These days regardless of whether a business is a large company with hundreds of employees or it's just a one person band, many workers are choosing to work at home for at least part of if not all of their working week. For many an at-home environment proves to be far more relaxing taking the stress out of a conventional office setting negating the need for an often difficult commute.
If you're just starting out on the working at home road you should give thought to carefully designing and organising your home office as this can be critical for both inspiration and concentration. Don't compromise your productivity by simply sitting at the dining room table or breakfast bar with a pile of papers you don't know what to do with. These few tips will help start your home office journey.
Where are you going to locate your office? This is probably going to be the most important factor regarding your home working and it will undoubtedly influence your ability to work well and effectively. Ideally you should set up shop in an area that is away from the general hubbub of the home and therefore away from the effect of your personal away-from-work life. Also when you leave your office after a day's work you'll be able to walk away and not be distracted by work related issues.
If you feel you don't have a separate room that can be used then set up your office under the stairs or in a suitable corner or end of a room. Creating a fold-away office area is often the best way to go if you have a small flat or apartment. Where ever it is that you set up your office ensure that you don't get mixed up with the general comings and goings of any family members. And don't forget that you'll most probably be working with a computer. Whether it's a desktop, laptop or a mobile device make sure that your designated office room or area has a strong enough wi-fi signal.
You'll need some kind of furniture whether you're in a dedicated room or working under the stairs. You will most probably need a filing cabinet of some sort, maybe shelves for your books or filing boxes, a visitor's chair if clients or suppliers come to see you, a bookcase and of course a desk and chair. Oh, and don't forget the waste bin, even if you think you'll only use a computer it will be essential!
Your desk and its size will depend entirely on where you decide to set up office. If you're going to use a dedicated room get a desk a little bigger than you think you might need as you'll find that work has a habit of creating more paperwork and clutter than you imagine. There's a myriad of different desk types out there from conventional Victorian styles to ultra modern designs and even stand-at-desks. If you're having to squeeze in under the stairs there are plenty of computer desks of differing sizes that will accommodate your IT needs and still have room for a few papers.
If you've selected a conventional desk (or even an all in one computer desk) you will need a good quality chair, especially if you intend to spend a considerable amount of time at your desk. Choosing the best chair that you can afford is essential as no one works well when uncomfortable with backache or neck ache. If you can't buy a chair from a shop where you've checked it out and order online be careful about returns. If the chair is really not to your satisfaction or comfort and you want to send it back you may find yourself paying heavily for the cost of the return. If you're a style guru then don't worry, there are many designs, shapes, colours and sizes that ergonomic chairs now come in!
Make your office feel comfy with an air of "I want to work here" about it. Don't let your office look drab, add colour with pictures on the walls, some bright cushions if you've a visitor's chair or even on your own relaxing chair and don't forget to put some greenery around. You're going to spend a lot of time there so make your office a happy place to be in.