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Claim Your Work at Home Space

Aug 18, 2007
Many people who work at home don't really have a good space for it. Not all homes have enough room for a separate home office, but having a dedicated work space makes a big difference.

If your business is primarily or entirely online, the main thing you need is your computer and desk. If this can be separate from what the rest of the family uses, that's a big step. There are few things more frustrating than having to sort out conflicting priorities that keep you entirely from working. But the kids need the computer for their homework and what do you do but give it up?

That's why you need your own if at all possible.

A space to work on your business also makes it easier for you to set rules about when you are working. Even if you aren't in a separate room you can set rules about what the kids can and cannot bother you with while you work.

The biggest challenge comes in when you can't claim a separate space directly and you have to set up your home office in a shared area, maybe even a shared computer. You have to be able to do something.

My own office is somewhat shared. My own computer, desk shared (big desk). Much of my work time is with either one of the kids or my husband on the other computer. It makes for a bit more a challenge when working.

With this little space I keep a part of the desk and a file cabinet to my work. As I do work entirely online, my needs in terms of space are relatively few.

But the real hardship is having other people underfoot when I'd like to work in peace. Sharing my space means that I have to claim my space mentally as much as physically. I can't let what the others are doing on the computer distract me overmuch.

You should also make your workspace comfortable. Throw in a water bottle and for the most part I'm good to go for working most days. But other people need more.

No matter whether you share your workspace or have a quiet home office separate from everything else, you have certain needs in order to work productively. This can include a calendar, reference materials, telephone, writing materials and so forth. Your computer needs the software that you use in your business.

Some people do like some background noise as they work. I always suggest a radio rather than a television, simply because a radio set to a music station is much easier to ignore.

Puzzling out how you can set up your home office space takes a little time, but it's much worth the effort. You can increase your productivity and your contentment with your work if you aren't frustrated with your working conditions.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs about being a work at home mom . She offers more tips on having a good home office at http://www.homewiththekids.com/blog/category/home-office/ .
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