Personalizing Your Home Office

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Make Your Office Your Own

Most of us are at work or in our home office at least 40 hours a week. That’s almost one quarter of our life each week! My work space is truly my home away from home, and as you finish your education and start your new career, yours will be as well. With that being said, why not make it as comfortable as your living room? Many of my co-workers like to drop by my work area just to say “hi” because they tell me how relaxing and comfortable it is over here – it’s all about ambiance! Your desire to work should come out of a sense of passion and love for what you do, and it will drive you to be productive. A boring, uninspiring, uncomfortable work environment can affect your productivity in a negative way.

There’s really not much to it. A couple of desk lamps with some soft lighting (I’m not a fan of overhead fluorescent lights), pictures of loved ones, even a few stuffed animals on my desk. The point is “personalization” – make your work space a reflection of YOU. Pinterest is a great place to find ideas to personalize your office. We have pinned some of our favorites to the board below:

During the winter, I have a small heater I like to use as I’m generally colder than my co-workers. I have an ergonomic back pillow for lumbar support (thanks Secret Santa!). A comfortable chair is also important.  Not only should your work space be visually appealing, it should be as comfortable as it looks.

I also like to have some soft music playing in the background – Medical Transcriptionist/Healthcare Documentation Specialists may want to stay away from this particular suggestion when listening to a dictation!

Being organized, relaxed and comfortable at work will make your time more enjoyable and translate to a higher level of productivity.  You also want to keep your area free from clutter.  An organized desk means an organized mind!

Here are a few more tips that I personally recommend you trying. You might be pleasantly surprised how much you enjoy your work space after trying these!

Make your work space a no-clutter zone.

This can be difficult to maintain, but do your best. The unfortunate truth is that a home office can be a collection place for items that don’t have anything to do with your job or the task at hand – report cards from your child’s school, household mail and bills, etc. Apart from physically cluttering your work space, these items can distract you from a dictation, or make it hard to focus on your studies.

A clutter-free zone will also help you relax as you will feel more organized and prepared for the task at hand. Make a point to get a good filing system going and have an area such as a basket designated to the paperwork that gets tossed into a pile and filed later.

Get comfortable.

We get into more detail on the exact positions and science behind office ergonomics in an earlier article, but here are a quick tips I find helpful:

  • Try to remember to keep your feet flat on the floor. I tend to forget this rule, but I’m trying to break the habit.
  • If you use physical reference books, try keeping them close to your monitor to prevent straining your neck too often.
  • Adjust the brightness of your monitor to your preference

Make your space unique.

If you’re feeling up to it, here are some other suggestions to make your work space a home away from home. Get your design hat on and add feng shui to the space with items such as:

  • plants and flowers
  • a small fish tank.
  • a desktop Zen garden (you know, those little sand gardens you rake!)
  • a desktop waterfall for soothing sounds
  • digital picture frame with slideshow (caution: don’t let it be a distraction to you. Try facing it away from you)
  • aromatherapy – one of our MT/HDS students found a great diffuser!

Rock salt lamps are another great way to add gentle, relaxing light and they are said to emit ions that help you feel more balanced and reduce computer screen fatigue. I keep my rock salt lamp on whenever I am typing at my desk. It is pictured below:

Did you find these ideas helpful? Do you have some of your own home office design tips to share? Leave us a comment!