Setting up a home office

Setting up a home office

Getting your Home Office up and Running

You’re trying to make money and read through an important document while the kids are having breakfast and then the orange juice goes flying. Your eldest has made paper aeroplanes out of that stack of invoices you were processing, having first been decorated with wax crayons by your toddler. And there’s something very sticky all over your calculator – things just don’t add up any more.

Working from home may have seemed like bliss when you first thought of it, but maybe you just didn’t think it all the way through. When you’re trying to juggle running a business, running a house and looking after the children – without them running you ragged – you have to get some structure and discipline into your life. And organising a space to call your home office is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.

Look around your home and see where you might be able to site your home office. Basic requirements will be a desk and chair. A filing cabinet would be an advantage because then you have somewhere to store all your paperwork and can even lock it to make it extra childproof. Or, if space is an issue, take the opportunity to do a bit of de-cluttering; clear out a cupboard and give yourself dedicated shelf space. Whatever you do, make sure you establish a proper filing system – if you don’t leave things lying around, they won’t get spoilt.

Try to position your desk or workspace near to a window, it helps to have a view out on the rest of the world and will help counteract any feelings of isolation if you can see things going on outside. And invest in some task lighting – it’s important that you are able to angle the light so that you can see clearly and to take the glare off your computer screen.

Get a chair that is height adjustable, preferably one that swivels and is on casters. If you are sat at your desk a lot you need to be comfortable and not straining. Sit with your feet flat on the floor and your back straight; your eye level should be at the top of your monitor. The height of your desk is also important, especially if you spend a lot of time typing. With your hands positioned over your computer keyboard ensure that your elbows can rest easily on the desk, with your lower arms at right angles to your body. Your wrists should not be bent. If you’re not able to get into this position it would be wise to look at changing your desk.

If you do need to invest in office furniture for your home business, you can keep costs down by going to IKEA or Furniture Village, rather than using a specialist office furniture supplier. You are also more likely to find something that blends into your home and doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb.

If your home business means a lot of time spent on the phone, you might consider getting another phone line installed that can be used purely for business purposes. This is another good way of separating work from home. There are many phone deals around and you could actually save a lot of money on daytime calls, and even international and mobile phone calls. Take a look at what Virgin Media, Sky and BT offer or go to a comparison site such as www.moneysavingexpert.com to check out what will be the best deal for you.

We can’t promise that setting up your home office will always stop sticky fingers getting to things that they really shouldn’t touch, but you should soon see a major improvement in the way you can separate work from home life. Of course, keeping the children busy while you’re finishing your emails is another matter altogether!

If you’ve got any stories or advice about setting up your home office please email contact@homeworkinguk.com

 

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