How to organize your home office / set up your home office

Whether you have chosen to set up your home office in a bedroom, a large closet, alcove, or garage, every home office must have the same basics to make it a productive and efficient space for work.

1. Find a spot in your home

Make sure when you set up your home office, the space is clean, well-lit and free from noise and distractions.

2. Create a place to sit down and work

In your home office, you’ll need a desk or worktable, a chair, and a lamp. Make sure your office is set up to be comfortable. If you're not comfortable at your desk or in your chair, you're going to feel it in your shoulders and back, and that will affect your efficiency and bottom line before you even get into the full swing of your business. You can get an office set up at Office Depot or Staples for less than $200.

3. Establish a storage area

Your home office set will need some space to store information pertaining to your business. A set of shelves, a filing cabinet or some boxes will do the trick. This is the type of equipment that you might be able to find in your home which would require no additional investment.

4. Purchase computer equipment

Most of the computers on the market will most likely work for a home office. It does help, however, if your computer has a reasonable amount of memory (256MB or more) to allow for faster Internet browsing. You may also need a “basic” multi-function printer that will let you print, scan and copy. If you don’t already own this equipment, you can buy the whole home office set up at Dell for as little as $1,000.

5. Get a fast internet connection

An always-on broadband connection (cable or DSL) is vital for any home office. The faster your Internet access, the more time you’ll save. Broadband internet connections can be purchased from your phone or cable company. You’ll spend about $50 per month for broadband internet access.

6. Have a good telephone solution

You can use your home or cell phone to start. As your business grows, you might consider getting a virtual phone system at Ring Central that will enable you to have a separate phone number with a voicemail system, allow you to forward your calls, and will offer you other functions that larger businesses have access to. A subscription to one of these services can cost less than $15 per month.

Tips

  • If you don't have a separate room available, use devices like screens, bookcases and directed lighting to create the necessary separation between home space and office space.
  • Consider getting a small headset for your phone, both to free your hands and to block out background noise.
  • Keep your home office as neat as possible. A messy work environment often will divert your attention.
  • The purchases for your home office maybe a potential write off, check with your tax advisor.

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