Whether you run your own company via a multi-level marketing platform, or have your own Etsy shop set up, or you freelance and work remotely having a home office is becoming more of a common thing in households these days. Even if you only work from home part-time, having a home office is invaluable to your productivity. You might be thinking to yourself, Certainly with a laptop I can set up shop anywhere, right? Wrong. Well, you could, but we don’t recommend it. Here’s why.

Focus And Attention

When you live and work from home it is all too easy to get distracted by mountain of housework that prevails in any home. If you have kids in the mix, then staying tidy is even more difficult and time consuming. But when it’s time to work, you have to work. If you think you can just plop down at the kitchen table and work for a solid eight hours straight, then give us your secrets because you’re the anomaly. It’s all too easy to be mentally stuck with a work problem and your eye wanders over to the sink full of dirty dishes and you say to yourself ‘Washing one load of dishes won’t take that much time, and it needs to be done so…’ But if you give a mouse a cookie all hell will break loose and there goes your focus for the day.

Same thing applies with your living room. Sitting on the couch is comfy and cozy. But the tv is right, there, just begging to be turned on. White noise is one thing, but turning on your favorite tv show when you have a deadline quickly approaching is a recipe for disaster.

If you’re thinking, ‘I’ve got some extra space in the bedroom. I could easily set up a little desk with some photos.’ Quit now while you’re ahead. The bedroom is the absolute last place you want to put your home office. The bedroom is supposed to be a relaxing place to escape stress, rest, and recuperate for the next day ahead. If your computer and desk are a mere five steps from your bed, you’ll never be able to turn off your work brain and get to that much needed relaxing state of sleep. In short, it’s distracting. 

Designated Space

If you’re going to add an office to your home, put it in its own separate space that is as far away from distraction as you can get. It could be a guest bedroom; this only becomes a problem when you have guests in town. In this case, both parties feel like they’re invading the others’ space. However, if that’s what you have to work with, it can be made to work. 

Ultimately, you want a room that can be set up like an office. With a printer, computer, filing cabinets, storage, workspace, and whatever else your business needs to flourish. A designated space allows you to separate the relaxing, cozy home life from the grind and workflow. Your attic, the basement, unused garage, or even a standalone structure in the backyard are all perfect places to claim as your work territory. You can have it all without muddying the waters of work and home. It just takes a little bit of thought and some strategic action to achieve the ultimate in home office workflow.