How to set up a home office

Whether you’re a virtual worker or operate a home-based business, creating a “business” space will help you be more productive and will, hopefully, keep you away from doing chores around the house, like the laundry.  First assess your technology needs then choose a spot. It could be in any room – your bedroom, the kitchen, the dining room. If you’re lucky you might have an extra bedroom or a den area. Make sure it’s comfortable but away from family life. Ideally, the space should have a door so you can shut yourself in to an office frame of mind.

Then ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What will you be doing in the space?
  1. Will you be meeting clients there?
  2. What type of equipment do you need?

For those who work from a home office, a desk, a chair, a computer with a working Internet connection, a printer, and a phone line with voicemail may be all that’s needed.  Some entrepreneurs may need a fax machine. As well as getting all the technology you need, invest in a good chair – you’ll be using it a lot so opt for an ergonomical design. There’s also a tendency for home workers to pile stuff on the floor so ample storage space and shelving is a must.

Don’t forget lighting.  Ideally you want as much natural daylight as possible because it’s is the most evenly balanced source of white light available. If you have a window, that’s perfect.  If not, experiment with general and task lighting. If you’re a late night worker, a high-quality light is essential.

Finally, establish office hours, set boundaries for family and friends. Also, since working at home can be isolating , make sure to get out at least once a day to be around people, whether to meet a client or colleague or to head to the local coffee shop for a break.