October 8, 2012

Home Office Do’s & Don’ts

DO choose an office location in your favorite part of the house.  Your home office should be comfortable and inviting. You want to work in a pleasant location, not someplace dreary and forbidding.

DON’T choose a office location just because the space is available.  There may be lots of room in your garage, or basement, or attic, but do you want to spend 6 to 8 hours a day there?  If you don’t want to be in your office because you don’t like the location, how much work will get done?

DO make time several times a week to “get out in public.”  It is easy to isolate in a home office.  If you are not seeing clients on a regular basis, make an effort to spend some time outside your office in a coffee shop or café.  A change of scenery is refreshing and can sometimes lead to more focussed thinking.

DON’T succumb to the temptation to work in your pajamas.  Yes, you can work in whatever you rolled out of bed in, but it’s not conducive to the self-discipline you need to work from home. Take a shower.  Brush your teeth. Get dressed and then go to the office.  Get in the right frame of mind before you begin work.

DO spend money on a good chair.  Buy an office chair designed according to ergonomic principles.  You’ll need to spend a couple of hundred dollars, but it is worth it.  Take your time and sit in several chairs.  It doesn’t have to be top of the line, but it must support your back and be fully adjustable.  A swivel base on wheels will bring everything in your office within reach.

DON’T work in bed unless you’re sick and can’t get up.  And if you’re that sick, you shouldn’t be working anyway.  Sure, you can shoot off some emails and update your facebook page from bed, but it’s not a good idea to make it your primary workplace.  For one thing, it is not possible to work at a laptop in an ergonomically correct position. Second, when you use your bed for anything but sleeping, it can create difficulty falling asleep.

DO enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working from home.

DON’T ever regret your decision to do so! 

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