Working from home is a growing phenomenon and is expected to continue. In fact, some studies indicate that those who work from home, either with their own businesses or for employers, will outnumber those in the traditional workforce in just a few years.
To be more effective as a business owner, employee or freelancer, you need to separate your personal space from your work space. Whether that means that you have an entire office or just a small work area set up, it needs to look professional.
Less is More
It is all too easy to go overboard when decorating a home office. After all, many people like to make a traditional office feel more “homey” with family photos, artwork and other trinkets. However, it is often better to keep things simple in a home office.
Unless you have a separate door for clients to use that leads straight to your office, they will be walking through other parts of your home. You want them to see an obvious separation between your personal and work life.
It doesn’t mean that your home office must be bland and boring. It is fine to have a single family photo and one or two professional prints on the wall. Just make sure you limit it as much or more than you would if your office was in a corporate environment.
Except in Supplies and Equipment
The one exception to the rule that less is more is with your office supplies and equipment. While you don’t need to overdo it here either, you do want to make sure you have everything you need for a productive office. You don’t want to run to the local grocery store or bank to send a fax or go to a printing store to scan a document.
You can find affordable office supplies at major retailers like Walmart so that you don’t break your budget.
Don’t let being frugal keep you from purchasing quality supplies. While you don’t need the most expensive printer on the market, you do want one that provides high-quality documents.
This is also true when it comes to the latest technology.
You may not need the newest product available, but you don’t want to be hindered or look outdated because you have old equipment. Being able to send internet faxes or have voicemail set up to forward to your cell phone is expected in today’s business world.
Make It Look Like a Work Area
Even though you don’t have to purchase everything you would have in a corporate office, you do want your space to look like an office. A desk is essential as well as one or two guest chairs if you will have clients or vendors stopping by.
If it opens into a living room or other part of your home, keep that space clean and organized as well. You want people to see you as professional no matter where you are working.
Working from home in an organized, professional space allows you to be more efficient and impress your clients. It doesn’t take a lot of money – just a little preparation and ingenuity to make your space work for your business.
About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and finance.
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