Tips to setting up your home office

With the quality technology available today there are more and more people working remotely out of their own home office. Working from home can provide you with greater flexibility, reduce your commuting time to a few steps instead of a few kilometres and gives you the opportunity to be involved in more school or community functions. Setting up your office can sometimes be overwhelming but let’s see if we can make it easier for you.

virtual assistant desk

Let's look at some of the things you need to keep in mind when setting up your office.

  1. Think about what your requirements are. The first step is to make a list of the essential items that you will need (things like a computer, printer, filing cabinets, desk space etc). Depending on the type of work you will be performing this will alter the amount of space you will need. For example a graphic designer might need a desk for their computer and another larger desk for their designs or a researcher might need a lot of cabinet space for filing.
  2. Now it's time to work out where your space should be. The next step is to look at what space you have available and compare it to the list that you made in step 1 to work out how much room you need. The types of space you have in your home may limit where you place your home office but let's look at some of the options. If you have a spare room, this would be ideal or maybe you could convert your garage into a home office. If you haven't got that much space then you may need to think outside the box for a piece of a room that you can convert. Some of the things you will need to consider when picking your room include how much traffic is in or goes by the room, you need to pick a spot where you won't be disturbed by the TV, the kids or your spouse. Ideally, you will want a place that is quiet and has a little privacy. If you do need to convert part of a room, think about putting up some sort of a dividing wall (a row of filing cabinets, bookcase or a screen) to allow you to close off your space to the rest of the house. 
  3. Let's plan your space. Once you have settled on a place to put your home office you need to plan how everything will fit in and where it will all go.  Think about where the best light is (you will need that lighting for your desk) and what items you will need close to hand. So think carefully and draw up a plan to ensure that everything will fit in the way you envisage it. Generally speaking any files or supplies that you are going to need constantly need to be in easy reach. 
  4. Buying those essential items. Now that you have your list and you know where everything will go, let's go shopping! Essential items will probably include a desk (make sure you have enough desktop for what you need), a chair (invest in an ergonomic chair if you plan to spend all day at your desk), file storage (plan ahead, you will need more space as time goes on and it makes sense to plan ahead and buy something that will accommodate you now and in the near future), computer, printer, any other equipment/software that you need and all of the desk items and stationery that you require. A wall planner is a must, it will give you a bigger picture of what you will need to achieve and when things will be required. You should invest in a clock that you can place on the wall so that you can keep track of the time, you don't want to spend a 14 hour day in your home office. It's a good idea to personalise your space by purchasing a few practical but fun items to make the space feel like you. 
  5. Separate your professional and personal life. Once your office is set up you need to set some ground rules for yourself and your family members. Set your office hours and stick to them. Let your family members know that once you are in the office then you are at work and they will respect your space. 
  6. Keep it tidy. With your home office set up and feeling fresh, keep it that way. You only need to schedule in a little time every week to ensure that your office remains fresh and tidy. It is a great motivator to walk into your office knowing that it is neat, tidy and you can find things easily. It will ensure that you are efficient while in your office. Tips on keeping your desk organised will follow in another blog.
secretary desk

Hopefully, these tips will help you get set up and comfortable in your own home office. If you have any other tips to add please leave a comment below and share your experiences. If you would like to receive more helpful tips please subscribe to our newsletter by clicking on the Subscribe Today button.