As more and more of us move from the corporate office to the home office, I find that we’re all battling with a workspace-within-my-personal-space issue.
By working from home, you just increased your accessibility–to both clients and your family–by tenfold. And the fact that you’re sitting at home, banging away on your keyboard in the exact same way you used to surf the Web at night, makes it a bit difficult for the other people in your life to realize that you are, in fact, earning a living.
Establishing a physical workspace will help.
So, here, in my experience, are the top 5 tangible objects you need if you’re going to be successful working from home:
- A door
I know this one may sound a little strange. I mean, who don’t have a door? But you’d be surprised how many folks try to utilize a workspace that is open to the general flow of the house. You need a way to establish a boundary to your workspace. A door is the best way to do this. Maybe even a door with a lock. Me? I use your state-of-the-art hollow frame door, and I close it whenever I walk into the office.
- An office chair
You’re going to be parked on your heinie for a good part of the day in your now-well-defined workspace. Your chair will be your saving grace. The longer you can sit comfortably, the better off you’ll be. Don’t skimp. This is your body and your health we’re talking about here. Get the best possible chair that you can. Me? I went for the Mirra Task Chair. A little spendy. True. But much less than the Eames Management Chair over which I was drooling.
- A desk
Don’t try to use a coffee table as your desk. It just won’t work. You’ve been conditioned through years of schooling and corporate life to understand the importance of the desk. It’s both an emotional and physical support for you. Don’t deny it. Again. Don’t skimp. You’re going to be banging on this thing on a daily basis. Me? I went for an open, table-style desk with a return. This gives me plenty of space for two machines with two monitors. And I’m not banging my legs into storage units as I swivel back and forth.
- A laptop
While it’s good to establish your workspace boundaries, that needn’t mean you’re tethered to a desk. Spend some cash to get the best laptop you can. This is the most important tool you will likely purchase for your business, so don’t cut corners. You’ve done well if you get squawks from clients like, “Did I fund that purchase?” Well done. Me? I went for the MacBook Pro. It allows me to run both the MacOS and Windows, so I’m prepared for any type of client request or file format. I also have a Dell Tower that I use for more intensive Windows work.
- A monitor
I know you love your shiny new laptop. You’re all excited about the hours you’ll spend at your local Starbucks or wi-fi spot, banging away. But, fact of the matter is, you’re going to be spending a lot of time sitting in your house working, too. And for that, a monitor is critical. I find myself sliding over to my PC all of the time, instead of my laptop. Why? The monitor. I’m constantly looking down at my laptop. It’s uncomfortable. So, a monitor for my laptop is my next critical purchase. I’m telling you, it makes work easier. Trust me.
How does my top 5 sync up with yours? Am I crazy in some of my suggestions? I’d love to hear your take.