Maybe youre tired of schlepping into the office every day. In an effort to score some more work-life balance (and never have to set eyes on The Micromanager again), youve decided to ditch your office job in favor of flexible work and freedom. Whether you live in a luxurious condo or a cramped two-bedroom apartment, you can make any space work as a home office.
Whether you live in a luxurious condo or a cramped two-bedroom apartment, you can make any space work as a home office. Here’s how to create a home office space with both form and function in mind.
Yes, you can work from any location (Starbucks, anyone?), but that doesn’t mean that you should. In order to work from home successfully, you’ll need to have a dedicated base from which to operate. An extra bedroom makes for an ideal office space, but if you don’t have a spare room, you’ll need to get creative with your surroundings. You can use a converted garage or attic if you want to have a completely separate space from the rest of your household.
Once you’ve settled on a space, it’s time to get it ready for your remote job. Buy the best computer equipment your budget will allow for; after all, if you use older gear, there’s a good chance that it could break before you even get started. You’ll also need the fastest Internet connection possible in order to work more productively. This is so important that some employers require you to have a specific download speed, for example, 5 mbps, before they’ll let you work remotely.
When it comes to furnishing your office, you want it to be stylish, not sterile. So pick products that can do double-duty and allow your home office to match the rest of your home. Pretty vases can hold pens and pencils, and woven baskets can hold file folders. And if your home office is low on square footage, look to your walls for a solution by adding shelving to create more storage.
Be sure to orient your desk in a direction that maximizes your daily enjoyment while keeping you productive. If your home office happens to look out onto picturesque scenery, facing the window may be your best bet. But if you’ll be distracted by a busy street or your neighbor’s apartment window, face your desk so you’re looking into your own office. You have much more control over what you’re staring at — and potentially distracted by — when you’re facing in rather than out.
For many at-home workers, the lure of an ever-present, well-stocked kitchen just down the hall is too much to resist. If you think you’ll be popping out of the office to find snacks too often, consider stocking a drawer in your desk with quick-fix food items. The less time you spend outside of your office, the more you’ll get done.
Working from home can make you a happier, more productive professional — provided you set yourself up for success with a functional home office. Take time to set the stage for yourself and you’ll cross more things off your to-do list and find better work-life balance. Read more…