If you have children, then you know that slowly but gradually every room in the house is permeated by their presence. There is, of course, the noise, which never seems to cease unless they are asleep. Secondly, there seem to appear socks, shoes, toys, books, crayons, pens, and all sorts of dolls and blocks that just seem to turn up in the oddest places. Yet did you know that work, especially when you are working from home, seems to do exactly the same thing? Oh sure, you don’t have crayons and dolls laying around, but there are files, pencils, reference books, calendars, appointments books, and sticky notes everywhere. First they may have started out in your home office, but before you know it they have migrated to your kitchen, living room, and even bedroom. No area is safe, and you are beginning to wonder what you could do to work efficiently but also leave the work behind when you are done. The answer is creating a proper workspace for working at home!
Create a Work Space by Making Room
If you have a spare bedroom that you could turn into a home office, or maybe an attic or basement, you are in luck! If you do not have the extra room, consider moving out of your own bedroom to make the space. Sure, this sounds harsh, but depending on how serious you are about your work, and how much work there is to do, you will need to have a separate space, and considering that most folks do not use the bedroom for anything other than sleeping, you might be better served, if you are working from home fulltime, to move out of your bedroom and buy one of those wardrobes that allows you to pull down the bed when you are ready.
Make Sure You Have the Essentials
While your needs may vary, it is always a good idea to have a separate telephone line for your business. In your home office is also the location where the answering machine, fax, computer, assorted peripherals, and supplies are kept. Your copier toner has no business staying in your linen closet, just like you would not keep your socks in your filing cabinet. You will also need a space for your business related files. If you are an artisan, you will need adequate space for your art supplies, as well as a working surface and good light. A corkboard for posting reminder rounds out the must-haves for your essential home business office. Of course, much of the furniture and absolute must-haves for your home office depend on you. Make sure you know your work habits well enough to know what is important to you and what you can do without. If you are by nature a neat freak, then make sure you have ample filing spaces. If, on the other hand, you thrive in a controlled chaos, set up your office so you can have some space to work with.
Keep Work Related Computers Separate
While your kids may love your work computer, you really should buy another one for the family room. You don’t want your kids playing computer games on your work computer and by accident download a bunch of files that will corrupt your hard drive. Similarly, you do want to try and keep home records and business records separate, and so separate filing systems should be kept.
Install a Door
If you home office does not already have a door, go ahead and install one. This will allow you at the end of the business day to actually close the door to your work, any unfinished projects, and will provide you with that physical barrier that will permit you to keep your work from spilling out into your family room and by extension your family life.
As you can see, there are no hard and fast rules to setting up your workspace for working at home. The great thing about being able to work from home is the fact that you can tailor your space to your own personality and to your own needs, yet too many times folks forget to take advantage of this new freedom and instead find themselves in home offices that are entirely unsuitable to them. Do not let this happen to you!
To Your Success