The following post is from Lisa of Working Naked:
Most of us who are self-employed agree that we’re unemployable. How could we ever take orders from a boss again, after we’ve enjoyed the freedom of being our own boss?
Whether you free yourself from the corporate world by choice, or by your (former) employer’s choice, you need to figure out the best place to set up a home office. The F-R-E-E-D-O-M plan (as in freedom from the corporate world) will get you started on the right track.
F=Find a good place for your home office
My philosophy is that no matter what size home you have, there’s always room for a home office. Try to avoid setting up a home office in your kitchen, because it tends to be a high-traffic area. Your bedroom is also a bad choice since it should be a place to relax and get away from your business.
Instead, find a place that’s not in a high traffic area, but not too isolated. A dining room or a living room is a good option for a home office, especially if it is rarely used.
R=Remove any unrelated items
Clothing and sports equipment belong in your garage, attic, basement or a storage unit…anywhere other than in your home office. Keep in mind that your home office tax deduction is affected by keeping personal items in your office and there needs to be a clear separation of space.
E=Envision a workable arrangement
Decide where should you put your desk, file cabinet and extra work surface. Would an L-shape arrangement work for you, or would a U-shape layout work better, with its extra work surface?
Make sure you have enough room for existing furniture plus the equipment and supplies you know you’ll add to your home office eventually.
E=Establish home office workstations
Break your home office down into various sections. One section could be your printing station with your all-in-one (printer, scanner, copier and fax), paper and extra ink cartridges. Another area could be your reading station with a comfy chair, end table and bookcase nearby. Still another section could hold your extra supplies.
D=Dump and sort items
This is your chance to clear out and declutter your home office. Toss or donate anything you don’t need. Start by using four boxes or bags labeled “items to donate”, “other room” (so you won’t get sidetracked), “to sort” (for papers you need to review later and eventually toss or file) and “trash.”
As you sort through everything in your home office, place items, papers and anything else you’re keeping “just in case,” in one of the boxes or bags.
O=Organize like items
Store items together that relate to one another, for example, extra office supplies. When you need to find something, you’ll limit the number of places you have to look.
M=Maintain your office
After you take the time to set up and organize your home office, it’s up to you to maintain it. If you spend only 15 minutes a day putting files away, updating your to-do list and planning for the next day, you’ll save time the next day.
Freedom means different things to different people, yet having the freedom to work for yourself in an organized home office, can be very freeing.
Do you work from home? What are your favorite tips for successfully working from home?
|Home office expert Lisa Kanarek is the founder of WorkingNaked.com and the author of five books about working from home. Lisa works with entrepreneurs and home-based employees through seminars and individual consultations, to create functional home offices that meet each individual?s working style.