Home Office Success

Home Office Success

Do you have a home office? Most households do, and it’s even more prevalent now, with many more people working remotely either full- or part-time.  The ‘office’ can be as instant as wherever you sit down if you use a laptop computer, as your lap travels with you wherever you go!  It can also be space that’s shared with others (e.g. kitchen counter, dining table), a specific area in your home (the corner of a room, a converted closet), or a dedicated room with a door (which may also serve double-duty as the guest room or exercise space).

If you do have a home office, does this space evoke feelings of peace and calm, or just the opposite? If you chose the latter, here are some suggestions for setting your home office up for success.

Hide the cords when you can. 

Visual clutter can impact your ability to start or continue working. I really appreciate my wireless printer, in that it doesn’t need a cable running to it from my desktop computer, and can also be located across the room. 

Have a place for everything…

and put things back! One of the smartest things I ever did was to be consistent in where I kept things. The tape dispenser always goes back on my desk, even if I’ve used it in the dining room to wrap presents. Ink and paper always goes underneath the printer. You get the idea. 

Location, location, location.

You’ll likely spend many hours in your home office, so don’t stiff yourself on space. Also consider traffic flow and your ability to withstand distractions. Do you work best in the thick of activity, or should your office be tucked away in a quiet space? Consider what makes sense for all involved.

Invest in a good chair. 

If you’re going to be spending significant time in your home office, that side chair from the dining set you no longer have isn’t going to cut it. Go and find something that is suitably sized, adjustable for height, and comfortable. Consider this a sound investment in your long-term success. 

Think vertically.

If space is at a premium, don’t forget about the vertical space. Open shelving, tall bookcases, or even cabinetry can enable you to be organized and also have additional storage for the items you’ll need to have on hand. The internet is a great tool for ideas and smart solutions for maximizing space in this as well as other places in your home. 

Have a clear space to work. 

One of my cardinal rules is to leave my home office with a clear workspace. This is typically the main desk area which my computer is on. The space may be chaotic while I’m in the middle of work, however I made the commitment to myself to do this. It’s along the lines of making the bed before you leave the bedroom. 

Have a sign on your door. 

With so many people working from home, and perhaps also their kids learning remotely, it’s especially important to signal when you can’t be interrupted and when you’re available (barring emergencies of course). Have you seen the video with the man doing a live TV interview from home, and his children come through the door dancing into the room behind him?

One final tip: Surround yourself with things that make you feel good! It can be framed photos of family, friends, or that great vacation you went on, or a memento from college or childhood.  It can be scented candles or a vase with fresh flowers. Maybe it’s orienting your desk so you can see out a window so you have natural light and a nice view. Implementing even a few of these ideas will put you on the path to success!

4 tips to be video ready

You need to jump on Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime for work.  Here are three things to keep in mind:

1.  KNOW WHERE THE MUTE BUTTON IS.  Filtering out your barking dog will benefit everyone!  Also, it helps keep extra noise out of the overall conversations.


Do a video preview so you can keep things visually tidy when on camera.  Some creative rearranging of furniture can do wonders.


Make sure you have enough light in front of you so you’re not in the shadows.  Perhaps do a test call with a friend or colleague and ask for feedback.


We are often casual at home, but remember to have something work-friendly on from the waist down in case you have to suddenly get up
out of your chair!

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