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How to Set Up a Home Office that Works

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It's tricky getting your home office set up. Whether you're working a 9-5 job at home, juggling work and raising kids, or starting your own business, having your own space is essential in your ultimate success. Not surprisingly, space is usually an issue for most; fortunately, there are some creative ways to use your space efficiently and effectively without sacrificing too much of your home.

Tips for Setting Up a Workable Home Office (pun intended)

  • Find your spot. It may be an actual "home office" or it may be a corner of another room, such as a bedroom or even the living room. You've got what you've got- wishing for more space doesn't change anything. Make the most of what you have.
  • Be careful how you place your gear. More than likely your job includes a computer, which then necessitates a keyboard, mouse, and printer. Be sure to keep your keyboard and mouse right next to each other and on the same surface (preferably on a keyboard tray). Your monitor should be raised to eye level so you don't have to bend your neck to see it well. You can use one or more monitor lifts to achieve this.
  • Try an ergonomic adjustable desk. There are many advantages- first, ergo products are designed for maximum comfort. Less strain and stress on your overworked body is always a good thing. Second, there's a spot for everything, or at least your most important items: computer, printer, keyboard and mouse. Those spots are well-plotted so that you don't strain to reach them and so you can keep good ergonomic posture. Also, they are adjustable to meet your needs and many different set-ups. Last, there are even some that are made to close and go so you can pack them away and even take them with you!
  • Maximize your spot. Survey the space you have and use it. You might need shelves above your desk to maximize vertical wall room, or even shelves with baskets or organizational boxes {think IKEA} to house various things you like/need to use frequently, but not frequently enough to keep on your desktop (such as receipts, bills, basic paperwork, office supplies, etc.). For some, it's fun to choose brightly colored baskets and accents to make the work space seem more personal, while others prefer neutrals or a monochromatic look to keep it professional-feeling even at home. It's up to you to know yourself well enough to know what you might like or need.
  • Try a sound machine to block out distracting noises. You'll feel less irritated, be less distracted, and therefore become more productive.
  • Finally, set up work hours and follow them. Whether you have to force yourself to fulfill them or quite the opposite, have to tear yourself away from work, remember that you are at home. Having good boundaries honors everyone's time.

The main idea is to set up a work space at home that allows you to work effectively. Following good ergonomic principles in setting up your home office and adding your own splashes of personality are key in achieving a successful work space at home.