How to Set Up Home Office Space

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How to Set Up Home Office Space – Fearless, Frugal Way?

For years I brought work home from the office to complete at home. Back then I would just move stuff off the dining room or the kitchen table at get busy. Then I moved up to a simple computer desk, which was small and no better than what I started out with. For years I used this little space that I carved out for myself to do personal business and office work. I realized all along that it was not adequate, but I keep telling myself it was all I needed. I finally got it through my head that I needed a “real” office. I created myself the best home office set up without breaking the bank.

A time came when I retired from the corporate world as an employee and I decided to start my own business. Figuring that I was going to be an “entrepreneur”, I needed to act like it. I finally convinced myself it was time to create a real home office. It was perfect timing. My oldest child moved out and I took advantage of having an empty room. I turned the extra room into my home office.

It wasn’t that easy to do. I would decide to do one thing, but would later discover that it wasn’t working for me and I would have to change things again. This happened several times until I really figured out what the best way was to set up a home office.

I thought that there were probably a lot of people in the same situation that I was; just starting out trying to figure out how to set everything up that would be a workable situation. I am hoping that this will be help to others and they will be able to get it right the first time around. So, let’s get started!
 

 Stat-at-Home-Moms can also be "working moms"


Stat-at-Home-Moms can also be “working moms”

It Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune

The first item of business is to look around your house and determine if there is indeed somewhere within your home where you could create an office; a room that is not being used or a nice cubby space somewhere. You may have to finagle a little.

Know what kind of work you will be doing. Consider if you will need space for files. Determine what physical tools you will need on a daily basis; desk with drawers, table, file cabinet desk supplies, printer, fax machine, phone, etc.. This way you can determine how much space you will need.

If your work requires only a laptop then a small table or desk would be sufficient. If you need a space for a desktop or laptop and additional room for spreading things out then you may be better of with at least an L- shaped desk. You can even use folding rectangle tables to create an L-shaped or even a surround work desk

Whatever you do, make sure you invest in an ergonomic chair. Having your own business there will be times you may be required to spend long hours at your desk. I picked up a pretty nice chair from Sam’s Club for about $50. If you can’t afford that yet, use any chair that is a comfortable fit for you. As a side note, Sam’s also has a 4-drawer metal file cabinet for about $150.

Don’t go overboard, it’s a home office and you can make it any way you would like. It’s not necessary to go splurging of expensive office furniture, top of the line electronic equipment and the whole nine yards. That will come in time, but for now be frugal with your home office and save the money to invest in getting your business up and running.

 

 Find a Comfortable Space


Find a Comfortable Space

Other Essential Office Considerations

1. Think about the noise level of your work space. Make sure you will not be distracted by noise from traffic, screaming kids or neighbors.

2. Make sure that the temperature of your work space is not too hot or too cold. You can’t be very productive when your feet are freezing or you can’t feel your hands. On the other side of the spectrum, you don’t want it to be so hot that you’re sweating and lethargic.

3. Try to place your office where you will have a natural light if possible. In addition to natural light make sure you have adequate lighting source for when the sun goes down. Being near natural sun light from a window can affect how you feel. After working long hours the natural light can improve how you feel.

4. Your work space must feel good to you. Just like anything else, you have to feel good about the place you are in! However you design your office space make sure that you can enjoy the way you have made it. It is your little space alone and you have happy in it in order for you to be productive there.

Your home office should be casual, but efficient. You should be comfortable while working. However, I must warn you not to make it too comfortable because you may be sabotaging your productivity.

Don’t Let Casual Ruin Production

It’s nice to be able to work from the comfort of your home, but if your office is too casual you may lose track of your production goals. If you make your office too comfortable it may seriously interfere with your ability to get your work done.

Another way to lose productivity is to have your office space too close to the rest of the home activity. You should also let the family know that your office is off limits and that they are not to interrupt you during your stated working hours. You must provide a distinction for the physical boundaries of your work area.

When setting up your office:

• Don’t have a T.V. nearby.

• Ensure you have included adequate storage containers (file cabinets, drawers, etc.).

• Include enough space for your reference books and manuals.

• Don’t have cords and wires all over the place. Make sure cords and wires to equipment do not cause a safety hazard.

 It Does't Have to Cost a Fortune


It Does’t Have to Cost a Fortune

Your Office is Setup – What’s Next?

It’s time to get busy; time to get the show on the road with your business. Make sure you start out with good work habits. Create a set of guidelines that you must abide by to be able to work at home successfully. Your guidelines should be based on your weaknesses. For instance, if you are aware that you like to procrastinate, you should definitely implement the first item listed below.

1. Make a daily schedule of what tasks you want to complete each day and follow through.

2. Schedule what your regular work hours will be and stick to them. Understandably, starting a new business requires a lot of time. Therefore, it may be necessary to do some “overtime” in the beginning stages of your business. Do not add more than two hours to your regular scheduled workday.

3. Schedule at least 3 breaks each day; a morning break, a lunch break and an afternoon break. Don’t burn yourself out.

4. Notify family and friends what your work hours are to prevent unnecessary disruptions from them.

5. Do not play on the internet during scheduled work hours.

This of course, is not an all inclusive list, but only a sample of the types of guidelines you should set for yourself. Keep in mind that this is a real business and you must operate it as such. Working at home has a lot of perks, but it can also be a nightmare if you run amuck! When you worked in Corporate America, your employers had rules and regulations for a good reason. Working from home also requires some rules and guidelines.

 You can't work 24/7. Take breaks!


You can’t work 24/7. Take breaks!

Please feel free to contact me if you need help with anything. Just make a comment below or you can always get in touch with me through wealthyaffiliate.com (here is a link to my profile).

 

 

 

 

Verna
Founder of Mom’s Trusted Affiliate

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6 Comments

  1. Gin

    Hey Verna! Very nice post and advice, I really enjoyed it! Do you already have a home business? My mom mentioned the other day that she was tired of working 8-5 and wanted to open a home secretary business. Do you think that is recommendable? Thank you so much and all the best to your endeavours!

    Reply
    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hi Gin,

      Yes, I have actually had a few businesses even when I was fully employed with the Federal Government. I actually had a dessert business where I marketed it online, I was a Realtor/Real Estate Investor and did most of my work at home. I currently have an online affiliate marketing business. So, I’ve had a home office for many years. It has changes several times over the years.

      I think your mother’s idea is a great one. However, I would never recommend that anyone quit their regular job until their own business is making a substantial income that will replace the amount of income they currently make with a regular job. A secretarial business is a good business to but, she must consider that she will have to be able to build a clientele of her own and that may take some time. Another suggestion is that she could become a Virtual Assistant and an independent contractor. This way the companies bring the clients to her. I gather your Mom has the secretarial experience for this type of job, because it would require special skill sets.

      Another issue is to know if she is the type of person who can work from home? You should take a look at my article, “Are You Built to Work at Home?” Not everyone is disciplined enough to do it.

      Thank you so much for taking a few minuted to read my article. I’m glad you found it helpful. Let me know is there is anything else I can help you with.

      Reply
  2. Arief

    An ergonomic chair!! That’s what I’ve missed. Thank you so much for reminding me.
    No wonder I always feel something missing while doing my work.

    I also struggled with cords and wires. Thankfully I managed to get it “hidden”. I used a lot of cable ties. I don’t know why I was so reluctant to tie all my cords and wires. But it was ancient history now.

    Reply
    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hello Arief,

      Thanks for taking the time to drop by.

      An ergonomic chair is extremely important. I personally have back problems and definitely have problems sitting in certain chairs that do not support my lower lumbar. While I say a folding card table may work for you when just starting out, but that is not the case for the chair you use. Many times we work for long hours and sitting in a chair that does not allow for you to use good posture while working and not taking regular breaks tend to make ankles swell and the back to hurt. Therefore, spending a little to have an ergonomic chair becomes a necessity, not a luxury item for your home office.

      I’m glad that you did eliminate the safety hazard of the cords and wires. Most of us think that it something we’ll get to later, but never do!

      Yes, go get that ergonomic chair! I’m sure you will see a difference. I would also recommend a foot rest. I will need to update my article because I actually left that out!

      I’m so glad you were able to get some benefit from my article. I appreciate your comments and if there is anything I can help you with please feel free to let me know. Hope to see you back again soon.

      Reply
  3. Hindy Pearson

    Hi Verna, excellent post, really I loved it! When I first started my business just a few months ago, I would sit at the dining room table with my laptop. My husband spent some time trying to convince me I needed an office, and I spent the same amount of time convincing him I didn’t. Well, I finally gave in and created the most amazing, cozy little space. No you don’t have to spend a lot – I just have a small space so I went to IKEA and found a great desk, got the option of a back piece that added extra shelving and a magnetic board for all my notes. I got a nice big office chair with a high back that swivels, and I’m all set. He was right – I am so much more productive with my dedicated space. Thanks for including your tips about breaks, and work time and no playing on the computer. It takes some time, but you have to realise this is a business, just like if you were going to work outside your home, you would have breaks, wouldn’t be yapping on the phone… the same rules apply. What I struggled with the most at the beginning is taking breaks. My head would literally feel full, and things would be swimming before my eyes. I’m still not great, but definitely better. I’m sure this article will help a lot of your readers.

    Reply
    1. Verna Mason (Post author)

      Hi Hindy,

      Thanks for dropping by. I’m glad that you enjoyed the article. Many people that I talk to go to one extreme on the other. Some want to make a grand room design spending way too much money for their office space and others thing they can just put the laptop on the bed and use it for their work space! Once they carve out a dedicated space to work they immediately notice how much more productive they can be,

      Taking breaks is a must! When people first start out in the business that is really a difficult rule to adhere to because they are overly excited to get things rolling and start making money. Even now, I still find it difficult to make myself take breaks when I am in the throws of getting something finished. I really have to force myself. This is probably the most difficult thing to do, but it is needed so we don’t get burned out.

      Thanks again Hindy. If there is anything I can help you with, please feel free to ask. I am here to help. I’m glad you found the article useful.

      Reply

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