Creating Your Productive Home Office

The choice is yours: to work at home or secure office space elsewhere. There are pros and cons to each scenario:

Pros:

  • No commuting
  • Lower overhead
  • Flexible working hours
  • Juggle household duties during down time or between scheduled events
  • Accessibility to family and family to you
  • Use a virtual assistant and other resources located remotely from your home

Cons:

  • It takes discipline to get into the work mindset and “drive” yourself to the office every day
  • While space may be rent free, there are other “costs” to relationships
  • The office is always “open” and can be come 24/7 before you know it
  • Household duties can throw you off your daily schedule
  • The challenge of maintaining a professional environment and schedule when family members are around and have needs to be met
  • Others don’t always respect your “work hours” since you are right there with them
  • Client or employees’ perceptions of your business may be seen as less than professional

You can probably add a few more bullets that are specific to your situation to each category. The bottom line comes down to discipline. Are you disciplined enough to set and maintain regular working hours and handle the many interruptions and time wasters that creep in under your office door each day.

Keys to Success:

1. Establish the ground rules with family:  Blueprint w money house

  • Let them know what to expect from you during business hours so they can respect your work schedule
  • Create a business environment zone that is off limits – especially during business hours
  • Determine how interruptions will be dealt with from both sides to minimize interruptions and wasted time
  • When everyone has the same understanding, frustrations and guilt will be minimized and productivity and realization increased

 2. Set your “business hours” for clients and family:

  •  Clients need to know when your are “open” for business and can reach you
  • Family needs to know when you are “closed” for business so they can access you
  • You need to know when you are “open” and “closed” to plan your day and week and to know when you may have to “work overtime” to complete a project
  • Without a clear understanding of your business hours, you may slip into the 24/7 routine just because the office is right there!

3. Create a work environment that works for you:

  •  Location, location, location: select a space in your home that will work for you and is quiet and can be shut off from the rest of the family activities
  • Acquire the necessary office furniture and equipment to make you efficient and keep you healthy:

 1. Desk or work surface for projects 

2. Ergonomic seating and lighting

3. Computer area for related equipment

4. Copying, scanning and faxing equipment

5. Accessible filing area

6. Resource storage such as a bookcase and bins

  •  Create an environment in which you feel comfortable and supported and will want to spend time there:

 1. Organize the space to reduce visual clutter and increase productivity

2. Add your personal creature comforts: music, television, artwork, reading chair

3. Arrange your space to match your workflow and create ease of access to the things you use most frequently.

Now enjoy the opportunity to do what you love in a space that is extremely usable and with a family that supports your efforts! With clear understanding of the expectations regarding a home office between you and your family, you will feel the freedom of being an entrepreneur working at home and running a successful business.