Design Tricks to Keep Your At-Home Office Professional

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Working from home is something most people dream of from their cubicle. Having a place of your own has its perks (see. Pants Optional), but, with great luxury, comes great responsibility. You’re going to have to stay professional, to an extent, so you can actually get your work done. Here are a few ideas that will keep you cranking out the brilliance you know you can, with or without pants on.

1. Split up your space

Your desk is the center of your workspace. You need to be sure everything is in its place, and, in order to do that, you’re going to need enough space. A good rule to go by is splitting your desktop (physical, not digital) up into thirds. So, if you have a computer that is approximately 14” wide, you are going to want to have a deskspace that is at least 42”. I like to spread out, so I’ll do a little extra on either side.

2. Designate deskspace

Now, once you have your deskspace split into thirds, you are going to want to designate what each space does. The side of your dominate hand is best for note-taking. Even if you are an avid Evernote user, everybody should have a notepad to jot down small notes, strange ideas or phone numbers. The opposite side of the desk is going to be dedicated to Joy. Keep something here that will keep you going, so that means a small plant, photo of your family or something that is not work related. Even if you eventually begin to use this space for work related documents, it is important to have something within arms reach that is not work related and brings you some sort of happiness.

3. Get comfortable

If your home office is the headquarters of your full-time job, you are going to be spending a ton of time there so you’d better be comfortable. Thi is always going to be your best bet. Now and forever. But if you don’t have the cash to throw at the best ergonomic chair on the market, you’re going to have to improvise. The best and most cost-effective thing to do is to get a pillow. Seems simple? Right. However, do NOT sit on it, buy another one if that is what you want to do. This pillow is for lumbar support which is the first thing that is going to start hurting when you are in hour six of presentation prep. You’re going to thank me later.

4. Have a junk drawer

If you are a creative person, you probably like to hold onto ton of stuff. No shame, you need things to keep you inspired and interested in whatever you do. You also need a place to keep all of those receipts you’ll eventually write off. Having a junk drawer is going to help when you have things you simply can’t deal with right now, but need to keep at an arm’s length.

5. Consider the landline

Ok, this seems a little archaic, but stick with me. If you have TV and Internet, you probably already have a landline. Having a landline is great for one thing: saving you time. A landline separates all of your business calls from personal calls. This means, the landline number goes to people who get in touch with you for work purposes only. They can only contact you while you are in your office. Period. This is important because taking a work call while you’re at the grocery store doesn’t always lend itself to the best decision making. Also, one of the most important things to a freelancer is boundaries. You need to know what time is your time and what time is work time. A landline really helps keep those two parts of your day separate.

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