Organizing Your Home Office

The Right Way to Work from HomeWhether you consider working from home a boon or a boondoggle may depend entirely on how you organize your personal work space. Keeping other members of the household at bay while you concentrate doesn't have to be difficult, but it might require some ingenuity, and a bit of creative rearranging.

Getting Down to Business

Are there rules to follow when planning a Wasilla home office? Yes, most certainly, and here are the basics:

Create Dedicated Space

Find a place to call your own, even if it's tiny. A door is optional, but nice!

Organize Efficiently

Equip the space with all the business or craft paraphernalia you need. Usual requirements include a surface to work on, comfortable seating, provision for supplies and files, a dedicated circuit for the computer, and adequate lighting and ventilation.

Assess Needs and Priorities

Business essentials or regularly used craft equipment should be considered personal, private and "off limits" to other residents at all times. If you will be meeting clients, consider the need for privacy and comfort, as well as the advisability of a dedicated entrance.

Set Hours, Rules and Limits

If you "get up and go to work" on a daily basis, don't try to squeeze in household chores or family needs during work hours. Devise a schedule, and stick to it, but take periodic breaks as necessary. Work is work, whether it occurs in a home office or a downtown high-rise.

Organizing the Physical Space

Not all home offices require a traditional desk and chair. Even major corporations recognize and legitimize variances in routine and preferences. If you work at home, give in to your whims, as long as space fulfills your needs. Sit cross-legged on the floor; install a stand-up desk, or bring in an exercise ball for a tabletop desk. If audio-visual stimulation boosts your work output, include the right high-tech tools to satisfy you. Install a white board or cork wall to corral your big ideas in full view.

Lighting, both natural and task-specific, is vital. Opening windows, or a door to the outside world, are great for both physical and mental rejuvenation. Blooming plants aid with air quality and stimulate the senses as well.

Use color, art, music and other sensory stimulation to encourage top performance. Add a single-cup coffee maker to save trips to the kitchen; keep a bowl of jelly beans or chocolates on your desk; include anything that you consider an incentive to productivity.

Working from home is an option for increasing numbers of traditional employees, in addition to dedicated freelancers and entrepreneurs. So, if luck is in your corner, and the option to stay at home is one you accept, think of it as an advantage, and take full advantage of the opportunity!

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