Going into work at a brick-and-mortar business is becoming a thing of the past for many group travel professionals. The remote work revolution gives you more control over your environment than ever before. To be successful, follow these tips to create a functional and inspired home office.    

1. Dedicated space 

A functional home office should be somewhere with privacy and dedicated to only work to keep your work-life balance. Try to separate your workspace from the rest of your home. Choose a space with minimal distractions. If you do not have a whole room to dedicate to an office, create separation in an existing room with bookshelves, decorative screens or even tall plants. Incorporate storage to keep your area as clutter-free as possible. Designate places for everyday office items such as pens, paper clips and staplers to make the most of your workday time.  

2. Ergonomics matter 

While your living room couch is comfy to sit on, it isn’t the best place to set up your home office. It is important to have a proper chair with back support. If buying an expensive office chair is out of your budget, there are less expensive alternatives like a foam cushion designed for lumbar support, a small decorative pillow or even a rolled-up towel can provide your lower back the support it needs. Your computer screen height is also an important ergonomic feature to pay attention to. The goal is to have the top of your monitor at eye level. This gets a little tricky for people using a laptop computer since you also don’t want to have your keyboard too high resulting in raised hands. An alternative solution for laptop users is to elevate your computer screen using risers and invest in an external keyboard and mouse for easy typing and scrolling.  

3. Optimize lighting 

Poor lighting can cause eye strain and headaches making you a less productive worker. The beauty of a home office is that you likely have an opportunity to take advantage of natural sunlight. Positioning your workstation by a window, for even part of the day, can help you feel more energized throughout the day.  If natural light is not a possibility for your home office, consider using indirect light rather than overhead lighting. You can position lamps to create less glare on your computer screen making it easier on your eyes.    

4. Decorate responsibly 

Your home office is a great place to add personal touches that bring you comfort and impact your mood. Paint color sets the mood, you might choose a calming blue to soothe anxiety or a vibrant red to inspire high-energy during your workday. Pictures of loved ones, plants or organized tchotchkes can create a positive personal vibe. Be mindful not to clutter your workspace with distractions that can hold back your productivity. Consider that your office will be visible to others as you participate in video conferencing calls.  

5. Hang a clock 

Okay so this final tip may sound a little silly, but it is very important for at-home workers. In a regular office setting you have cues from co-workers that guide your day; coffee breaks, lunch breaks and even hearing others pack up to go home. In your home office, it is easy to get engrossed in a project and lose track of time. Having a clock or even setting alarms on your phone will help you establish home office hours and keep a good work-life balance.  

Your dream in-home office is within reach. With a little planning you can create a work environment that makes you productive and happy.     

If you are a group travel planner who has recently moved from a brick-and-mortar building to a home office, make sure your Group Tour magazine is getting delivered to the right address. Email subscriptions@grouptourmagazine.com to update your address today.