Many people who start working from home think they don’t need a dedicated office. However, it never takes long to realize that assumption is wrong. Having a separate space to ply your trade not only makes practical sense, such as keeping your work papers away from areas where the kids might be playing or your spouse might be making dinner, but it also makes emotional sense. We need to keep some space in between our personal and professional worlds.
Once you’ve found the right in-home space for your office, you’ll need to furnish it. Here’s what you should buy to get yours ready:
First and most obvious, of course, is a desk. Some people like sturdy American made wood furniture for their workplace, including built-in bookcases and pull-out keyboard drawers. Others prefer a small metal desk without any bells or whistles.
Whatever your style, you’ll want to set a budget before you actually go to the store. That way you won’t get pulled in by a pricier option and blow your entire office budget on one piece of furniture.
It’s tempting to save money by buying an inexpensive office chair with little lumbar support. But that would be a huge mistake. It’s worth spending the extra dough to get a chair that encourages healthy posture. You’ll be sitting in this chair for hours at a time, and you don’t want to spend half your paycheck on chiropractic appointments to fix your ailing back after buying a cheap chair.
No matter what your business, you’ll need to track expenses, client invoices and maybe even payroll. A filing cabinet will help you keep track of everything and keep your business on track as well.
Of course, you’ll need to sort all the things that you’re keeping track of for your business. Feel free to indulge in some fun colors. Not everything about business needs to be stuffy!
Many people keep their home offices as stripped-down as possible, not wanting to invest in something they see as an indulgence. But studies have shown that people tend to work better and harder when they have reminders around them of what they’re working for, such as family pictures or photos of the destination where they hope to take a special vacation one day.
Put a few knickknacks on your desk to make yourself feel at home. And add a few books from your home library as well. There’s no shame in looking for inspiration or even the occasional distraction in them when you’re stuck on a project.
Finally, add some plants to your home offices. They help to clean the air and they’re enjoyable to look at. It’s an office, not a prison, so treat it like a special place and it will feel more like one.