This is for all the work-at-home moms out there that are spreading their work hither and yon
throughout the household as they follow their kids around all day long: stop using your home as an
office! Okay, so if you’re working from home you might not think you have much choice, but the truth is
that you walk a fine line when you commingle your work with your family. And ultimately, you risk failing
at both pursuits if you don’t learn to divide them into two separate spheres. Your work suffers when
you’re distracted by kids, errands, and a house that needs cleaning, and your kids suffer when your
attention is split between them and your job. So do yourself a favor and set up a home office (with set,
but flexible hours). Here are a few design tips that will help you make the most of your work space.
1. Pick your paint. Believe it or not, the paint color you choose for your office could make a big
difference in how much work you get done in there. Even if you’re not into feng shui, you
probably like certain colors better than others because of the way they make you feel. So there
are two ways you can go. If your world is in chaos most of the time, you might want to go with
soft neutral shades or pastel colors (blues are especially nice) to calm you so that you can focus
on your work. But if you need some energy and inspiration, choose a bold and saturated color
that speaks to you. Warm tones like reds, oranges, and pinks will brighten your space and get
your creative juices flowing.
2. Furnish accordingly. Most people use the smallest room in the house for the office, which
means you will necessarily have to choose smaller furnishings. By going with modern, modular
pieces you can ensure that everything fits (and fits together). As a bonus, this type of furnishing
is often less expensive and easier to move than heavy, old antiques. Keep in mind that you
may be hosting clients or other business associates at some point, so think about adding
a “conference” area that includes chairs or a couch.
3. Storage solutions. You will almost certainly need storage for client files, projects, reference
materials, and so on. But if you have little space to begin with, this could be hard to
accommodate. Consider that many desks come with storage solutions like file drawers and
compartments for office supplies (pens, paperclips, staples, etc.). So keep an eye out for
functional furnishing. And don’t forget that there’s plenty of space over your head. By adding
shelves with plenty of bins you can maximize your space and declutter your desktop.
4. Accommodating kids. There may be times when you have to work while watching the kids.
Since you don’t want to follow them around the house with a laptop and an armload of papers,
why not give them space in your office? Set up a small work table for kids to do craft projects
and give them storage cubbies or shelves at their level for easy access to supplies (not to
mention easy clean-up).
5. Equipment and services. You probably have a good idea of the equipment you’ll need to run
your business from home, such as a computer, printer, and smart phone. But when it comes
to finding quality tech services you may be at a loss. So start by comparing internet and phone
services available in your area to get the best prices and business solutions. Then ask for
referrals if you need a website built or other technical assistance.
Evan Fischer is a contributing writer for Quality Tech, offering data center solutions and colocation.