5 Ways to Redesign Your Home Office to Increase Productivity at Work

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If you’re working from home, chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time at your desk. How your home office is organised will affect your productivity, comfort and accomplishments.

The following includes five tried and true ways to redesign your home office to increase productivity.

Choose your location wisely

Feng shui refers to the auspicious arrangement of objects in space to achieve harmony. In other words, the location and positioning of your home office matters.

Start by placing your desk in the power position. You should be able to see the door from your office chair. Be sure to have a solid wall behind you instead of windows. Not only will this create a glare on your screen, but according to feng shui principle, you will lack support and authority. Make sure the view from your desk is pleasant, but not distracting.

It is important to separate your workspace and your personal life. Your home should feel like a refuge, while your office should promote mental clarity and focus. Place your home office in a separate room or area of the house. This is especially important if others will be home while you’re working as it will help reduce distractions. If your office is in the bedroom, use a room divider or even a large rug to separate the two areas.

Update your facilities

In this day and age, you’ll likely be spending most of your day working from a computer. A fast internet connection is your number one priority.

Having all the supplies and software at hand will minimise disruptions in the workplace. Spring clean your whole office and remove anything that’s unnecessary. Then, assign all remaining items their place to prevent cluttering. A cluttered office will reflect a cluttered mind.

Control lighting

You’ll be surprised at how much lighting can affect your productivity. Exposure to bright daytime lighting has been proven to be associated with lower daytime sleepiness.

Where natural light is not possible, opt for ambient, diffuse lighting over harsh light sources. Lampshades and recessed ceiling lighting are typically chosen in workplaces for these reasons.

Direct light, however, will be very beneficial in focus-intensive work. Lamps are useful for work such as filing and sketching.

Likewise, too much light can also cause a decline in productivity. Harsh, direct light can cause headaches, glare on your screen and eye strain. Prepare your office with both adequate lighting and lighting control using blinds or a screen.

Think ergonomically

Postural pain will contribute to reduced productivity. Sit as far back in your chair as possible to support your lumbar spine and encourage good posture.

Your eyes should be positioned looking near the top of the computer screen. This way, your chin will be parallel to the floor, preventing neck strain.

Your forearms should also be positioned parallel to the floor. If your wrists point upwards when using a keyboard, consider wrist support to prevent RSI. Soft support will also encourage circulation through the wrists and fingers.

To improve circulation through your lower extremities, raise your feet with a footrest. This will reduce pressure from both your legs and lower back.

Plan your day

Most people are visual learners. Using visual aids to plan your day will help you prioritise work and become more time-efficient. Organisational software is becoming more popular in the workplace. Otherwise, the old-school methods of whiteboards, post-it notes and calendars are also great ways to plan your day.

Redesigning your home office to promote productivity doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are plenty of cost-efficient ways to do so. Small tweaks in desk position, lighting and visual planning may be all you need for that extra boost in productivity.

Cloe Matheson is a Dunedin, Fla.-based creative writer who has written articles on a wide array of topics about travel, health & wellness, lifestyle and career. Read more of her works on Writings of Cloe.



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The Ultimate Guide To Background Checks

If you’re applying for a job after graduation or thinking of switching careers, a potential employer may request a background check during the hiring process. A background check should ensure that the information you provided on the employer’s application is accurate.

It also allows a potential employer to determine if you’re a good fit for the position and its company. Waiting until you’re in the middle of your job search to prepare for one is not the best idea. Knowing in advance all the information a potential employer might uncover can help you present your best self.

Prepare for a background check by doing as much detective work on yourself as possible. Start by requesting a copy of your credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus. Credit reports are often used to determine if an applicant can be considered responsible and financially stable.

Review your resume — be sure to spot any inaccuracies before the prospective employer catches them.

Run a background check on your criminal and driving records. Be aware of any red flags you may have such as a history of traffic violations. This can help prepare you for questions pertaining to your driving record — especially if the position for which you are applying requires a license.

Jobseekers should also review their social media profiles and posts for anything that may be deemed offensive. Conduct a thorough Internet search of your name and, if needed, clean up your online image by requesting the removal of unflattering information.

It’s imperative to be as accurate as possible when providing information to an employer, since it may withdraw a job offer if a discrepancy is found. For more tips on how to prepare for your next background check, see the accompanying guide.


Christian Moore is COO at Global Verification Network. He has more than 20 years of investigative and business experience with competencies including surveillance, competitive intelligence, pre-employment and course-of-employment background screening. 

Global Verification Network offers employment screening for big and small companies alike.







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14 Things Millennials Needs to Consider Before Accepting a Job Offer

Finding a new job is stressful no matter what situation you’re in, from being laid off to willingly leaving your current position. After submitting numerous applications, you finally receive your offer—but is it a good fit? Don’t just take the first offer you come across. Take your time to evaluate to make sure it’s the right career move for you.

Learning to evaluate a job offer correctly is the best way to keep you from looking for another job shortly after. Employers are also incentivized to find the right fit because hiring and training are expensive. Millennials are especially known for leaving jobs frequently, but it may not be for the reason you think.

Forty-three percent of millennials plan to leave their job within the next year so learning how to effectively evaluate a job offer may help ensure their new position is the right one. Salary is important but there are many other factors to consider before accepting or declining. Culture, commute and work-life balance are examples of things that may not be outlined in your offer letter. Continue reading

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4 Fantastic Financing and Forecasting Methods for Your Craft Business

Getting crafty will always be one of your hobbies and dream business ventures. When you actually managed to turn this into a reality you couldn’t believe your luck. Although it took a lot of hard work and perseverance you have managed to turn your passion for arts and crafts into a full-fledged company.

Whether you run it full-time or on the side along your day job, your craft business needs a lot of tender loving care. You have mastered the creative side of your job; that element is second nature to you. However, you need to get on top of the number crunching and planning. Here are a few pointers to help you along the way.

  1. Get on Top of Tax

Every business no matter how big or small needs to stay on top of their taxes. If you have never been great with numbers this can come as quite a shock, so you might want to consider hiring an accountant. Alternatively you should definitely look into MTD for VAT, which entails the government’s new Making Tax Digital scheme. Using approved accounting software you might soon have to store your financial records digitally. Check out the details and see if your business might need to get on board with this initiative. This will not only help you to keep track of your monthly earnings within your craft business, but it will also help you to forecast your future income. Continue reading

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Off Work After An Accident? Here’s What You Can Be Doing

If you are ever involved in an accident and badly injured, you will need to take a considerable length of time off work. This can be frustrating for a number of reasons. Not only will you fall behind on your work and could end up out of the office loop, you might also be off for so long that you are no longer eligible for statutory sick pay. That’s because your employee is only obliged to continue paying you a partial amount of your salary for a limited amount of time.

This could be a bad situation to end up in but, thankfully, there are a few things you will be able to do while off work with an injury to make things slightly better and more manageable. Read on to find out more!

Look After Yourself

First of all, you need to make sure that you look after yourself. Your health should be your number-one priority so that you can quickly get over your injury. Make sure you attend all your hospital appointments and listen closely to what your doctors and nurses tell you. It’s also essential that you carry on with all your courses of medicine until you have completed them in full. If you ever stop taking any medicine, then your recovery could end up going backwards and it’ll take you even longer to get back to work. Continue reading

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The Top 5 Industries with Job Availability

Are you thinking of having a career change, but you don’t know which industry will have the best job availability? We’ve made a list of the top 5 industries who are currently hiring so that you can make an informed decision on where to look. You’re bound to find a job in one of these industries, so take a look at what they offer and see if you fancy joining them.


In this new digital era where everything seems to be done online, the IT industry is booming. There is a big demand for IT experts in lots of areas, for example in technical support, programmers, web developers, computer systems analysts and network engineers. Take a look at these Security Information and Event Management tools by Tim Keary at Comparitech to see if dealing with challenges like cybersecurity could float your boat.


The manufacturing industry is a crucial part of our economy and will therefore always be a great place to find work. It supplies all of our consumer products and you could find yourself working with a variety of different materials. For example, food, textiles, fuel, minerals or electronics. There is something for everyone in this industry, whether you’d enjoy working in a factory or in a management position. Continue reading

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Develop Your Skills To Have Greater Career Satisfaction

Our careers can have a tendency to guide our happiness. You might tell yourself that you won’t let your life be dictated by the office, but when hometime rolls around and you’re still working on a report that mantra goes out of the window. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You have a right to explore opportunities that give you a greater work-life balance and a happier mental state. So, let’s take a look at some the options open to you if you want to improve your career outlook or you’re just in need of a change.


The first place for a lot of us to start is with education. You might already have qualifications and or you might not, that isn’t necessarily the point here. The aim when it comes to changing your career for the better is to look forward, not backwards. That means you should be projecting into the future what you want to get out of your working life and figure out what education that requires you to have. Continue reading

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Great Hires Are Possible

You’ve grown your business even more than you thought possible and you need to consider taking on extra help. But that’s about as far you’ve got, just considering. Why? Because let’s face it the thought of advertising, interviewing and hiring is a daunting process. This is made even harder, of course, if you are a solopreneur and don’t have much in the way of experience when it comes to the matter of Human Resources.

But it can be done and by following a logical process it is entirely possible to make a great hire without too much drama or even effort. In this article, we take a look at the steps needed to kick-start your recruitment drive.

Before anything else…

Take a deep breath and create two documents: your person specification and your job description. These two things offer you two very different criteria. With your person specification, you’ll need to think very carefully about who is going to make a great fit into your team. Are you looking for someone who will follow your instruction to the letter and has an eye for detail or are you hoping that your candidate will be able to work on their own with little in the way of guidance? Continue reading

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Keeping Track Of Everything Without Losing Your Mind

Whether you’ve decided to become your own boss or are set on impressing your manager to land the next promotion, keeping your mind clear and focused is part of the challenge.

However, in our hectic work environment, a clear mind can often sound like an impossible dream! There is always so much happening simultaneously that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and pressed for time.

Those who can juggle increasing responsibilities and complex tasks begin with one simple mission: Keeping track of everything every day at the office and reducing confusion. Thankfully, this is no superpower you need to develop. On the contrary, it’s a matter of introducing positive habits into your routine.

Organize your work mind

Freelancers know it better than anyone else: If you want to make the most of your work, you need to ensure that it doesn’t crush your private life. There is a definite work/life balance that you need to establish, whether you’re working for yourself or for someone else.

Having a clear division helps you to compartmentalize your mind and focus on what is relevant in each situation. You don’t want to bring work at home as it can only increase your stress levels, without boosting your performance. Similarly, you don’t want to think about social matters when you’re working, as it can be distracting. Achieving a strict balance helps you to set goals for your professional progression, as an independent expert or an employee. Continue reading

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Legal factors to consider for side hustles

Side hustles are easier than ever to get started. The gig economy offers a variety of ways to pull in additional income on your time frame.  Virtual markets have helped crafters turn their hobby into a small business. Freelancers can find work through a number of freelance job posting sites. The possibilities seem endless. Not to mention, side hustles are a great way to earn extra cash and test the waters for a new career path. Perhaps that’s why they’ve have grown so much in popularity.

While stating a side hustle can be relatively easy, it’s important to consider legal factors. If your primary job is similar to your side job, you might be at risk of violating a non-compete agreement. You might be missing out tax savings if you aren’t filing your side income correctly. Plus, each type of job has it’s own considerations. From blogging to driving rideshare services, it’s important to make sure you comply with the relevant laws.

For more information on what steps you can take to keep your side hustle on the right side of the law, check out the infographic from Lexington Law:

Graphic and post supplied by Lexington Law with this graphic.

Side Hustle Legal Considerations

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