One of the most important, yet often overlooked, aspects of working at home is setting up an office that increases productivity. You can't do your best work on the kitchen table, surrounded by household clutter. Here are some tips I've gathered on making your home office space a place you'll enjoy working:
1. Set your home office up away from the busiest area of your home. If you have children, you'll probably need a dedicated space, because if you are in view of your children, they will demand your attention. It's best for them to understand that when Mommy's in her office, she is working, and only to be disturbed in the event of an emergency. Of course, this advice is meant for older children, who don't need constant supervision. Make sure you spell out exactly what qualifies as an emergency. Because for children, not being able to find a shoe is an emergency.
2. Try to set up your office in a room with a window. Everyone needs a break now and then. And it's relaxing to look outside at a tree, the birds, flowers. You get the idea. If you don't have a room with a window, decorate your office with cheery pictures and things you love. Personalize it. You will want to come there and work more.
3. Arrange things in your office so they are easy to locate and easy to access. A bulletin board with pushpins is a great and quick way to remind yourself of something you don't want to forget. Have paper, ink, staplers, pens, pencils, Post-its close by. Place a bookcase close by for books that you may need for your work. Try to pick up after yourself every day, so that your office doesn't become cluttered. It's hard to work in a messy environment. You will lose thing, and you will not be as productive.
4. If you must have a phone close by (your children are away or in school), then by all means, have it close by. But when possible, leave the phone outside the office. It will be a an easy excuse to stop working. But mostly, it's difficult to be productive when there are constant interruptions.
I am the work at home mom of three great girls. My blog, Work at Home Mom Revolution offers support and daily job updates for those seeking to work at home. http://www.workathomemomrevolution.blogspot.com/