With so many people choosing to work from home nowadays, the need for a home office is becoming more and more apparent. Having a space that is clearly defined as a work area can help put you in a professional mindset and avoid the distractions that home life inevitably brings. If you're just starting out with your home business, you may not have a huge furniture budget. However, many find that a spartan home office is actually more conducive to work than an elaborate executive suite. By following a few simple steps, you can set up your own office without breaking the bank.
First, consider where your work area is going to be located. If you're lucky, you'll have a spare room to convert, but you may need to take over a corner of your living room or computer room. Try to pick a spot that does not experience heavy traffic, lest your workday be constantly interrupted. Determine how much space you have, and then prioritize furniture based on available room.
Generally, most home offices will need a computer desk, chair and computer. A printer, scanner and fax machine are also invaluable. These six items are the most expensive office furnishings, but many homes already have them. If you don't, they are often available second-hand, at good quality, for a fraction of their retail price.
Once you have the basics set up, you can personalize your home office depending on your budget, work and taste. Some prefer a chic, minimalist style with a few prints and a filing cabinet, while others like a cozy study with full bookshelves and comfortable armchairs. Pictures of your family are optional, for obvious reasons, but many find that a lamp and a houseplant are perfectly sufficient to spruce up a desk.
You will also need to consider your needs based on your individual career. If your home office will see regular visits from clients, it's best to spring for higher-quality furniture and a more corporate atmosphere. A graphic design artist will need some space to make quick sketches, or to house a tablet. If you're blogging or freelance writing, you will most likely have more freedom with your office setup. No matter what your style, experiment with your workstation until you've found the right blend of practical and personal.
Working from home takes away the hassle of commuting and spending all day in a cubicle, but it presents unique challenge of its own. Many find that staying on task and focused while surrounded by the distractions of the home is their biggest impediment to success. Designating a specific area as a work station can help keep you in a professional mindset, and anyone can set up such a space at minimal cost. If you find your mind wandering in the middle of that long blog post, consider creating your own home office today.
Britney Fuller is a writer who enjoys writing on a number of different verticals. For more on your workspace, Build Direct offers readers information on desk designs for your home office.