Setting Up Your First Home Office
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and set up your first home office. As a work-at-home-mom, what you need is an office space which suits the needs of your business, your personal needs, and the needs of your family. Where to situate your home office, how to design it and how to decorate and furnish it are some of the questions to consider.
To help you achieve work-at-home success, here are some tips on how to put together the ideal home office.
Home Office Location
The first question to ask is “where”? The answer lies in the particulars of your living situation. If you are building a new house, you can plan a built-in office space from the get-go. Most often however, WAHMs are incorporating a home office into their existing living space. Factors to consider are:
Size: Be sure you have enough room to incorporate everything you need in your office space (i.e. computer workstation, desk/chair, printer, storage files)
Privacy: Are you far enough away from the family habalaboo to concentrate, make phone calls, and get your work down without distractions? If you see clients, does your home office require a separate entrance or bathroom?
Kids: Many WAHMs with children choose to create a home office in the vicinity of their kitchen. Since the kitchen is often the hub of family activity, this allows you to check email while you cook, pay bills while you supervise homework, and to generally ensure that chaos does not prevail while you pursue your career goals.
Other popular home office locations are the garage, a guest/extra bedroom, a closed-off porch, or off the master bedroom.
Home Office Furnishings
The ideal home office is optimized for both comfort and productivity. Toward this end, invest in ergonomic office furniture such as.
Ergonomic Office Chair: No matter how many hours a day you spend in your home office, good sitting posture is essential to avoid back pain and maximize comfort on the job. Ergonomic office chairs are especially engineered to help keep your body properly aligned and your lower back supported. Features of a good ergonomic office chair include:
- Adjustable height
- Adjustable armrests
- Tilt mechanism to allow for multiple sitting positions
- Full swivel option to minimize strain and maximize mobility
Ergonomic Office Lighting: Proper home office lighting is essential to avoid eyestrain and fatigue and to maximize efficiency. Both natural and artificial lighting are beneficial at different times of the day, so consider all of your options, including ergonomic task lighting, which minimizes glare and allows you to control the amount of brightness per task.
Home Office Décor
Finally, remember that a little goes a long way in creating and accessorizing a room for your business. Popular decorative items in “offices for her” include:
- Picture wall/desk calendars
- Personalized coffee mugs (featuring pictures of family members)
- Favorite colors/shades/tones
- Inviting/stylish furniture and curtains
- Decorative clocks
- Office plants
Susie Brown is a FastUpFront Blog contributor and business consultant. Fastupfront offers working capital to small businesses in need of loan financing.
Image source: daintymom.com