What does the phrase “working from home” bring to mind? Maybe it’s kids running around the house, pets trying to get your attention or Netflix calling your name. Or perhaps it’s an organized, peaceful office that allows you to be more productive than you’ve ever been in a busy branch office. It’s true: creating a home office can seriously boost your productivity and lift your spirits. Especially in a time when working from home seems to be in every agent’s foreseeable future, it’s more important than ever to create a workspace that will keep you feeling refreshed, focused and loving what you do. Here are our tips to help you create a home office that you love.
1) Carve Out a Space
No matter what your life at home looks like, there are probably distractions that can prevent you from getting any work done. That’s why it’s so important to create work-life separation, and an effective way to start is by devoting one space in your home solely to work.
First, consider what you need out of a workspace. As a real estate agent, you likely spend a lot of time on the phone with clients and might benefit from a quiet spot; setting up your workspace near the kids’ playroom or the family room where your spouse always watches TV might not be ideal.
Next, think about the things that distract you. For example, if being near the kitchen entices you to snack or organize the pantry, it might not be the best idea to have your home office in or near the kitchen. Even if you can’t get away from all distractions, it’s most important you create a space where you can be productive.
2) Find the Right Storage
While the place you make into your home office is important, the setup of this space is equally crucial. Investing in practical storage is critical to organizing your work and staying productive. Before doing so, first become clear on what you need to store, and then make sure you measure your space so you know what you have room for without causing clutter.
Whether you utilize a sturdy filing cabinet to store contracts and client information, or choose desk storage like magazine racks or shelves for your walls, choose an option that can keep you and your things organized.
3) Make Your Lighting Inviting
It’s no secret that good lighting puts you in a better mood, and a better mood helps you accomplish more in the course of your workday. There’s nothing quite like natural lighting when you can get it, so try to be mindful of choosing a space for your office that has access to it. Place your desk near a window and keep your blinds open during the day.
If natural light isn’t possible, find a desk or table lamp that gives off a warm glow to protect from eye strain and headaches–don’t rely on overhead lighting alone. Dimmable desk lamps, for example, can be used to change the lighting depending on the time of day or type of work that you’re doing.
4) Continually Personalize
While most of our tips so far have been more practical in nature, what will ultimately make you go from living in your home office to loving your home office is how you choose to personalize it.
To remind yourself of the people and things that you love, it helps to keep pictures and mementos by your desk while working. As an agent, you might consider also showcasing thank-you notes and thoughtful messages from your clients to remember why you do what you do. However, keeping these pictures and notes in the same place for too long can take away some of their meaning; as you get used to seeing them, you naturally won’t appreciate them as much. To counteract this tendency, try to rotate the pictures and mementos you keep by your desk on a regular basis. Or even better, invest in a digital rotating photo collage that will change your pictures for you!
If you want to feel excited walking into your home office every day, it’s also important to add decorations around the space that speak to you. Whether it’s an inspirational quote or painting you hang on the wall, a throw blanket you keep on your office chair, or a candle that you light every morning, you’ll be happier and more productive if your space is truly yours.