Working from home is a dream quite a few folks share.
Regardless of whether you’re telecommuting for an employer (more and more people are today) or rocking your own business or freelance service, there simply has to be a dedicated space allocated just for work. (OK at least mostly just for work.)
Even though working from home can mean the elimination of the dreaded commute and the horrific traffic issues that go with it, still… entering your home office should ideally still provide you with the feeling that you (and anyone else) has entered a professional space.
Luckily it’s pretty easy to set up. Consider your location, how you get the digs organized, as well as your furniture selection.
Location is Key
The ideal home office is a room separate from the rest of the house, preferably with a door that can be closed to divide it from the inevitable interruptions of your household. (Kids anyone? Dogs? Husbands?)
In some homes though, this may not be possible (guilty as charged… mine is a separate “room” but no wall or door shutting the rest of the house out, unfortunately) so your home office winds up actually being located in a kitchen, a dining room or even your bedroom.
When deciding where to set up your home office space, you should consider a couple of different things.
First, what type of work will be done in your home office?
If the work involved means that extra work surfaces are needed, the bedroom and kitchen might not be suitable for this. If you do set up in a room that has a double function, make sure you appropriately measure and allow for all of the necessary workspace you will need.
Second, will clients visit your home office?
If clients are expected to visit your home office (mine aren’t THANK GOD), then the space used for it should always be organized and ready for business.
So by awesome powers of deduction… your bedroom again, might not be the right place for your office if you entertain clients on a regular basis. Just sayin’.
Even if the office is set up within your dining room or kitchen, the entire area must be ready and organized to receive visitors at all times. You never know when a client may drop by unannounced. (Rude, yes, but it happens!)
Once the location for your home office is chosen, setting it up and organizing it in a manner conducive to productivity is next on the list.
All decisions should be based on how your home office can work to make you more efficient. The space should be organized in a manner that is convenient and comfy, taking into consideration everything from the view of the windows of the office, if there are any, to where your furniture is located.
Part of organization is storage space, particularly in a home office where the temptation is there to just pile things up on the floor and vow to sort and store it later. (FYI- this is a recipe for a paper tsunami. I speak from experience.)
When first designing and setting up your office, make sure the area will have easily accessible storage options. Whether its filing cabinets for important documents or boxes for samples, make sure you have the storage capacity you need.
The area should stay clean and uncluttered, with a place for everything and everything in its place so that there is no chaos later, with piles of work toppling over or people tripping over them. (Hmmm… methinks I should take my own advice here…)
The set-up and organization is especially important when your office is forced to share space with a dining room or kitchen. The way your office is set up should clearly allow others to see that the area you have dedicated to your work is separate from the rest of your home.
This can sometimes be achieved by separating “rooms” with bookcases or cabinets or by making sure that the office furniture is far enough from the rest of the room that the it just looks like two different spaces.
Choosing the Right Furniture
All office furniture is NOT equal.
Before choosing a desk, chairs, and any other furniture necessary to set up your home office, it is important to evaluate how they will be used and whether or not they will be comfy and/or useful for long periods of time.
Your desk chair should be ergonomically correct so that when you’re working you are seated comfortably and don’t suffer any strain.
Working from home means that there is a high probability you will spend many hours within your “office”, probably even more than you would normally spend in a traditional office, so comfort and ease is vital.
Office furniture can be researched and bought online probably cheaper than your local office store. And many department stores (like Walmart) offer free shipping site to store, but you still get the online discount.
For example, when choosing chairs for your office, you can just Google best office chairs online right now and get some good options to choose from and Big G usually gives you a clue as to whether the store ships to a local branch or if it’s entirely online.
In addition to comfort, the look of your furniture is important. If clients will be visiting, there should be comfortable chairs for them to sit in. Depending upon how much space you have available, you can even set up a small but cozy sofa for guests and visiting clients to sit on.
Ultimately, how you design your work space is entirely up to you. But taking time to set it up properly, in a way that fosters your productivity and focus, as well as presents a professional appearance to the outside world will not only ensure your work flows smoothly, it will make you feel damn good to work there too!
Over to You
How is your home office organized? Got any tips? Holla in the comments below, and please feel free to share this post if you found it useful. BGB thanks you. 😉