Creating and maintaining a productive home office is one of the most vital aspects of being successful in a work from home job. When first starting out, many people turn to a basement, small den or a corner in a bedroom for their office space. While these areas may be convenient, they can also be a hindrance to productivity in the long-run. Establishing a home office is something that should take time to be done correctly. After all, you may end up working in this space for eight or more hours a day. Here are some tips on creating and maintaining a productive home office.
Location Is Important
The old realtor’s saying that location is everything when deciding where to open a business holds just as true when it comes to locating a home office. More than just another room in the house, the office is the core of your business and should be located to maximize its potential. While the corner of a bedroom or a the basement may provide adequate work space, they will not provide a productive atmosphere. Ask yourself, can you realistically work in the same space you sleep in every night and could you go days on end with very little sunlight? Carefully consider where you would be comfortable working and how much space will be available for additional office furniture and supplies as your business grows. Preferably, a home office should be located in a room that is free from all distractions, used primarily for business purposes only and has a door that you can close for privacy.
One of the advantages of having a home office is that you can design it in any way you choose. When deciding on the overall choices of office furniture and accessories, think ergonomics. While a kitchen or small rolling desk chair may provide a place to sit, they are not going to be comfortable after sitting on them for hours on end. To be productive, you need to be comfortable. Choose a desk chair that offers lumbar support and can be adjusted so that your feet can touch the floor. Look for a desk that is adjustable or of the proper height that you are not straining your back, neck and eyes while working on a computer. To help avoid carpal tunnel syndrome, invest in wrist support cushions to use while working on a keyboard. Over the long-haul, you will thank yourself constantly for going with ergonomic designs.
One of the traps that people often encounter in a home office is the accumulation of clutter. Homes are not designed to be an office, which means there is usually less space for storing files, supplies and other things needed to run a workplace efficiently. This can eventually lead to a situation where productivity is lost because you are spending more time sorting through or working around clutter than completing tasks. Carefully design your home office in a way that reduces clutter and set aside a small amount of time every week to reorganize your workspace in ways that keep you productive.
Another trap people can easily fall into when working in a home office is being distracted by unnecessary devices like the Internet and television. As opposed to a traditional office setting, it is much easier to spend time leisurely surfing the web or having a television on while working. The Internet is now a powerful tool for any business, but discipline yourself to us it only for business purposes during work hours. Also avoid having a television in your office unless it is absolutely necessary for constant updates on business related matters. Anything in your home office that distracts you from concentrating on work will decrease your productivity.
Guard Your Space
It can be hard to work from home for some people because of constant interruptions by children, spouses or friends. In order for these interruptions to be kept at an absolute minimum, it is important that you guard your office space during working hours. Set regular work hours and let people know that you do not want to be disturbed during these times unless it is an absolute emergency. This can often be tricky when there are young children in the house, but after a little time they will come to understand that you are working even though you are home. The point is that you have to set clear boundaries on your office space if you want to stay focused on generating steady incomes.