How to Make the Most of Your Home Officeby Craig Sutton • January 18, 2017
With more people working from home, turning small rooms into productive offices is becoming a frequent need. Let’s look at some great ways to turn small offices into comfortable, dynamic workspaces.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
When setting up a home office, the biggest challenges you may face are limited space, inadequate storage or lack of proper equipment to get the job done. There is no one perfect solution that will work for every parent, and you may have to try several things before settling on one good home office solution.
Carving Out Your Space
Start by building a plan to create a space that will ensure you are the most productive. If you are working from home but need to supervise your children, you may work out of the kitchen or living room.
If you have hired a nanny, then you may consider setting up a separate room in the house to serve as your home office so you can work without distractions. One of the No. 1 challenges that work-from-home parents face is, literally, separating work life from home life. There are no definite visual boundaries, and it’s easy to get distracted with unwashed dishes, laundry or family deadlines to tend to.
Investing in Equipment
Working from home doesn’t mean sacrificing efficient equipment. You may even be able to save money to invest in good computers or office equipment since you aren’t spending anything on commuting to an office or eating lunches out. See how you can save up for equipment that enhances your productivity.
Here are some ideas:
Do you need to invest in a tablet so you can work from the playground, football field or corner coffee shop on the go?
Should you be syncing your devices so that you can be more efficient and productive from anywhere in the house?
Can you swap a chunky old desktop monitor for a flat-screen model and clear up space in your small office setup?
Is there the possibility of setting up a wireless hub in your home so that you can move around easily and still work?
Get rid of fluff: Do you really need that old printer or fax machine?
Make It Inspiring
When you work from home, another challenge could be finding the motivation and inspiration to stay productive. So focus on making your workspace an inspiring one.
Place your desk near a window so you have natural light with a view. Or change up your harsh light bulbs for LED fixtures that have dimmer switches to save energy but are still a great source of light.
If you need a quieter workspace but don’t have an extra room available, you can use other creative options: room dividers, bookcases or even a couch can divide a room to partition off a corner for yourself. If you do work out of a separate room, hang a “Do Not Disturb” or “Quiet, Please” sign during your selected work hours so that the kids, nanny or other family members are aware that you are concentrating and should not be interrupted.
Besides organizing your workspace better, think about the choices you make, and if they are working to give you a better quality of life. Look for ergonomic chairs, a foot rest and computer accessories such as a wireless mouse. You have the luxury of working from home, so it should boost your health and energy — not deplete it!
Dressing the Part
An essential part of working from home is how you dress.
Even if no one but your kids see you the whole day, you should treat your work hours like regular office hours. Dress for success! Put on an office blazer and a bit of makeup; you just never know when you may need to take a Skype call with a potential or existing client.
Plus, dressing up will lift your mood as you work, enhancing your creativity and productivity.
Mindset Shift: Investing in You
If you have considered having a home office so you can start earning more, but have held off because of child care concerns, think of the payoff! Hiring a nanny to care for your children even a couple of days or hours a week will give you that slot of undisturbed time, crucial to getting things done.
Hire a Housekeeper
Investing in house cleaning can also free up time you need to tackle your professional to-do list and eliminate some of the distraction that results from looking around at household chores that need to be done.
Think of it, not as a luxury or extra expense, but an investment in yourself. If you could hire a nanny or housekeeper for the cost of a new pair of shoes this week, get more done, raise your earnings and your sanity — would you?
Perhaps it is time to think about your priorities and how you can make the most with what you already have to work with — your home, your family and your creative self. Parents who carve out time, space and a world outside of the regular home life can be happier parents — even better parents for their children and better spouses too!
For more inspiring tips, follow our blog and get great ideas for home life and staying productive.
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