I’ll get to talking about home offices in a minute.

There’s a vlogger on YouTube named Casey Neistat. His work is incredible. The cinematography is superb, bar-none. As a result, his most popular question from viewers is, “What cameras do you use?”

Casey doesn’t give a rip about cameras. The only reason he has them is because they enable him to share stories in the medium he enjoys – video. He said that a camera is good if it gets in the way of him and his audience as little as possible. This is what your home office should be like.

Business can be broken down pretty simply. Business is about two people helping each other: the person who offers the product or service and the person who receives it. Everything else can just get in the way. In a world where most of us can work wherever we want, we have the option to create the perfect environment. So we can help the most people and make the most money. This is why home office design is important.

A home office is almost more about what it’s not than what it is. It’s not cluttered, it’s not noisy, it’s not ugly, it’s not distracting. To keep all of these common office problems at bay, I’ve created this post. These are the 7 attributes of highly functional home offices:

1. A Home Office has Proper Lighting

Light is something that’s important to consider. What light works best for you? The best home offices have this area covered. For some people, natural light is best. This means positioning the desk near a window while making sure glare isn’t an issue. For others, having a window leads to distraction and checking the weather every ten minutes. Instead, those workers may consider curtains and using lots of artificial light.

When considering lighting, make sure to consider how you will look on camera. Consider getting a light to boost your clarity during webcam calls.

2. Noise

Some of us work best in peace and quiet. Others like a more open office space. All good home offices have just the right amount of noise for their occupant.

If you like noise, consider setting up your desk in a common space. Furthermore, make sure you have good speakers. Listening to music may boost your productivity. Personally, I like listening to EDM dance music while I work. Gets things going.

3. Technology

This is probably the most important aspect of a home office to get right. Consider what is important to you and consider getting the best equipment you can afford.

If you’re a writer, two screens can be convenient. This way, you can write on one screen and research from the other.

If you create videos, you’ll need a lot of tech. Get whatever you need to make the distance between you and your audience as short as possible. Also make sure to have a place where all the gear goes so you don’t have to search for that elusive pair of scissors – yes even those are tech. But, have your wall hangers, charging docks, you name it. Get the right tech so you can get the job done as easily as possible.

4. Comfort

A good home office is a pleasant place to be. Get a chair that encourages good posture while still being comfortable. When your body gets tired, your brain is soon to follow. Get a desk of appropriate height. Ergonomics are of the utmost importance. If you’re comfortable in the office, you’ll be able to work longer. And more work leads to more success.

5. Intrusions

Working at home has its hurdles. One of which is being bothered by others. Perhaps it’s your children who want to see you. Or maybe it’s your unemployed roommate who thinks it’s okay to knock on the door asking if you know if there are any Lucky Charms left. You don’t even eat Lucky Charms… It’s important for a home office to have rules. For more on setting boundaries, read this post.

A popular rule is that if the door is closed, only bother for emergencies. If the door is open, you’re free to come in. If you always like the door closed, set hours. For instance from 6 AM to 6 PM, there should be no intrusions but you may knock between 12-1. A great benefit of working from home is not getting distracted by colleagues. Don’t allow those who live with you to be a new distraction.

6. Atmosphere

Is the office beautiful? Do you enjoy the way its aesthetics make you feel? It’s important you enjoy being there. Going to work each day is easier if you’re headed to a beautiful place. Functional offices fit the personality of the person who works in them. Does your home office match your personality?

7. Ancillary Items

What else do you want with you? For me, I keep my cell on the desk at all times as well as a glass of water. That’s enough for me. Some people enjoy hanging inspirational quotes from the wall. Have you brought in your dirty overused stress ball you toss in the air while thinking? You know it has to be there. Stop fighting it, allow yourself to put in the items that help you think the best and work the best. Make sure your physical reminders help you to get more work done. I heard a story of one person who kept a photo of his ex-wife in the top drawer of his desk. Every time he felt like being lazy, he’d pull out her picture, look at it, get angry, and make another call. The best revenge is living well.

An Alternative…

If you live in a home that’s just not conducive to work, consider renting an office space.


William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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