How to Set Up a Home Office

If you are working from home, you are probably aware of the advantages of working this way. From the flexibility of making your own schedule to saving gas money by not having to commute every morning, remote work offers benefits many workers desire.

On the other hand, not everyone is successful when working this way. In fact, some people do not like working from home because they feel they cannot concentrate as well as they can in an office setting. In order to be successful while working from home, therefore, it is important to consider creating an office space that will promote efficiency and concentration.

When you work from home, it is important to know how to switch from home to work mode. A home office should be a space that inspires you to work. It is possible to work in an environment that is otherwise used for personal needs, but there needs to be a certain structure to the space if you wish to use it for work.

When creating a work space, you first have to determine how much space you can allot toward a home office. Read on to learn more about this process and get tips for how to create an office at home.

Know Your Needs

Before setting up a home office, you should decide what your office needs to consist of. A corner in a room may not be enough space for what you are trying to do, but a whole room may not be necessary for your work either.

To get started, make a list of your most basic needs for a home work space. Include in this list what needs to be in your office, whether it is a desk, fax machine, phone or so on. For example, a graphic designer may need a small desk for a computer and a large table for art work, while a consultant may need file cabinets and a space for clients to sit down and talk with them. Ask yourself in what ways you will utilize the space for your work when making your list of critical needs.

When you are working from home, there is a high chance of your computer being your primary work tool. Keep your computer or laptop on the desk, opposed to on a bedside table, your bed or on the couch. This way, when you see your computer on your desk, you will be urged to focus on work. It is easy to get distracted when your computer or laptop is not in your work space. Try to avoid doing work from your bed.

When setting up your new home office, make sure that you have some resources for remote work that will keep you organized. You should make sure that items like your work phone, day planners and important paperwork do not get lost in clutter. This can be difficult if you have trouble staying organized, but your important items should always be kept in plain sight so that you can reach for them when they are needed. They can also act as reminders when things need to get done.

An exciting way to stay organized and mindful of projects or scheduling throughout the week is with sticky notes. Consider using two different colors of sticky notes – one neutral color for writing quick notes and a bright color for important reminders. For the purpose of reminders while working from home, sticky notes can be essential to your home office, especially if you easily forget tasks.

Workspace, Storage and Equipment

When you are considering a home office for your virtual work needs, you may realize that you only have a limited amount of space. If you want your workspace to remain professional, you must be organized. If you do not have enough rooms in your living space for an office to have its own room, it is important that you get creative so that your space is comfortable and efficient.

You should be making room for filing, storage and a space to work. In a small space, this can seem impossible, which is why multipurpose storage is ideal. Consider a desk that includes filing drawers or cabinets. If you do not have the time to build a desk or the money for a new one, simply find a place to store files in another area in your home. Generally, you want to keep any files or paperwork that is used often accessible.

It is also essential to have the right equipment in your workspace in order to be successful as a remote worker. While many people enjoy a nicely decorated office, it is more important for your money to go toward items that are more substantial. Make sure you have an office phone, a comfortable chair, a multipurpose desk and a fast internet connection before you focus on other items that add no value to the space. Specialized equipment, tools and software are key to performing at your highest level.

Office Hours

A key benefit of working from home is the flexibility. However, it is easy to lose track of time at your home, as opposed to in an office. Whether you are at home or in an office, a fair amount of time should be put into your work to ensure that you complete your tasks and stay focused. This is why office hours are necessary even if you work from home.

Office hours will allow your clients to know when you can and cannot be reached. Many people do a lot of their creative work in the middle of the night, but that should be time for you and not client phone calls. Have a time frame that is dedicated to clients only and make sure that the people who live with you understand and respect the office hours as well. Setting office hours can also eliminate many distractions and unannounced visits from friends and family.

It is important that you are keeping track of time as a remote worker. While it may seem obvious, you should always keep a clock visible enough to know how long you have been working. It is common to forget about time, and you may find yourself working 14-hour days back to back. Make sure that when you are working in your home office, you know when to end the work day.

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