Working from home sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it? You can sleep in late and come to “work” in your PJs. You don’t have to answer to anyone, and you can take as many breaks as you want. While all of these things are true (to some degree, anyway), there’s a price to pay for treating your home office more like home and less like an office. Often, the cost is decreased productivity. Sure, you should be comfortable, but you’re still running a business – be sure to keep the space around you reflecting that!
Keep a Dedicated Room – No Distractions
You should have a dedicated room for your office. Don’t use the living room or breakfast nook in the kitchen. A lot of people do this. It’s a huge mistake. Huge. Why? Because there are so many distractions around you. Spouses, kids, and even normal household items like ticking clocks, pets, the temptation to turn on the TV while you work, and even the UPS delivery man stopping by periodically throughout the morning.
For every distraction, there’s a 10 to 15 minute readjustment period where you basically waste 10 or 15 minutes getting back into the “zone” so you can get some work done.
Choose a room that’s far away from distraction. Ideally, that room will be dedicated to your business and used for that reason only. The room should have a door you can close, and lock if necessary, as well as no outside distractions like TVs or large loud equipment like dryers and washing machines.
Don’t Sacrifice Form For Function
Your desks, storage bins, and shelves should serve your business purpose. They shouldn’t get in the way. Think about your workflow and what you need in order to hit your daily business goals. Then choose furniture that is beautiful yet also functional.
Working from home doesn’t mean you need to confine yourself to a soulless Dilbert cubicle. At the same time, your furniture shouldn’t be extravagant and purposeless. For example, if your home has a traditional decor, you can continue the theme by using warm wood colors and textures. Buy wooden furniture (i.e. a desk and chair) and decorate it with a nice plant and maybe a wood-framed picture. If your home is ultra-modern, you might opt for modern metal chairs and a desk.
Balance the Room with an L-Shaped Desk
L-shaped desks are making a comeback. They don’t have to look dated though – the L-shape is perfect for a home office because it can break up a room space or unify it. To unify a room, place the desk in a corner, and make it the central focus of the room.
You can design around it, placing the office printer, computer, and any other necessary equipment on it while using plants and pictures to draw the eye back to the desk.
You can break up a room with it by placing the desk in the middle of the room or by situating it so that one “leg” of the desk effectively cuts a room in half – this works great in smaller rooms where you still need defined spaces.
Robert McGuire is a home worker. He loves writing his tips that he’s learned after working out of the home on entrepreneur blogs.