We know you have seen plenty of articles on how to make your home office the best or the most comfortable space you have been in – we have written them too! But honestly, does anyone actually follow this advice? Sometimes it is a struggle to get up in the morning and organize our desks before a meeting or take care of the pile of laundry in the corner of our room.
To scare you into cleaning, though, we have collected a list of how to avoid the five worst home office mistakes. From unorganized and small desks to piles of laundry and unmade beds, we are going to tell you what the worst home office mistakes are, and how to avoid them.
The rest, we will leave up to you.
If you are one of the lucky few motivated by inspiration and positivity, check out some of our articles on how to organize your home office:
- How to Be Ready for Your CLOSE UP – HOME OFFICE in a Hurry
- Practical Home Office Storage Ideas
- Color Theory – Choosing Colors to Maximize Productivity in Your Home Office
And now, a few key things to avoid.
An extremely common home office mistake is getting a big, fake leather desk chair – you want to feel like a professional right? But, having a giant chair that takes up too much room (and quite frankly, looks like it belongs in a college dorm) won’t get you that professional flair you are going for.
Instead, get a smaller, ergonomic chair, like some of the ones included in our article on The Top-Rated Home Office Chairs for 2021.
If you are already stuck in a small office, or in the corner of a bedroom, poor lighting is only going to accentuate your problem. Not only that, nobody looks their best on Zoom – you don’t want to make it worse!
If your bedroom or home office is suffering from limited natural or artificial light, there are a few things you can try.
- Open the curtains – don’t block natural light. But make sure to position your desk appropriately – you want light coming toward your face at an angle, not from behind you. Light from behind typically hides you in a shadow or washes you out completely.
- Get a nice desk lamp – not only will a nice desk lamp add a cute accessory to your office, it will also help light up the room. Lighting makes you look better, and can help you stay more focused.
- Install bright LED bulbs into existing overhead lighting. This can make a big difference in the quality of light that you already have, minimizing the need to add extra clutter to your office.
Nothing is worse than being able to hear the dogs barking, people in the living room, and kids playing in the background of the Zoom meeting. You don’t want to be that person, right?
If you have the option, it is best to pick a quiet spot for your home office, away from the high-traffic areas of the house. Additionally, consider filling the walls of your room with bookshelves. Not only does this add storage, it adds an extra layer of material to the walls, helping to block noise.
If you don’t have room for additional furniture, smaller purchases, like curtains or a rug, can help dampen sounds coming from outside your office.
We know we have recommended purchasing a few additional supplies for your home office. But don’t get too many!
Having a cluttered desk and home office space is a problem for a number of reasons.
- Your boss doesn’t want to see your laundry or unmade bed. If you are sharing your home office with another room in the house, make sure to keep it clean. It looks more professional, and keeps you on track throughout the day.
- Clutter is distracting. Having a desk full of stacks of paper, day old coffee mugs, and other office supplies is distracting and negatively impacts your productivity. Make sure to keep your desk, and the area around it, neat and clean. Take five minutes at the beginning and end of your workday to neaten your space and put things back where they belong – we know your mother has told you that before!
Finally, make sure you have a line drawn between your office space and the rest of your life.
You don’t want to be distracted by other things that need to be done during work, just like you don’t want work hanging over your head for the rest of the day.
We recommend that you stick to a schedule – whatever that may be. This will help you be purposeful with your time, and avoid getting disorganized, distracted, and anxious.
Remember, working from home is a work in progress. These are just a few of the things to avoid, and there are plenty of others to keep in mind.
If you are looking for a few more things not to do, check out this article from the Wall Street Journal!
For a concise list of how to avoid the five worst home office design mistakes, take a look below:
- Get a small, ergonomic chair
- Add quality lighting
- Soundproof your office
- Avoid clutter in your space
- Be purposeful with your productivity
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