perfect workspace involves blending location with comfort and jazzing it up with some style. Just think of all of those poor souls stuck in cubicles, and be glad that you’re not one of them!
Your turn: What does your home office look like? Are you cramped and sore? Are you sitting in the lap of luxury? Can you see the sun from a window? Let’s hear it!