Earlier this week I talked about making the most out of limited space when working from home. As I mentioned I’ll have a larger home office, but it is one I’m using to also house my collection of historic memorabilia. The challenge I will face as I work on my various articles will be to remain productive.
This is an issue that anyone who works from home needs to think about. Ideally you should try to find a space to work. Setting up on the coffee table should be a solution only when all others possibilities are exhausted. The temptation to watch TV “to take a break,” for example, would remain too great.
A kitchen table is a step up from the coffee table, and is probably more comfortable than crouching over to type. But it still isn’t perfect. It will do in a pinch, but it isn’t recommended for the daily home-based worker.
Likewise, working in the bedroom could cause you to lose focus during the day, while making it hard for you to sleep at night. Carving out a bit of space for work should be a top priority. Of course, even with today’s larger houses there just never seems to be enough space. Thus you may have to share the area you use for your home office.
Using a den or spare bedroom as an office can work. But again, this should be considered carefully. Here are a few dos and don’t for a home office:
*Make sure you have a reasonable workspace that can accommodate your computer and other devices you may need. This should include access to a broadband connection, including Wi-Fi.
*Have some form of adequate storage for files and other paperwork. Even a briefcase will work, just make sure your files don’t end up in your recycle bin (and I don’t mean the PC’s recycle bin either).
*Limit distractions from the rest of your life at home.
*Use the office as a storeroom. If you work from home part time you might be able to deal with a crowded home office. If you work from home all of the time it isn’t ideal to try working in a junked up office.
*Don’t let the office become a “man den.” Guys need space. But if you’re a guy and work from home, don’t try and turn the home office into your personal cave for all of your guy things! While you could possibly get a TV, which can be used on weekends and after hours to watch the game, limit transforming the office into too much of a hobby room.
*Don’t let the office become a playroom either. If you have children you should avoid letting the office turn into a playroom. Kids won’t know how important that document is, and chances are you might spend time picking up after them when you should be working.
This isn’t to say that a home office has to be all work and no play. If having your collection of action figures or Beanie Babies will lighten your mood than get a display case, or have a few flank your computer. A couch and reading light can make for a comfortable spot to read a book on a cold winter evening, or to scan the newspaper in the morning. And a TV for watching the news during the business day, or a game late at night doesn’t hurt. Just be sure these things don’t distract from getting down to business.