According to a report conducted by Global Workforce Analytics, at least 50% of the US workforce now holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework, and approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency. These numbers are expected to rise and undoubtedly assert one key fact: a functional at-home workspace is essential.

Whether you are utilizing this space yourself, or are thinking of progressive ways to improve your home’s appeal to today’s buyers, that home office should no longer be allowed to function as a glorified walk-in storage closet.

1. Ask yourself: What puts you in a productive mood?

This seems like a no-brainer, but do it! Do inspirational quotes really get you going? Do you need a set of noise-cancelling headphones and a series of ambient playlists to keep you in the zone? Is natural sunlight a necessity for feeling awake and energized while you’re grinding away? Figure it out –– this way you can mentally lay the foundation for your ideal office space, and know that it’s based upon creating the best place for productivity to happen.

2. Keep your cords tidy.

Whether you’re working from a laptop or a monitor, glued to a phone or a sketchpad, chances are, in today’s day and age, you are going to have a happy little family of electronics joining you. If you have the space, keep your desk area neat by investing in charging stands for your tablet, smartphone(s), Apple watch, etc., or at the very least, snag some velcro ties/sleeves/clips to keep those cords in line and out of your way.

3. Have a place to write.

More than likely, you’ll probably be jotting the bulk of your notes into your phone or computer, but let’s be honest, sometimes that Notes app or your Google Keep browser tab just doesn’t open as quickly as your latest idea hops right out of your head.

Be old school and have a notepad handy. Like a real one with real paper, and also a few good pens. You’ll thank yourself when you’re trying to set a super important reminder for yourself and that loading circle shows up on your screen, right as your phone decides to update its software for forty minutes.

4. Personalize your décor. 

If you were still stuck in your cubicle at the office, you’d at least try and make it a comfy place for yourself, right? So personalize your home office the same way. Make it a place that feels like YOU. Even if you’re in your own home, your office space will still be your bubble for the majority of the work day, so surround yourself with little accents that reflect your tastes. I recommend a favorite coffee mug you can look forward to using every morning, or some dorky action figure that will make you smile.

5. Get a plant.

I don’t know why, but plants and flowers just make everything better and more lively. I don’t care if you’re a dude – get a really manly cactus. Add some green to your workspace. Not only will it give you a nice ritual when watering it every time you sit down to work (and applauding yourself for having not killed it yet), it will liven up your mood and keep you in touch with the outdoors while working away at your desk.

6. Incorporate aromatherapy.

Nothing adds decorative value AND instant comfort like a well-placed candle. Enough said.

7. Include a break-time distraction.

You can’t be 100% productive without taking time to decompress. To keep yourself from getting fried by 11AM, keep a little distraction nearby to enjoy when you’re due for a break. Be it a Rubik’s cube or some colored pens for doodling, have something you can reach for when you have a few minutes to cool down and reboot.

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