HOG guide to setting up an at-home office

You've decided to join the growing trend of working from home. It's convenient, you'll cut out travel time, and you can establish the environment that is most conducive to productivity for you. Make yourself a checklist of things to do before you kick off your first day on the job. You need to set the stage for success.

Set Aside a Space with No Distractions

When you work out of your home, you need to set the same expectations you would have when you are in the office. You need a space that has enough room for everything you need. You should distance yourself from any other distractions in the home. If others live with you or you have children, they need to understand that you are off-limits while you are on the job. Your best bet is to use a room that has been designated as your workspace. If you need to use your bedroom or another room in your household that is multipurpose, establish clear boundaries for your office.

Create a Home Office that is Inviting

Many people dread going to the office because of dreary surroundings. When you work from home, your space is your own. Use some decorative flair as you establish your home office. Make it someplace that you want to be. Your furniture should be ergonomically correct. Consider using a standing desk to avoid the health risks that come with sitting too long. Work near a window to let in natural light and see the outside world. Hang some of your favorite prints or inspirational quotes to keep you motivated. Make sure you have adequate storage space and all of your supplies on hand so you can stay on track throughout the day.

Pay Attention to Lighting

In addition to natural light, make sure you have adequate light in your workspace. You shouldn't strain your eyes or have to move to a separate location to take a better look at something. Purchase a desk lamp or standing lamp by your desk if you don't want an overhead light that could be too bright. Look into adjustable settings to establish proper lighting at any time of day or night. Your lighting can help you to stay sharp when you are on the job.

Set Your Hours

Whether you are working for an employer or you are self-employed, you need to establish a regular schedule for your workday. If you work for a company, you will be ruled by assigned hours. You'll have more flexibility when it comes to running your own business. You can decide when to begin and end your day. However, stick to a routine schedule every day that you are open for business. Set aside times for lunch and breaks. Don't stray from those times or be casual about them. Watch the clock. If you need to, set a timer to remind you it's time to get back to work.

Use a Work Phone Number

You should not be using your home phone number to conduct business. Turn to a VoIP provider like VIP VoIP to establish your VoIP number, otherwise known as Voice over Internet Protocol. Any calls that you make will convert your voice into data. This data can then be transmitted through the Internet. It's perfect for remote staff members working from home. It means you will have access to this number that will be treated as a business line anywhere you go. If you need to travel for your job, you can utilize your VoIP from any location. It's versatile, allowing you to use it for conference calls, like fax, messages, and calling. You'll also have the added benefit of toll-free calling, something that would be much more costly to set up on a traditional landline.

If you put time and energy into establishing your home office, you may never want to work outside the home again. You'll find that you are more productive when you are happy with your workspace. Invest in your environment to set yourself on the path to long-term success. It's all about working smarter in the right environment instead of working harder. A home office could be the best decision you ever made.

Author Bio: McKenzie Jones

McKenzie is your typical Midwestern gal. When she is not writing or reading, she can be found training for her next half-marathon, baking something sweet, playing her guitar, or cuddled up with her golden retriever, Cooper. She loves watching football, fall weather, and long road trips

Buying guideDesign guideDiyErgonomic office furnitureErgonomic work spaceHome workstationOffice space

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