If you are serious about working from home, you need think about your ‘working environment’. I wrote another article about qualities you need in order to succeed and here we will talk about some simple steps on how to organize your home office. Being happy, as well as productive are important factors, plus there is always the question of separating work and home/family life. Here’s my take on the subject and some of the ways I work.
Where will you work? Which room?
Theoretically, you can work anywhere and I have worked in virtually every room in my home; I have the luxury of having a spare bedroom that has been converted into a home office. It still has a futon, sofa bed that is great for when guests come to stay. I like having the option to close the door at the end of the day and shut-up-shop as it were – hard to do if you become completely engrossed in what you, as I can and do frequently.
Anyway, back to the topic…it is not a requirement to have a dedicated home office and with many people, space can be an issue. In this case, work where you feel most comfortable in your home. My suggestion would be not to begin your working day from the sofa, this is ok for maybe checking social media and possibly emails; assign a space, preferably at a table or desk, where you can sit comfortably and concentrate.
If you living in a family home with lots of activity try to choose a quiet space to conduct your work, I know it’s not always possible, when you have small children that can’t be left alone. Remember you are working so it’s probably not a good idea to have the TV on when you are trying to work.
Where to put the computer?
By a window is good place to put your computer as you receive natural light from this position, have the window to the side of you so as not to be distracted by screen glare or the sunlight. Sitting beside a window also provides a rest for your eyes as you can look up and out of the window during breaks from the screen.
Space will no doubt play a part in your decision-making process regarding your computer choice – desktop or laptop?
If you are working from the dining room table, you will want to pack up your office before setting up the table at meal times.
What’s better Mac or PC?
Although many people use a PC and seem to get along fine with them, I much prefer Mac. I use an iMac because I work at a desk and use other devices such a Wacom pen for digital drawings.
My experience with PC’s were that I seemed to be spending most of my time running virus scans, defragging the system and updating software; basically getting my computer to do what it’s supposed to do…it drove me nuts! I knew I wanted a Mac and a while ago, I treated myself to an iMac. Yes it was a little on the expensive side but I honestly have never looked back. In our household, we also have an iPad, and an iPhone, so you could say we are a happy, ‘all Mac’ family.
For general work online and for building websites and blogging, a laptop is absolutely fine and with a laptop, you really can work anywhere. Great for someone who is space limited or likes to work from the sofa, or garden even!
Organizing Your Office Space
Make sure you’re sitting comfortably regardless of where you have your office. Many hours hunched over a screen or balancing a laptop on your lap is not good for posture or productivity. Try to have a comfortable chair where you can sit with the computer in front of you, screen at eye-level. You will be spending a lot of time in this position, make sure you are sitting correctly – invest in a good office chair.
I use a white-board to jot down ideas and daily tasks – things are crossed off when completely or carried forward to the next day. This helps me to stay organized. I also have a collection of box files for filing my business related paperwork. There is nothing worse than an untidy desk space. It also goes without saying that a diary is essential to a successful business life either a physical book diary or an online diary – the choice is yours.
Basically the more organized and comfortable you are in your workspace – wherever that may be; the more productive and therefore profitable your business will be. It makes perfect business sense to pay some attention to the organization of your home office.