The recession combined with the ‘work-anywhere’ capability of Internet-related jobs and many freelance positions find more and more people working from home. The pros: working in your PJs, following your own schedule, and not EVER having to set foot on public transportation during rush hour. The cons? Finding the space in your apartment to keep your work organized and separate from other home life. If you are thinking about setting up a new home office in your apartment read on – here are some tips to help you make a great one!
Step 1: Scout your Location
The perfect home office just wouldn’t be perfect in the wrong place. If you have a few different areas in your apartment that you’re considering for your office, take some time to check each of them out. In one of my past apartments, I had to put my office in the living room and my living room in the master bedroom because I wanted to be able to see the ocean from my window while I worked, not while I watched movies. Don’t be afraid to make these kind of bold choices. The apartment may seem a little odd to visitors passing through, but if you’re the one living AND working there, you want to make sure you’re comfortable in your own space.
Step 2: Orientation
The way the furniture fits into a room can have a huge affect on the productivity of a home office. People tend to work best when their backs aren’t to a door, so you may want to take that into account when positioning your desk. The light from a window can cause a glare on a monitor as well, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re angled in a way that gives you the best light to work in. Most importantly, you’ll want to be comfortable in your office, so take some time to check out the space and try out different angles before you plug the computer in. Also, don’t be held back by the location of the outlets; you can always get extension cords!
Step 3: Workspace Area
In a home office, it’s easy to scrimp on workspace by choosing furniture that simply isn’t big enough. If you work only on the computer, you may be able to get away with a small desk, but if you work with papers, it will be much more comfortable to be able to spread out sometimes. A corner desk, or two desks placed side-by-side can do wonders for productivity, provided that you can spare the square footage.
Step 4: Get the Organization Toys Tools You Want
Staying organized is the best way to stay on top of all your work. If you’re working from your apartment, it’s hard not to let your job take over nearly every aspect of your life. If your desk is a mess, your apartment is a mess, so it’s vital, in the small space of an apartment, to be able to organize yourself properly. If you need a file cabinet, get one. If you want an extra white board so that your schedule can look cleaner, get it. The tools you buy to organize your home office are investments in both your job and your sanity when it’s time to take a step back from the work. And if you do use them for work, you may be able to write these things off as tax-deductible expenses (as well as a portion of your apartment rent!).