Creating a Home Office for Your Real Estate Career
Whether it’s due to budget or a desire to be closer to their families, many real estate agents work from home. Having a dedicated home office space can significantly improve focus and efficiency. So, skip the couch and kitchen table, and use these tips to create a personal productivity zone within your home.
Leverage natural light. When setting up the desks in their home offices, many people instinctively place them up against a wall in the darkest corner of a room. In essence, this creates a cubicle effect, which can sap enthusiasm and creativity. Try placing your desk close to a window, parallel to the panes. This will provide natural light and inspiration while you work.
Stay ergonomic. Avoid body aches and eye strain by keeping your computer screen at eye level or just a little below. Set up your keyboard so your forearms are parallel to the ground, and adjust your chair so your feet rest flat on the floor. You could also consider splurging on a comfortable chair that will make you more willing to put in those extra hours.
Consider a standing desk. You might view standing desks as a trend, but they are actually much more than that. A study from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center found that standing can help enhance focus and productivity. Research also suggests that sitting for long periods of time can be as deadly as smoking, increasing your risk for early mortality even if you exercise regularly. Standing desks can also reduce foot and back pain while relieving mental fatigue. If you do get a standing desk, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and get a cushioned standing mat to prevent foot, leg and back discomfort.
Update personal décor. It’s quite common for people to decorate their home offices with photos of loved ones. Unfortunately, these items can lose their inspirational impact over time. Keep your office décor from becoming an afterthought by rotating items out regularly. Whether it’s a picture of your child, funny cartoons or mementos of success, keep things fresh and inspiring.
Store creatively. Most home offices tend to accumulate a lot of paper. Unfortunately, metal filing cabinets can be an eyesore. If you need to spruce up your filing system, try using wall storage, such as magazine type shelves or library-style display racks. You can also use stylish bookcases to hold items and create a professional-looking backdrop for video conferences. If you are using a spare bedroom for your office, use the closet to help minimize the need for storage spaces in your main office area.
Clear away clutter. Research suggests clutter can make our brains less efficient while diminishing our overall well-being. The first step in eliminating office clutter is to simply get rid of items you don’t need. As for the items you do need but don’t use daily, store them in decorative baskets and other holders outside your visual field.
Don’t cross-contaminate. Working from home isn’t easy, especially if you have a lot of distractions. It helps to make sure your home office is a place for business only. Try not to eat in your home office or make personal calls at your desk. Don’t let your kids bring their toys into the room and make sure everyone knows what your office is for. By maintaining a healthy separation, you can keep distractions out of your office and your work life away from family time.
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