How To Create A Productive Home Work Station

One of the most important things you can do before you begin working from home is to set up a productive work station. When you go to an office, everything is laid out for you and you don’t need to think about it, but at home it’s all down to you. Having your work area correctly set up and managed will increase your productivity and make you feel more professional.

Space & Location

The very first thing you need to do is decide where your office space is going to be. You may be lucky enough to already have a study or spare room that can be converted into your office; or you may have to find yourself a little niche somewhere. The amount of space you have is not important, what matters is what you do with it. Many home offices are set up in corners of rooms, or even in cupboards. The advantage of setting up your work area in a cupboard or wardrobe is that you can close the door on it when you are finished, putting work out of sight and out of mind. The thing to remember is to make it a clearly defined space that you and your family know is your work area, and try not to use it for anything else.

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Image courtesy of LeeBrimelow via Flickr creative commons

Equipment

The most expensive purchase you will probably have to make will be your computer. Think hard about your needs before buying. For example, if you are going to have a shared computer for home and work, it is often better to get a laptop than a desktop. This way you can move it out of your work area when you finish, so you won’t be tempted to spend more hours at your desk checking emails or surfing the net. You may require a printer, fax machine or telephone line, and having a stash of paper and pens is always handy for taking notes.

Furniture

At the very least you will need a desk and chair, and somewhere to file things. If space is limited, try a corner desk that you can stash a filing cabinet and printer underneath. Office chairs must be good quality and suited to your height and build, as a bad chair leads to poor posture, which in turn causes back problems very quickly. If you have nowhere to put a filing cabinet, try putting a shelf up over your desk and get some upright filing boxes.

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Image of Marathon Operator Chair

Organisation

It is very difficult to be productive at a messy desk, so take some time each day to have a good tidy up. Plan your space thoroughly – if everything has a home it will soon become second nature to put things away when you have finished with them. When you are surrounded by clear space you will feel much more relaxed, and won’t waste time searching for things.

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