It is almost impossible to write a post that’s a one-size-fits-all solution to establishing a home office. For every one of the millions of internet entrepreneurs working at home, there’s a different response to this question, “What if a home office be?”
To give you a fantastic illustration of what I mean, my very best buddy, Melina, and her husband came over for supper tonight. She walked into the door as relaxed and smiling as an individual could be, put her salad in the refrigerator, and slapped a file folder back on the counter… then poured a cup of java. With her feet on the seat next to her, she told me all about her visit to South Carolina, laughed at my story about my mail-order beehive (a new hobby), and we gossiped for about twenty minutes while the guys put the steaks on the grill.
Near the end of dinner, she grabbed my cordless phone, picked the record folder up off the counter, and made a collection call to one of her clients in her storage business. She was bright and cheerful, obtained a credit card number for the late payment, scribbled it on the outside of this folder, hung up, and jumped straight into the conversation. She barely even broke her stride, mixing business and pleasure as easily as if she had been swimming. Evidently, all Melina wants is a pencil, a folder and a telephone to be productive and earn money. Wish I could!
By contrast, though I’m working from our holiday house, I was close to tears for the first two weeks here since my desk hadn’t arrived. I purchased it the moment we unpacked, and due to a delay in shipping, I barely got anything done for 2 weeks! My notebook was on the breakfast bar, internet blazing, telephone line so – but I could not settle down, could not find my files, could not consider what I should do next. I am obsessively organized – and I am a work-at-home entrepreneur who needs construction – no matter what!
To tell the absolute truth, I’m quirky about my workplace. I have a particular ivy plant that has to be on the left corner of my desk. I would like a scented candle with it. I’ve got six favorite books that have to be visible from my desk. I’ve lucky pens, and can’t work with any other brand. This is true, and after reading what I just wrote, I might require a prescription. Still, that is how I work and do not expect me to “do-it-on-the-fly” such as Melina. It is just not my style.
Whether you operate like Melina or are quirky, like me, your home office is the foundation. When you work in your home, you deserve to have the environment you will need to be productive; so, have a careful look at your workouts, then design your work around what it requires for you to get things done.
At our “real house,” my office is a playroom, office, and laundry area. That might sound less than perfect, but it is the best place for me to do business full time. It’s a huge area, and since the child’s homeschool, I love to have their desks close to mine, so I can assist them with their lessons. Not to mention, I am on the internet so much – I know better than to allow the children to get online without supervision! With all people in exactly the exact same room throughout the school/workday, it is convenient and friendly. I get to be with them, and we’ve learned to respect each others’ needs within our individual endeavors.
That the workplace is also a laundry room means that I just do laundry at night. It is one of the small compromises I must make to work at home because it sounds unprofessional for a person to listen to the spin cycle when I am making a business call!
My favorite thing about working from home is that I could have all of my favorite things nearby to inspire me. I have a brilliant group of inspirational books, and from time to time, just seeing a name will remind me of something I heard – I can use it at this time. In addition, we have three parrots, and they’re friendly, happy animals who love to be out of the cages, on perches and stands (and imitation trees) close to these people. When I work at home, the parrots are with us at the workplace, gently preening, sleeping, or snacking – and very content. When they misbehave (this implies crying, showing off, speaking quite loudly, and bossing the puppies around), we simply put them in their cages until they settle down. I wouldn’t dream of possessing these beautiful creatures if they had been forced to live locked up all day while we were at “a workplace ”
A couple of things to consider are:
- Is there room for your desk and chair?
- Are there plenty of electrical outlets near your desk to your computer and peripherals?
- Is your internet wireless, or do you have to find yourself near a hookup? Can you put in another hookup close to your office area?
- Have you got a wonderful view? A window or sliding door is fine, if possible, and gives you moments of relief if you will need a mental break.
If you do not have another room, can you arrange your furniture otherwise to create the illusion of another area? And last, but not least, I strongly recommend that you avoid placing your office in a location where you’ll be always reminded of other chores around the house, or where television is viewed. It can not be possible to focus on too much going on in your workplace, and you’ll see that household distractions only side-track you from your goals for the day.
Please don’t hesitate to add your comments to this guide, or to the discussion, if you have other tips, hints, dos-and-don’ts, or creative answers for creating a home office.