By Kayla Matthews−
More Americans than ever before are finding ways to work from home. Whether it’s through corporate positions that allow the freedom to work outside of the standard office setting, running a home business or freelancing, our homes have become our workspaces.
If you’ve found a way to make this happen, congratulations; there are many advantages that come with working from home, including freedom, flexibility and cost savings. However, there are also unforeseen disadvantages that many fail to recognize until they’ve experienced them, including distractions, the pull to complete at-home tasks and a lack of focus.
This doesn’t mean that working from home is a negative; however, it does mean that you should take a few steps to ensure productivity. It all starts with effectively organizing your home office space. Below are a few tips to get started.
Choose the Right Space in the First Place
Just because you have an extra room in your house doesn’t mean that it’s the perfect office space. Remember, you’ll be fitting work in with home life, yet they should remain somewhat separate. It might require some rearranging, but in the long run, it will be worthwhile.
Choose a space that has good lighting and that is separate from your everyday activities. A room with a door is probably more efficient than a corner of the kitchen or living room. Make sure you have room for all necessary supplies and storage and get started.
Accessorize with the Right Furniture
Take into account the fact that working from home means going at it alone. This means equipment that comes standard in office environments is left up to you to find. Just because you saw a great deal at the local furniture store doesn’t mean the desk or cabinet is right for you. Remember, business purchases generally count as tax deductions and are for the long term. Choose what you need, not what costs the right price.
Your desk is the central feature of your office space. You’ll want room for your equipment as well as room to work. This means that a desk that has a lot of surface space is essential for productivity and should take precedence over one that does not. Think about exactly what you need and start shopping.
Choose an Efficient Storage System
Throwing all of your papers into a filing cabinet and calling it a day might be easy for now, but, eventually, you’ll need to find what you’re saving. Save yourself the hassle by keeping things organized from the start.
Look for a filing cabinet that matches your décor and can be easily organized to meet your needs. Keep it organized by creating a system that works according to your needs.
Set a Schedule and Post it
You’re more likely to accomplish your daily tasks if you have a set schedule. When you post that schedule in your home office space, you’ll have a daily reminder of what needs to be done and more motivation to finish it.
Write them all down on a monthly calendar that you keep displayed on the wall. Use a dry erase board so changes can be made without a fuss. Your schedule doesn’t need to be set in stone, it’s just designed to keep you on track.
Clean Up Daily
Standard office spaces generally have janitorial crews that handle the daily cleaning. At home, you are probably without this luxury. To make up for it, clean your space each day. You don’t want to start tomorrow with clutter. On a weekly basis, take the time to empty the trash and recycling, to sweep or mop the floors and to dust. The cleaner your space is, the fewer distractions you’ll have to dwell on when work needs to get done.
To be more productive at home, look for ways to organize your home office starting today.
Image by markusspiske
Kayla Matthews is a writer and blogger with a passion for work productivity, human relations and managing the work-life balance. You can read more of her latest posts by following her on Google+ and Twitter.