20 Secrets to Creating the Perfect Home Office


creating the perfect home office

Some small business owners do their work everyday at their business address or in co-working spaces. Others work in less structured spaces like coffee shops or while commuting. But for many solopreneurs their work day happens at home. Chris C. Ducker and Arthur Piccio have some great tips for making the most of working at home (click the image above to see the full infographic).

For anyone who has done the bulk of their work at home, they know it’s not always easy. Take a look at these secrets to creating the perfect home office.

Set a Schedule

This one may be the most important to successfully working from home. Having dedicated work hours will keep you on task and help you know when it’s time to stop working and spend time with family and friends. It will also provide a window for when clients and colleagues know you can be reached.

Have a Dedicated Work Space

It’s tempting to stay in bed all day and call it work, but you will probably find this catching up to you fast. It can become depressing to stay in one spot all day. A dedicated work space will do wonders for how you feel and how you work.

Maintain Your Boundaries

Working from home can be great for freeing up more time with family, but it doesn’t help if your family is disrupting you constantly. Once you have a dedicated work space and set schedule, maintain the boundary. Your family needs to let you work.

Be Well Stocked and Equipped

Don’t let yourself get hung up because you ran out of printer ink or can’t find a pen. A functional office needs supplies and the proper equipment to function.

Be Organized

Clutter is distracting. It can also be frustrating when you can’t find the file you are looking for or are tripping over a printer. Try cutting down on nonessentials, keep cables and wires tidy, bulky machines out of sight, and your space clean.

Be Mindful of Tax Deductions

There are a number of potential tax deductions offered for those who work from home. Small deductions can really add up. It’s worth it to look into what tax deductions are offered in your jurisdiction.

Make Your Office Comfortable

You are going to be spending a lot of time here so make your office a space you enjoy being in. Have a great chair. Put some money towards a desk you love. Don’t neglect the importance of climate control. Why waste time being uncomfortable?

Keep a Pet

It can get a little lonely and isolated working from home. Having a pet around can keep you company and help relieve stress.

Have a Plant

Plants can do the same things a pet can. They help relieve stress and contribute to a healthier work life. It’s also nice to have something alive around you when you are surrounded by computers and technology.

Utilize Music

One of the biggest challenges of working from home is distraction. Having some background music can keep you focused and drown out outside noises.

Get Dressed

Spending all day in your Pj’s sounds like a dream. Unfortunately it probably won’t take long for it to catch up with you and become depressing. It can also help your mindset to be work focused if you are dressed for work.

Soundproof

A little soundproofing can go a long way. It’s not very difficult to add some soundproofing to your office. Easy soundproofing items are thicker carpets, drapes, thicker textiles, bookcases, and plants.

Try a Standing Desk

Working from home can involve a lot of sitting. You don’t want a sedentary lifestyle to become a habit. A standing desk can help keep your metabolism up and promotes healthier habits.

Have Healthy Snacks on Hand

Procrastination can be your worst enemy. Having some snacks on hand can help keep you focused and take away your excuses to go visit the kitchen. Just be careful to keep your snacking in check.

Use Multiple Monitors

Using multiple monitors can help spread out your work and allow you to focus on one task at a time. Another plus is having all those screens in front of you makes you feel like a genius mastermind.

Natural Light

Natural light is healthy and energizing. It brightens your office and can also brighten your mood. If possible pick a room for your office with plenty of natural light and you will work happier.

Warm Artificial Light

Having your work space flooded with natural light isn’t always possible. If you have to rely on artificial light, make an effort to keep it warm and inviting. Avoid fluorescent lights and LED’s.

Stock Good Coffee

If you are a coffee drinker, you owe it to yourself to invest in good coffee. Don’t settle for chain coffee you have to wait in line for and that costs you a fortune. Instead spend a little time and money now and learn to make great coffee at home.

Personalize Your Space

It will feel better to work in a space that is inviting to you. Don’t let your office environment become too distracting. But some personalization can go a long way in helping you enjoy work.

Get Out Once in a While

Just as becoming sedentary is a risk while working from home, so is becoming a recluse. Make an effort to avoid bad habits. Take your work to a coffee shop or meet with colleagues and friends from time to time.

Now these secrets are secrets no more. Creating the perfect home office is easier than you might think. A little thought and planning can open up the great opportunities working from home offers.

Image: ChrisDucker.com

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Tabby McFarland


Tabby McFarland Tabby McFarland is a staff writer and web researcher for Small Business Trends. As a staff writer she specializes in social media, technology, special interest features, and e-commerce. A geek at heart, Tabby loves to be online interacting with the blogging community. Tabby is a WAHM (work at home mom) and is also an avid Pinterest enthusiast with a strong sense of style and creativity.

5 Reactions

  1. Great tips, Tabby! In the grand scheme of productivity in any work area, we can see these simple factors having a major role in the success or downfall of any worker simply because every worker is dependent on the surrounding environment. This basically means that the better the environment, the better the work. Having things around you that inspire or relax you do not only keep stress at bay but this also boosts creative thinking and thereby making you more productive.

  2. Aira Bongco

    It is tough to work on your own. You need amazing discipline to keep your focus. You also need to keep the place distraction-free.

  3. A well compiled list Tabby. I am yet to buy a printer and your blog nudged me a bit. Although my job does not require it but since I have been working from home for last 4 years, I must buy one 😉

    A study by Stanford University found that workers are actually more productive when working from home. According to the study, people had higher work satisfaction when working from home, and their performance increased over 12 percent during a nine month experiment. Source

    With this new freedom, comes a new set of responsibilities, which can make or break your impression and career too. Employees, who work from home, need to be extra careful about perception-management now than ever before. When people do not see you at work every day, they form their opinions based on nothing and that can be detrimental. Sometimes it is perceived that employees, who work from home, do not work at all.

    Read more on this here: https://khalidraza9.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/how-work-from-home-can-work-against-you/

  4. Tabby,
    Sooo….need to work on 2 of the items on your list 1. Soundproofing 2. Boundaries – my six-year-old was playing with all of his superhero friends, in my office, this past weekend and pulled down my curtains :-(.

    -Elana

  5. I agree with most of what’s been written here, apart from the bit about having a pet in the home office! We’ve got a French Bulldog puppy, and when my wife goes out, he comes down into the office basement with me. He requires constant attention and just wants to jump up on my lap whilst I am working – needless to say I never get any work done!

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