With more people working from home, it’s important to make sure your home office can be a distraction-free place for organized and efficient work.
So before you pull out the measuring tape and hammer, here are a few questions to help you create a killer home workspace:
What type of space do you need?
Make a list of everything you’ll need to do for your job. If you will have a lot of paperwork or other tasks that demand extra space, take note of it.
Will you be taking care of a child during work hours?
Your children are more important than your work, but that doesn’t mean they should be interrupting your workflow. Create a fun and safe environment for them that you can monitor while you work.
Do you have a pet?
If you have a pet, the little guy or gal may confuse your working at home for 24/7 playtime. We suggest having the same routine as if you were working outside the home. Take care of all meals and walks before work begins. Shut the door to your workspace for more privacy.
Do you have an extra room?
If you have an extra room in your home, great! If not, don’t worry, you just have to get creative. Find someplace in your home where you can make room for a workspace. This can be a section of your bedroom, living room or even kitchen. (We don’t recommend the bathroom.) You may want to consider purchasing a curtain or room divider to separate your professional and personal spaces.
What are your distractions?
Yes, we suggested the kitchen. If you know you’d be tempted, as I am, by the cookie dough in the fridge, you shouldn’t put your office in the kitchen. Likewise, if you have a window that looks down onto a busy street that often distracts you, move your desk to the adjacent wall so you can still benefit from the natural light but won’t get distracted by the hustle and bustle.
Will you be entertaining in your office?
Your home office should be comfortable first and foremost for you. If you will be entertaining other people though, it must be comfortable and professional for them as well. If you know you will be doing video conferencing, make sure your background appears professional (hide your Flock of Seagulls poster).
Now that you know what your situation is before creating a workspace, let’s look at what the goals of your new home office will be:
Put the office in “home office” first.
Get all the supplies you will need and put them in a special storage container. Don’t use your home phone unless you have a virtual phone system in place. You don’t want your kids accidentally picking up your business calls. Don’t make it so businesslike that it feels sterile. You will still want to have some family photos and soothing artwork.
Your office should match your brand.
Is your company going for “cool and modern?” Then you probably shouldn’t be rocking grandma’s hand-me-down furniture. (Or is that trendy now? It’s hard to keep up.)
Bring nature indoors.
Natural light can make a profound difference for your mood. Try and get your home office by a window, and while you’re there put a plant or two there for fresh oxygen.
A quiet office is a happy office.
Noise pollution can increase stress levels and decrease productivity. Keep your workspace free of unnecessary noise. If you’re a music producer with a home studio, ignore this one.
Reward yourself with upgrades.
Know your spending limits when you create your office. Resist the urge to go over budget. Instead, create a plan where you make upgrades to the office only when you reach certain revenue goals. This will keep your pocketbook in check and provide a little extra motivation.
Do you have or are you planning on using a home office? Leave your tips in the comments section below!