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Whether you’re a freelancer, remote employee, or just working from home, your home office has a huge influence on your productivity and health. Start 2017 off right with these quick tips for staying happy and healthy while working at home!

1. Take a Stand for Health

There are a ton of positive habits you can incorporate into your daily workflow to start your day off right; simply standing more during the day has concrete health benefits. As one of the most commonly-cited bad workplace habits, sitting for extended periods of time has negative effects on your heart, your kidneys, and your back.

If you have the opportunity, check out a standing desk! It helps reinforce good habits while avoiding bad ones and keeps you on your feet. If you want to get started right away, try standing up for a few minutes each hour. Not only will it help out your back, but taking a short break each hour has been shown to actually improve your focus by deactivating + reactivating your goals.

Taking breaks during your workday has been shown to have a myriad of positive effects on your performance. A study from Stanford found that taking a short walk helps boost your creative output, and a Swedish research group discovered improvements in enthusiasm and relaxation in workers who took a lunchtime walk. So the next time you hit writer’s block, try taking a walk around the block–you might just come across your next great idea!

2. Keep Your Mind Sharp

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and there are a few key strategies you can employ while working from home to survive the stress and keep your peace of mind. Having a productive, organized workspace can make a huge difference in your day-to-day workflow and mental attitude.

One of the best aspects of working from home is the flexible schedule, and you should use that to your advantage. Doctor’s appointment? No problem! Picking the kids up? You have the flexibility to make that work. What you DON’T want to do is let your schedule get so flexible you don’t know where work time ends and personal time begins.

3. Plan It Out

Designing an App

Photo Credit – Pexels.com

A great way to do this is by scheduling out your day like you would a day in the office but from a more task-based approach. Use a calendar like Fantastical or Google Calendar to keep yourself accountable for the day’s required activities while allowing for life events.

Apps like To do or Things help you take your list wherever you are with mobile apps–if you prefer the time-tested approach, a pad of paper + pen by your computer works too!

4. Get the Right Equipment

Your computer is the heart of your business, especially as an entrepreneur or freelancer. A solid work laptop is a necessity for work on the go. The obvious fan favorite in laptops is Apple, but the price point and limited storage options can be deal-breakers, especially for newcomers.

If you need more flexibility in storage space or form factor to check out business laptops from HP; take your time to look at your options and find the right laptop for your workflow.

If you keep business records on your laptop as well, it’s critical to have backups; pick up an external hard drive, or rent some cloud storage–ideally both. Dropbox, Microsoft, and Google Drive all offer affordable online storage for 1 person businesses or SMB-level solutions.

The price for backups can be daunting at the start, but the peace of mind they bring is worth it in the long run, especially where clients’ information is concerned.

5. Decor Does More than You Think!

Once you have your tech space figured out, don’t forget the rest of your office! Your surroundings have a surprising level of influence on your attitude and productivity, so set yourself up for success by keeping it clean and organized.

Another great way to keep your space positive is easy additions with real benefits. For instance, get a plant! Adding a few plants to your workspace has been proven to decrease stress and increase productivity; the color green has a similar calming effect, so keep the color scheme in mind when looking for home decor.

6. Work vs. Play

Another great way to keep your work environment stress-free is to separate it from your leisure space. Working from Home increases your productivity, but that extra boost can be squandered by an increase in distractions.

With the most commonly-cited issues being family wanting attention and not having the proper office equipment, take preventative steps by setting boundaries (mental or literal) with family members and equipping your home office with everything you need to stay productive.

Working from home can provide flexibility and a productivity boost, so make sure you’re getting the most out of your home workspace. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, so try different suggestions to find the best tips and tricks for your personal workflow.

Above all, bring a positive attitude and a work ethic–it all starts with you!

Written By
Katherine Luk is a Community Outreach Coordinator for HP’s Small Business Solutions team.

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