Whether you’re starting your own business or simply want to spend a few days working from home, it’s important to have your own workspace to stay organized and focused. The best way to accomplish this is by designating a separate, small area of your home as an office where you can work quietly and uninterrupted.
Skip the mahogany desk, executive leather chair and piranha fish tank. Start with what you have available. An extra bedroom or den is idea, allowing you to outfit your home office with the proper desk, chair and even filing spaces. Draw up a floor plan before you start purchasing equipment to make sure everything fits nicely. Try to mimic a traditional office space and keep everything within reach. The more work-friendly your space is, the more work you’ll actually accomplish.
If you don’t have the luxury of a spare room, there are still plenty of options. Simply find a spare wall in a low-traffic part of your home. Purchase a small desk or folding table that is functional and comfortable. (Test out any table before you buy it to make sure you can sit at it for several hours at a time.) If you’re very short on space, mount walls above your desk to store files, supplies and any other office materials. If you’re really industrious, you convert a closet into a home office. Place a desk inside and build shelves and nooks all the way up. Find a removable chair and simply close the doors when you’re done with work.
Working at home does have its distractions, so if you have a family, you’ll want to establish rules for entering your home office. If you have small children, you may find it necessary to hire a babysitter. Be firm on your work hours. Think about placing a sign on your office door that indicates your office hours so that you and your family will be on the same page.
Don’t forget about tax benefits! Keep records of your purchases and bills so you can present them to your accountant come tax time. You may be pleasantly surprised.