|My new home office (Black blob on the floor is my bag:-)|
Initially I worked where I could, when I could. I had a big table with my computers, printer and laptop in my bedroom, but it didn't feel like a proper place to work. So I roamed about in the house, telling myself it was nice to be so mobile. And it sounds very nicely creative. However, the situation was not working as it should.
Here are some of the benefits of having a home office, whether it's an outside cottage, a room separate from the rest of your house or a corner in one of the family rooms:
1. A home office provides the equipment you need - yes, I'm a writer and I mostly use a laptop, but I also need to file my research papers and have a proper places to put material that I'm currently using. I also needed a desk/table and chair that suited my body, so I don't sit in positions that are potentially damaging to the body.
2. A home office helps you delineate work and family matters - When you work at home, there is a danger of your life bleeding into your work and vice versa.
Having a home office allows you to work when you are in the office and to focus on other things when you're not in the office. Even my mind knows this - when I sit at my desk, my mind knows it's time to work.
3. A home office says to your family that you are serious about your work - Baby was very well-trained on this, primarily because she grew up in an environment where I worked from home and she knew not to disturb me when I write.
My family here didn't know this, and someone would try to tell me something interesting while I was trying to focus on work. And even though they knew in theory I was working, it didn't seem to register with them.
Somehow sitting behind the desk communicates much more effectively that I'm at work and unavailable for a chat.
Choosing the room
We all have different criteria for choosing the room that eventually works as a home office.
|The room where I work|
I chose this room because it needed less furnishings (just a desk, filing cabinet and office chair). It already had a diningroom table and chairs which double quite nicely as my meeting table.
|One of the two visitors' couches. I also read & crochet here|
It also has couches for people who've come to see me and maybe need to wait while I finish a task.
The room also works for me also because it's centrally located and has three doors. So if I have a meeting with a stranger, they can come into my office without going into the rest of the house. I'm also accessible to the family through the other two doors going to the house when they need me, but can still be separate from the hurly burly of family life when I'm busy.
The elements of my home office
1. A good quality desk which has shelves to store my office accessories (like staples and paper clips)
2. A good office chair that supports my back well
3. A laptop to write with (with a PC set to act as back-up if there is a need) connected to the Internet by cable and a wireless modem. We also created a WiFi Network which I can access anywhere in the house.
4. A printer
5. A scanner
7. A bowl full of pens and pencils to quickly scribble with if needed
8. A filing cabinet with hanging files
9. A notice board accessible for me to clip reminder. The board is to remind me of long-term items that are not in my to do list, so when I do a brain dump, the paper goes there until further notice
10. My office diary
I also wanted to add that the winners of the G is for Give-Away competition are:
1st prize - Michelle Gibson
2nd Prize- Rochefel Rivera
3rd Prize - Student Mommy
Thank you all for participating. I'll be in touch with all the winners.