It’s exciting and invigorating to launch a home office. Here are five C’s for creating a space that works for you and your clients.
- Commit to being organized from the get-go. It’s tempting to put off the work of getting—and staying—organized, but knowing where things are is essential to operating a home office with minimal stress. Investing in quality storage items and supplies will help get you started.
- Create a comfortable environment. The last thing you want is a space that’s neither welcoming nor comfortable. Like offices everywhere, you’ll spend a lot of time at your desk and in that chair. You don’t have to spend a fortune to furnish your workspace. Before you go shopping—online or at retail shops—look around your home to see if you can move an existing piece to your new space. Perhaps a little used desk can become your new work surface, even if it’s just to tide you over before you have enough money to buy what you really want.
- Casual attitude and environment can negatively impact results. Approach your day and your space professionally. Ideally, your office shouldn’t look like or even be in your bedroom (unless that’s really the only place available). If you surround yourself with an environment that’s neat, organized, and brightly lit, you’re likely to be more productive, a necessity if you want to succeed.
- Coexist with interruptions and distractions. It’s unrealistic to think that your work and home life won’t intersect. It’s okay to take five minutes to toss a load of dirty clothes into the wash, but don’t let that quick break turn into an entire day of doing laundry. Dinner might be your responsibility, but that doesn’t mean you need to slice and dice for an hour–use a crockpot or commit to a night or two of healthy take-out. If you take a personal call, make it short, and let the person know you’ll need to get back to work.
- Connect virtually with colleagues and clients. Naturally, you’ll need to be online and available by phone. Maintaining connections with the outside world is essential to operating a successful home office. So be sure to outfit your space with reliable equipment, using utility companies (phone, Internet, cable) that are reliable and easy to work with, especially when a repair is needed.
Take the time to create a space that works for you—an organized, well-functioning home office that is also a pleasant place to be will make all the difference.