How To Create The Best Work At Home Space
Working from home is a maturing career. When the Internet reached its golden age a few years ago, a new business model emerged: outsourcing. While telecommuting was getting common in corporate structures in multinationals and in the US, outsourcing created a new, more affordable way to do business: giving the job to skilled workers from across the globe. Only a fraction of the business operations cost is consumed when companies outsource their jobs. With a huge cutback on the overhead like that, there is no wonder that the field had been burgeoning, and is now maturing.
While big outsourcing companies' satellite offices are barely different from their mainland counterparts, the mom-and-pop providers and their clients have to contend with a work-from-home arrangement. Thus, the offshore workers may have to provide and create their own work setups.
Depending on your company's or client's preferences, you could either request for a budget for equipment, or you will have to come to the table with these. I'm here to give you tips on how to build your home office, whatever budget you're working with.
1. Make a list of non-negotiables. This is a list of what you wouldn't live without in your office.
- Quiet space
- Closed room
- Window opening up to greenery
- Coffee maker
- Personal fridge
And other similar things you wouldn't want to live without.
2. Choose a room in your home to use as a home office.
- It has to be a space where you can be at your most productive best. If you're fine with noise, go for it. If you prefer having the TV on when you work, go ahead and use your TV room as your home office.
- If your home has no extra rooms, would there be a corner in your home where your kids won't be able to bother you?
- If you have an extra room in your home, make sure it's well-ventilated and it's a space you'd be happy to work in. Otherwise, if you're okay with using a common room, choose comfort over doing things "the right way." If the stock room is just not a comfortable office, leave the thought.
3. Choose your furniture.
Have furniture custom-designed, if possible. If you'll be at your desk for around 4 to 8 straight hours, you'll have to make sure that your working position will be comfortable for those long hours. Do you prefer working in certain positions?
Some workers love working cross-legged. If so, get a low, Japanese-style table and big firm but fluffy pillows so you can just sit on the floor and work from there. Or you can get a wide-bottomed chair which will allow for sitting cross-legged. Or try using a cushioned bench.
Tables with footrests also work. That way, you will be able to stretch your legs at a comfortable angle while working. Having options with the positions you can get yourself into while working helps keep you comfortable and your circulation going.
4. Have other options, for variety.
- Even if you're the type who can settle into routine forever, you may still want to change things up once in a while. Do you have a garden? A porch? A sunny terrace with a table and lounge chairs? These are great places to work in, once in a while.
- Does your neighborhood have a nearby coffeeshop where you could work? Coffee shops are great as outdoor offices.
- There are writer's lounges springing up across the US. These are office areas where a writer can rent working space on a monthly basis. Other schemes of payments are also available. There are two-month, three-month, even annual contracts for renting these office spaces.
- In the Philippines, the mall is a great place to work in. With WiFi available in malls across the country, even OFW lounges being provided for Overseas Filipino Workers and their immediate families, getting to work outside one's home is now convenient for the Filipino virtual worker.
5. Add fun stuff.
- A beanbag would be a great addition to a home office. It's a place where you can decompress and play a video game, read, listen to music, or even take power naps.
- An exercise ball would be fun to have, as well. They're great for sitting on, and you can get much-needed stretching or other exercises done during breather breaks.
- What other things do you find fun that you'd love to have in your home office as destressors?
Creating an office space is a major project to undertake, but if it enables you to complete projects, work on daily tasks and otherwise carve out a lucrative home-based livelihood, the effort and the money invested in making in the best possible working space is well worth it.
More Ideas In Setting Up Your Work Space
- My Personal Work From Home Setup Work And Life. Yes, They Mix.
This is how my personal work from home setup/home office looks like. This is a ramble about how I designed and set it up. :)
- Designing Your Home Office | The Virtual Assistant
In designing your home office, you need to consider home office furniture, ventilation, lighting fixtures, etc. This article offers home office ideas for virtual online assistants and other professionals working from home.
- Your Home Office: Ideas To Set Up Your Place of Work
Looking to start a home business? Here are some home office ideas and tips on how to set up your place of work at home.
- On the Cheap - A Writer Gets a Home Office of Her Own - NYTimes.com
A designer transformed a Washington Heights living room into a novelists workspace on a budget of $2,000.