According to CNNMoney, nearly 3.9 million U.S. workers now telecommute, a tally that includes full-time employees who work from home at least half the time. This boils down to about 3% of the total American workforce. In addition, freelance workers – those who work independently either full- or part-time – currently make up about 34% of the U.S. workforce, a percentage that is expected to rise to 43% by the year 2020.
With nearly 40% of American workers currently working from home at least part of the time, the home office has become a necessity rather than a luxury. Here are four essentials to make working at home work for you.
Top 5 Home Office Considerations
- Privacy. For all the perks of working from home, one of the biggest challenges is separating work space from personal space. When planning your home office, find a space or dedicate a room separate from the rest of the house to create a work environment where you can avoid distractions that decrease productivity. This is why so many at-home workers love the home office shed. Although the shed is located just a few steps from the back door, it can be treated as an office and provides excellent privacy from noise and interruptions.
Equipment. Efficiency and speed are crucial when you work at home. Determine which equipment is necessary for you to complete your work quickly and efficiently, but don’t invest in items you won’t use on a daily basis. Also, talk to your homeowner’s insurance agent to be sure your home office equipment is adequately insured. Most standard policies provide low limits on coverage for property used primarily for business purposes.
- Lighting. Good lighting, especially natural lighting, will improve your work experience. When setting up your work space, it’s best to have natural light in front of or next to computer screens and work surfaces to prevent glare and give you the enjoyment of outside views. If your office will have multiple workstations – for example, a desk for computer work, a filing space and a table for reviewing documents – set up dedicated task lighting for each area. Avoid working under the direct glare of overhead lights, and do not put a computer directly in front of a light source. This will cause eyestrain.
- Ergonomics. Working from the couch or kitchen table can be hard on your back and wrists. Invest in a workspace that will keep your keyboard at seated elbow height to keep shoulders lowered and relaxed (and prevent pain) while typing. Make sure your chair has some sort of lumbar support for the curve in the lower back, or use a pillow or a back rest for support. Try this free workspace planner tool to plan the best workspace configuration for your height.
- Organization. The organization of your space will depend on your work, but be sure you have a designated work area with adequate space for equipment, reference materials, filing and office supplies. Ensure office furniture leaves you ample space for work and storage. Consider options for organizing papers and items on your desk to help you keep work in order.
Get a Shed Built for How You Work
If you need a private office environment that allows you to achieve better work/life balance, consider a home office shed built with LP® Outdoor Building Solutions® products. LP shed products are used to construct some of the most beautiful, durable, well-crafted outdoor structures available. Visualize shed designs, choose your desired size and get more tips from LP Outdoor Building Solutions today.