Once you have taken the plunge and decided to work from home you are going to need to consider your working environment. Too many people think that working from home means that they can effectively handle phone calls from the kitchen table, or work well into the night cuddled up in front of the television. And while you may be able to get away with this type of working style once in a while, you will need to design a home office space that is effective and efficient.
A well-designed home office will allow you to be more organized, more productive, and definitely more professional. There are a few things that you will need to consider when you are designing your space. Do you entertain clients in your office? If so, you will want a separate entrance to your home office. It is not very professional to have clients walk through your kitchen with dirty dishes in the sink in order to get to your office.
Even if you do not host clients in your office, you should strongly consider the benefits of having a separate space for your office. You will feel more professional if you have a designated room or space for your office rather than a corner of the living room. This will also allow you to tune out distractions such as the children, or the television. When you are working, close the door and focus on work.
Some things that you will need to consider are furniture, organization, lighting, and ventilation. You will need to equip your office to suit your needs and for most people, this means that you will need the standard desk. Your desk does not need to be fancy; in fact, as long as it suits your needs, you can get away with a very simple table. Storage is also very important for a home office. Do not underestimate the power of a quality file cabinet and a good organizing system. If you have a lot of books a shelving system will go a long way.
High-quality lighting is also essential in your home office. You may need to install a better overhead light as most residential lights will not put out the quality light that is needed for an office. Adequate lighting is essential for a comfortable and ergonomically sound working environment. Ventilation is also important, as you will need to work in a comfortable environment. If your space gets hot in the summer months, invest in air conditioning or a fan.
Last but not least, do not forget to make your home office inviting you to come to work. Put up a few pieces of artwork or some prints, bring in some houseplants or fresh flowers, and create an environment that is not only functional but enjoyable to be in as well. After all, you’re going to be spending 8 – 10 hours per day there.