More and more of us are working from home. There are makeshift offices on kitchen tables and bedroom shelves. But, to really stay focused and deliberate about your work, making your work and “business” important to you, there are a few key ingredients things that will really make it flow.
Everyone’s different and has a different way to move in and out of their office energy and space, as well as how they work with the furniture, lighting and all other necessary aspects. Find what works best for you with these ideas.
1. It’s important to create a space that you can easily keep clean, organized, functional, inspiring and comfortable. Whether you have the space of an office cubical, or a full basement at your disposal, making the space work for you takes a little effort.
2. Got kids? Pick a spot in the home where you can still see your kids. Glass doors help keep the noise and toys out, but you can still keep an eye on them. If “not your problem!” then make sure you have privacy, closed doors, or whatever you need to make it work for you.
3. Computer: There are desktops and laptops. People have very clear preferences about what they like best, and might have one of each. You’ll do the amount of work here that is suitable for your business, and store it there too.
4. Accessories: Mouse, speakers, microphone, headset, exterior backup, etc.
5. Discs: Most everything for computers comes with a software CD. Functional storage for these is important as you may need them again.
6. Printer: Great options are available now for all-in-one, including printing, scanning, copying and faxing capabilities. This saves you a lot of space.
7. Telephone: Landline or cell? Online or . . . So many choices! Some phones are compatible with personal devices such as a BlackBerry or Treo, and can act as a conference system.
8. Desk: Like having a good bed, spending 1/3 of your life there!, you may be spending much more that 1/3 of your life sitting at that desk. So, be sure to have one that really fits the size and needs of your projects and work. It may be a conference table with a drawered desk next to it, or a high-end one with lots of drawers and filing cabinets built in.
9. Chair: The comfort of your chair can (literally) make or break your ability to sit for long periods while working away, especially when sitting in one position so long on the computer. Some chairs are cushioned, others are not. Try out several before you decide. Oh, and the cushion ones do break down after awhile, flattening out and leaving you uncomfortable again!
10. Foot rest: Some people get a lot of strain on their backs if they don’t have something under their feet while sitting so long at the desk. You can buy inexpensive wood foot stools or whatever you like to keep you feet propped up a bit to east back strain.
11. Lighting: Very important ingredient. Being close to a window for natural light is very helpful. Plan on at least one overhead lamp and a stand-alone lamp too for night time work.
12. Storage: Closet and storage cabinets are great, including file cabinets and drawers for overstock of office and mailing supplies and computer cords, etc.
13: Basic office supplies: Organize your pens, pencils, staples, stapler, paper clips, post-it notes, note pads, etc., in a drawer close to you so that everything you need is in one place and at your fingertips.
14. Bookshelf or bookcase: Great for storing books, reference guides, binders, etc.
15. Wall pin board: If you’re a visual person and need to “see” your projects in process, you might get a wall mounted cork board or sticky adhesive sheets createing a stick-em-up
16. Make it yours! Add your personal touches like plants, candles, iPod station, music CD player, etc.
Set your office up and start working. Over time you’ll notice what is and is not working for you. Shift and change things around until it really “fits” you.