There are lots of reasons why you might need to work from home, but whatever the reason, you will need a functional workspace. It is impossible to study an online course, do your business accounts or even write a blog if you don’t have somewhere quiet to sit and work. And if you’re a student with lots of assignments to write it makes sense to carve out a work space where you can settle down, out of the way of the rest of the family, and study. So if you have just enrolled on a further education course, started a writing your first novel or just launched your business here are some tips to help you create a functional workspace in your home.
Bedrooms make useful studies because they are out of the way and you can shut the door on the rest of your family. And likewise you can close the door on your work at the end of the day to really give yourself a chance to rest and relax. A guest bedroom is a better choice than the main bedroom, as it is never a good idea to sleep and work in the same space! If you do study in your bedroom, it can make it hard to switch off when it is time for sleep, and vice versa.
Study under the stairs
The space under the stairs is often under-utilized. If the space under your stairs is open, why not install a desk and turn it into a small study area? All you need are some shelves for books, a light, and a power outlet so you can plug your computer in. And if you want to be able to forget about your work for the evening, you could even fit double doors to the alcove to allow you to close it away.
A quiet garden is ideal for studying and in the summer a picnic bench would be a great desk solution. However, you can’t work outside in the winter, but if you have the space, build a timber lodge and turn it into a study. Summer houses don’t have enough insulation to use during colder weather, but if you look for a timber building with thicker walls, there is no reason why you can’t use it all year round. Just add a nice floor and extra roof insulation so you are nice and snug in winter. Again, a power socket is a must (for powering lamps and charging devices) so make sure you can get electricity out to your office building.
If you don’t have any space at home, you may need to create a mobile study. Lap desks are ideal for this. You can sit down in a quiet chair, or move into the bedroom when the kids are making too much noise. Plus, it means that you can work outside the house too, taking your work into the garden with you when the weather is nice.
Proper organization is the key to creating a functional workspace. The more disorganized you are, the harder it will be to get any work done. Most courses require that you have a stack of textbooks as reference, so have a few shelves to store books. And running a business from home will mean that plenty of files need storing away too. It is also worth fixing a whiteboard to the wall, which gives you a space to make a note of any deadlines and check it at a glance. That way you won’t be late handing in assignments or delivering projects to clients.
Technology is your best friend when you work from home. Back up all your important work, such as spreadsheets, assignments or even the first chapter of the novel you’ve started writing in cloud storage. It not only keeps your documents safe if your computer malfunctions, but it also means that you can access them from wherever you are, and from different devices. You can start an essay on the family desktop PC in the living room and finish it on your laptop upstairs.
Once you have a functional workspace at home, you will be so much more productive and studying or working from home will be easy… well, almost! I worked with Direct Line For Business on some productivity tips that may help you so have a look at that article too. Let me know if you have any tips for setting up a practical home office in the comments section below or tweet me @Cassiefairy.