Last Updated July 2nd, 2019

Budget Home Office Ideas – Get Set Up Without Spending A Fortune

Budget Home Office Ideas - Get Set Up Without Spending A Fortune

One of the best things you can do for yourself when you work at home is set up a home office. Having a place set aside where you can work is a huge help, as well as a must for many work at home jobs. These budget home office ideas can help you set up a functional home office without spending a fortune.

Pick The Right Spot

Choosing the right location matters for your home office. While some people can make do with working at the kitchen table, others need a room with a door. It all depends on the demands of your work and how many distractions you can handle.

You don’t want to be in the same room as the television, for example, if it’s going to be on. That’s a huge distraction and will make you less productive.

There are times when you want your kids with you when you’re working if you don’t need quiet. That’s why I had a play space in my office when my kids were little. It was less distracting to have them there than to have to get up to see what they were doing. Now that they’re older, I don’t want them in my office unless they need me.

my home office

Your space does not have to be large. If my house didn’t have a room available for my home office (which is also a guest room), I probably would set up at the little built in table that we use for the mail. It’s not a big space, but my work doesn’t take much. It’s a little out of the way in the house, which is always a help when you need to focus.

Plus, I wouldn’t need a desk then.

If you don’t have a spare room to turn into a home office, it’s perfectly fine to set up in the bedroom if you need a closed door to work. Don’t feel that your home office space must be dedicated unless that’s a requirement of your work. Rooms can have more than one use.

Figure Out What You Need To Buy

Odds are that you already have some of the things you need to set up your home office. If you have a work at home job rather than a home business, some employers may provide equipment as well.

The less you have to buy for your home office, the better when it comes to budget.

There are a few things you really should have when you work at home. Some you can skip, others are a must no matter how tight your home office budget is.

Budget Home Office Must-Haves

Computer

minimal home office

Is your current computer good enough for your work at home job or home business, or do you need a better one? Is it shared with the rest of the family, or is it yours alone?

It’s not at all uncommon for a family to need multiple computers these days. If your kids are in school, the odds are good that sometimes they need a computer for homework. You don’t want their needs and yours to clash. Having a dedicated home office computer is a big help.

An ergonomic keyboard and ergonomic mouse are also good to have. These can take a little getting used to, but may save you from carpal tunnel or other problems later.

Think about whether you need a desktop or laptop computer. I love my laptop because I can go anywhere with it, but desktop computers have their advantages too. They’re often cheaper, and while you have to buy a monitor to go with it, you don’t have to replace the whole thing if the monitor goes out.

Desk

A good desk can be a big help for working at home productively. You don’t have to get a fancy sit-stand desk (although they are wonderful!), but you should have someplace to put your computer and other supplies.

If you can’t afford anything else, even a folding table can function as an office desk. It’s not about looks, after all. It’s about getting the job done within your budget.

Ergonomic Chair

While you can use a kitchen chair if you must in your home office, try to find a way to get an ergonomic desk chair. Your body will thank you in the long run.

Internet Access

There are very few jobs that you can do from home without internet access. Even daycare providers may need it to email parents or update their websites or social media.

Make sure you consider whether you need wired internet or if WiFi is okay. Some work at home jobs require a wired connection to your router for security reasons. Such jobs also will not allow satellite internet.

Budget Home Office Maybes

Other office supplies will be needed by some people, but not by others. Think about what’s really necessary before buying these items.

blue home office
  • Printer
  • Printer ink supply
  • Scanner
  • Camera
  • Dual monitors
  • Sound cancelling headset
  • Microphone
  • Chair mat
  • Surge protector
  • Phone (cell, landline or VOIP?)
  • Filing cabinet
  • Safe
  • Reference books
  • Pens, pencils, paper
  • Whiteboard and dry erase markers
  • Water bottle
  • Neutral background for video conferencing
  • Office decor
  • Calendar or planner.

You’ll also need appropriate software. Some solutions are free, while other things you will need to buy.

  • Skype (may already be installed on your computer)
  • Slack
  • Office software (I use Google Drive)
  • Graphic design software (I use Gimp)
  • Dropbox or other file sharing
  • Any software required by your employer or to run your business.

Find Cheaper Ways To Buy What You Need

You don’t have to buy everything new for your home office. Some items are just fine to buy used.

budget office chair

I bought my office chair at a garage sale for $5, for example. I hit it really lucky, as it’s a good, ergonomic chair, and the most comfortable of all our office chairs. You don’t find a deal like that very often.

We also bought my husband’s office chair for cheap, just recently. The city was selling off their excess office furniture, and I found his chair for $30. It’s much more comfortable than the chair it replaced, and still much cheaper than a new one would have been.

Garage sales can be wonderful for finding used furniture. Thrift stores are also a good option. ReStore from Habitat For Humanity can be great for furniture. Be picky about comfort, as you’ll be spending a lot of time with your home office furniture. You may not be as lucky as I was with my office chair, but there are plenty of good finds out there.

If you’re going for new, outlet stores may be an option as well. Online, you can see what’s available from Amazon Outlet.

There are some things you should only go so cheap on, of course. Your computer should be good enough to handle what you demand of it. Your office chair should be ergonomic, to help you sit properly and minimize repetitive motion injuries.

Other things, you can absolutely go cheap on. Some dollar stores have a good range of home decor, which can make your office look nicer without spending a fortune. Some of their other office supplies are also good.

The back to school season is a great time to get paper, pencils, pens, and notebooks. They’re often on sale around that time. Pay attention to the sales, and stock up if you can when things are on a really good sale.

Do You Need It All At Once?

If the things you need for your home office don’t all fit into your budget at once, think about which purchases you can delay. Some items are good to have in the long run, but you can get away without them for a time.

A newer computer, for example. Possibly your current computer is just barely good enough, and that’s sufficient until you can afford a better one. Maybe you use a kitchen chair until you can fit an office chair into your budget. You do what you can.

Don’t delay on things which are necessary for you to start earning money. If you have a work at home job and your employer says you must have a certain thing, have that thing!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated March 27th, 2019

Combining Office And Playroom – Is It A Good Idea?

Combining Office And Playroom - Is It A Good Idea?

When you work at home with small children, one big consideration is how you deal with the kids while you’re working. Smaller children need a lot more attention, and it’s not always easy to figure out how to make it all work. Combining office and playroom is hugely tempting. But is it a good idea?

That depends on a few factors. We’ll start with the problems with adding a play area.

Disadvantages Of Combining Office And Playroom

Not All Employers Allow It

You may not always be able to combine office and playroom. Many work at home employers do not allow distractions in the same room. If you work a lot on the phone, they probably especially do not allow background noise.

And we all know how good little kids are at making background noises.

Don’t risk your job just to keep your kids nearby while you work. If it’s a problem for your employer, find another way to keep your kids busy while you work. Trade babysitting, work hours when your spouse or someone else can care for your kids… whatever it takes, find a solution.

Kids Are Distracting

Let’s say you work for yourself or background noises aren’t a problem for your employer. Having kids in your home office can still be a problem.

Kids at play are distracting. Possibly less distracting than wondering what they’re up to in the other room, but still distracting.

Distractions mean you work more slowly and get less done. Odds are that it means you earn less money if you’re paid on productivity or by project, or that eventually, your employer will realize you aren’t as productive as you should be.

That’s a problem. A big one.

If you can’t cope with the distractions, don’t let your kids into your home office.

Tax Issues

Adding a play area for your kids may mess with your ability to take a home office deduction. If you aren’t taking that deduction, obviously this is not an issue, but it’s something to consider and bring up with a tax professional if you want the deduction. I can’t tell you for certain how it works if they only play while your work, but if the kids use your office for a play area or homework at other times, it’s absolutely not going to work. A home office must meet an exclusive use requirement, and letting the kids play in there is going to mess with that.

Child Safety

There are risks to having your child play in your home office too. Odds are there are a lot of power outlets with cords coming out, your chair may have wheels that can roll over small fingers or feet, kids may knock things down. If you want your kids in your home office, make sure you look at how you can make it safe for their age.

Advantages Of Combining Office And Playroom

play area

Kids Are Right There

This can be a huge advantage with small children, if they let you work. No worries about what they’re getting into. They’re in easy reach if they need you. They get to spend time with you even though they aren’t your main focus when you’re working.

An infant, for example, only needs a crib or playpen much of the day. If you’re into baby wearing, you may be able to do some work that way, so long as noise and speed don’t matter.

When my kids were toddlers, I used a combination of baby gates at the doors and play yard panels to keep them near and safe. I did medical transcription at the time, so I could generally respond quickly to their needs.

You’re Setting an Example

I believe that work at home parents can set a very good example for their kids. You’re showing them how to make work a part of their lives, how you help support your family. I like making sure my kids know that there’s more to life than being a mother, even when I’m prioritizing motherhood.

They Will Grow Out Of It

Your kids will only need to play in your home office for a relatively short time. Soon enough, they will be old enough to play in their bedrooms or other parts of the house without leaving you to worry about what they’re up to. Then there’s school, friends and all kinds of other reasons why they don’t want to be limited to the home office playroom anymore.

My kids almost never come into my home office anymore unless they need help with homework. It’s a lot quieter in there now than when my kids were little… although it helps that this is the first home we’ve been in where I have a door to close.

On the other hand, that door means that my home office is also the guest room. Sometimes there’s just no way to keep a space all to yourself. At least it’s mostly mine.

How To Make A Combined Home Office And Playroom Happen

If you really want your combined office and playroom to work well, you need to play it out. Don’t just throw a few toys around and call it good. The room has to work for both of you.

mom office desk

Set Up The Home Office First

The first function of your home office space must be as an office. What do you need to set up your work space?

Even if you have a laptop computer, I recommend having a desk and chair. These give you a defined place to work.

When the kids were little, I liked having a big enough desk that I could give them a little space on the desk too. This allowed them to pretend they were working too. But consider your work needs before you do this – for some jobs, it may be too much to have your kids right at your desk.

Consider what else you will need in your home office. Do you need a place to store your supplies? Do you need a printer?

Make the space as comfortable and productive a workspace as possible. Combining office and playroom creates enough challenges as is – consider your work needs before your child’s play needs, or this isn’t going to work.

Childproof

The next thing you want to do is make your office as safe as possible for your child. Exactly what this means depends on your child.

A child young enough to mostly be worn or limited to a play area won’t need a lot of childproofing. One who can wander the entire room but is still young enough to get into things will take more work.

As I said above, I used play yard panels to keep my toddlers out of the way. I wrapped them around my desk, so my toddlers had plenty of room to play and I didn’t have to worry about rolling over little fingers.

In general, you want to keep cords out of reach and make sure kids can’t punch the power button on your computer. There was a time when I had to cover the power button on my desktop computer with cardboard because the pretty, shiny light was too attractive to my kids. Toddler-induced shutdowns are a bad thing!

Get anything else you don’t want the kids to reach in a safe place too.

Make It Fun

Once everything is productive for you and safe for your kids, make it fun for them. The more fun your kids can have, the more they’ll let you work.

Pick out special toys that your kids love but are just for when you need to work. I always liked to include an old keyboard when my kids liked to pretend they were working too. Young enough kids never notice that it isn’t attached to anything – in fact, we removed the cord too.

If you need quiet in your workspace, think carefully about how you set your child up. It will be hard enough to have quiet with them in there – don’t make it impossible with noisy toys.

Art supplies are a great choice once the kids are old enough. Set up an easel or small table with protection for the floor, and let your kids go at their favorite art supplies.

A chalkboard wall is another fun idea. Then your kids will have a space where they can draw on the wall.

A cardboard box playhouse can also be a great idea, and free, if you can find a large enough box. We’ve built them out of appliance boxes and boxes we had saved for us at home improvement stores. Cut some doors and windows, and kids have a great place to play and draw.

Don’t Forget A Spot For Naps

Young children fall asleep at the most random times. Make sure they can do that in your office too – you might just get some extra quiet work time you weren’t expecting.

A blanket and some pillows can help with this. Kids don’t mind sleeping on the floor, but you can add some cushions for them to curl up on if you want.

The blankets may also be good for making a blanket fort, which all children enjoy.

Make The Most Of Storage Space

Just because the kids play in there doesn’t mean your home office needs to fall into chaos. It’s okay if things get messy when the kids are actually playing, but you don’t want a mess all of the time. Set up enough storage space to put your things away as well as the kids’ toys.

Storage bins are great for children’s toys. They can handle odd shapes easily. Have a little fun with color to make the room more interesting for the kids.

Bookshelves and file cabinets can be a help too.

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t allow clutter to mess up your workspace. If a clutter problem develops, find a way to control it. Add more storage space if necessary and possible.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated February 20th, 2018

Home Office Features To Include So That You Will Love Your Work Space

Home Office Features To Include So That You Will Love Your Work Space

A well set up home office makes working at home much easier. It gives you a space to work that is all your own, for those times when you have to be completely focused. While there’s something to be said for working in other parts of the house or even somewhere else entirely, there are times that you can’t beat your home office. These home office features will help make it a comfortable and productive place to work.

We won’t discuss your computer in this post. You should get a good computer for your home office, probably a laptop if you work elsewhere as well. There are other things, however, that you will only use in your home office.

Dual Monitors

If you’ve never used dual monitors, you might be amazed by how much they help your productivity. The ability to have more things open and visible while you work is a huge help.

If your home office computer is a laptop, its monitor may be one of your dual monitors. In my experience, it’s not as nice as having two monitors side by side, but it works much better than having only the laptop monitor to look at.

An Ergonomic Office Chair

An ergonomic office chair will make working in your home office so much nicer. It should be a chair that you are comfortable in even when you work for hours at a stretch.

Your office chair is one of those things you should splurge on if you can. It will pay you back with years of comfortable work. There’s a lot to be said for keeping back pain at a distance as much as possible. You have to sit properly in it for the best effects, of course.

home office ideas

A Large Enough Desk

Your desk needs to be large enough to handle the demands you put on it daily. Can it handle the papers you put on it? All of your equipment?

If your desk can’t handle your daily work routine without feeling cluttered, it’s not big enough. Sometimes that can’t be helped, but do what you can. If your home office is in a small space, there’s only a little you can do.

I strongly recommend getting a sit-stand desk so that you can change positions throughout the day. It’s so nice being able to do that. There are a number of units now that you put on your desk which can raise and lower your monitor and keyboard as you decide to change your position.

Fast Wireless Internet

Fast wireless internet is vital in your typical home office. What would you do without it? Make sure your router is fast enough to handle the demands you put on it as you work as well as what others in your home may need it for.

Fast wireless internet also means you can work elsewhere in your home if you have a laptop or tablet. There will be times that you want that, most likely.

Sufficient Storage

What do you need to keep in your home office? Where will it go? If you can’t keep it organized, your home office needs more storage.

Think about what will work best for your needs before buying anything. Are bookshelves enough, or do you need a file cabinet?

Take full advantage of the space you have, especially if it’s a small home office. Get creative with your storage space if you’re running out of room. Don’t forget any extra space under your desk, so long as you leave enough room for your comfort.

home office ideas

Decor That Makes You Smile

Your home office should feature decorations that make you happy to be in there. It’s your personal workspace – have a little fun with it. It’s a part of your home as well as the place you work.

Just how much fun depends on whether or not someone else will see it while talking to you in a professional manner. No one sees my home office, so I have dragons on my desk. If I had to present a more professional workspace, they wouldn’t be there.

Don’t let your home office decor get in the way of a productive workday. If it’s in your way while you work, find a better place for it.

Paint your home office if you can. Choose a color that will make you comfortable while you work. You want something that helps you feel productive. You can look at the psychology of colors to help you choose something, or just go with one you like.

Great Lighting

A pleasantly lit home office is a great place to work. Natural light is great (so long as the sun doesn’t get in your eyes), but it’s not always enough. Open your window blinds during the day in your home office and let the natural light in while it’s available.

For the rest of the day, have enough light fixtures to provide a good level of lighting. You may want a task light on your desk as well, depending on what you’re doing.

If you want to get fancy with your lighting, look into the Philips Hue. These light bulbs will allow you to adjust your lighting from your smartphone or other smart home devices such as Amazon Echo.

A Door

I know not everyone can have a home office with a door. But if you can manage it, I highly recommend one.

This doesn’t mean your home office has to be a completely dedicated space. Many families can’t manage that. A home office in a guest room or your bedroom still has a door, and when you need to be productive, you should close it. The ability to close out the noise of the rest of the house is not to be underrated.

Minimal Distractions

As much as possible, keep the distractions out of your home office. That’s a part of what the door is for, but don’t go adding other distractions in.

This means no television, including starting something up on one of your computer monitors. It’s fun to watch a show while you work, but you won’t be very productive at all while it’s on, will you? Be honest with yourself. Keep the TV out of your home office in whatever form.

Do what you can to keep pets and other kids out too. A part of that is having a door you can close, but also make plans for when they come into your home office.

I have a spot set up for my cat to nap in my home office, for example. This way she doesn’t try to get on my lap too often. She likes her little bed.

A Great View

Just because you shouldn’t have a lot of distractions in your home office doesn’t mean you should avoid having a great view from it. It does your eyes good to look away from the computer monitor from time to time throughout your day.

If you can’t set your desk up so that it’s easy to look out the window, hang some wall art in your home office. You need something to look at when your eyes need a break from your computer monitor.

A Bit Of Exercise Equipment

A little exercise equipment can help you keep in shape while you work at home. A quick fitness break can help your productivity. Some equipment will make you stop working entirely to use it, but other things can be used while you work.

Equipment can be as simple as some hand weights, or as fancy as a walking desk. You may also want to consider an under desk elliptical. Any of these will allow you to mix some basic exercises into your work day.

Home office exercise equipment isn’t something to break your budget on, but it’s so nice to have. Getting enough activity in each day becomes so much easier.

Slippers

I love keeping a pair of slippers in my home office, especially in winter. I don’t wear shoes much indoors, so slippers keep my feet warm while I work. Cold feet are very distracting.

Share Your Favorite Home Office Features

What home office features do you value the most? What would you love to have that you don’t yet? Share your ideas.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated July 13th, 2016

My New Home Office Is Up And Running! SmartDesk Review

My New Home Office Is Up And Running! SmartDesk Review

It took longer than planned, but my home office is finally set up. Things took longer than planned due to a delay of shipment on my desk, but now I’ve got it! It’s so nice finally having a room where I can work and not be surrounded by the kids.

My desk is a sit-stand SmartDesk from Autonomous. So far I love it. The controls are easy to use and the desk goes up and down smoothly and quietly. There are programmable settings so that I can choose a height for it at the touch of a button. I like the way the desk looks, too.

smartdesk controls

I could wish for some desk drawers, but in my office they aren’t all that necessary – I have a wall of cabinets and drawers in here. Something right at the desk would be nice, but I can always get a file cabinet for that purpose.

standing deskThe desk is stable even though it’s on carpet. My carpet has excellent padding under it, which is nice when I stand. No matter the height I put the desk at, it doesn’t wobble at all. I’ve heard wobble is a problem with some standing desks, but that’s not a problem I have with mine.

Setup was a bit challenging but not all that difficult. The directions were almost entirely in picture form and it was sometimes a little hard to see what to do next. About all you have to do is put the screws in the right place, so it’s not that hard to figure out.. The desk is very heavy, so I had to have my husband help with parts.

The really neat part for me was that I was able to go out and pick up my desk directly from Autonomous. They’re currently located less than 10 miles from me in a town called Mentone. That saved me the shipping fee, which was a nice price break. That wasn’t an actual deciding factor for me in the purchase, as I had already decided on this desk, but it was a wonderful bonus.

I bought the most basic desk, but Autonomous offers some interesting upgrades for those who want more features. One accessory kit offers things such as a speaker, USB charger and wireless charger, while the other offers an AI Personal Assistant, Smart Home Controls and more. The top is real wood – mine is just painted black but you can have white, oak or walnut, or even a bamboo top. The price was only $299, which is much cheaper than other sit-stand desks of similar quality. Some options will increase the price.

My cats aren’t certain what to think of my SmartDesk. They’ve each had a ride on it, which didn’t frighten either very much but I don’t think they liked it either. I’ve put a folded blanket on one corner of the desk so that a cat can nap on my desk without being much in the way – we’ll see if that works or not. As my cats follow me everywhere in the house (I can’t even use the bathroom alone), I wanted to have a spot for them.

I will be adding a monitor to my current setup. I use a laptop right now, and while I can put my SmartDesk into an ergonomic typing position, that leaves the screen lower than is ideal. It should be easy enough to find a monitor and monitor arm to add to my setup. Eventually I’m thinking desktop computer and dual monitors but my husband isn’t yet convinced that I need to upgrade that much. We’re trying to go easy on spending (still getting used to the expenses of home ownership), but it will eventually come to the “this is a business expense, not a personal purchase” point, when I know it will be easier to afford.

My office chair is nice too. Comfortable and a bargain I couldn’t resist – $5 at a garage sale. It was a little dusty but works perfectly and is in great condition now that I’ve cleaned it up.

All in all, I love my new home office setup. I may decide to add a cat door so I can close the door without the cats scratching at it, but otherwise it’s working well.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated November 18th, 2015

How to Set Up a Productive and Comfortable Home Office

How to Set Up a Productive and Comfortable Home Office

One of the things I look forward to most in my new home is setting up my own home office. I haven’t had a space other than my bedroom to work where I can close the door if necessary before. The new house has a lovely room for an office with lots of cabinets and space. It will take some time before it’s fully functional as a home office – I don’t want to spend a ton of money so soon after buying a house. Still, it’s fun to plan ways to make my home office productive and comfortable.

Equipment

Your office equipment is the most important part of a good home office. Consider what you need for the work you do.

For me, the big thing is a good computer. I have a nice laptop, although with a home office I may eventually look into a good desktop system with dual monitors. There are times when it would be nice to have a second screen to work on.

Take the time to set up your equipment neatly. One of the most frustrating parts of my recent move was untangling all of the cords behind the entertainment center and at the computers. A few zip ties or velcro straps can get these under control. It also looks nicer.

A decent desk and chair are also important. These are things I would need to look for – the way things have been rearranged at the new house, there isn’t a spare desk for me, or an office chair. Kitchen chairs can be moved around, but they really aren’t comfortable for a work day and I do not want that as a long term solution. Short term, sure, I can handle that. Long term, ergonomics are important. The sooner your desk and chair are ergonomic, the better.

Consider ergonomics with your keyboard and mouse as well. The wrong setup will cut into your productivity and may cause physical pain.

You should also consider if you need a dedicated office phone line, video or audio recording equipment, a printer, and so forth. A carpet protection floor mat is important if your office chair is on carpet – it also makes rolling your office chair around more comfortable.

Lighting is important. Windows are great for natural light and maybe even a nice view, but you may need more, depending on the time of day. My office has a ceiling fan, so I’ll have gentle cooling and light in one, which is nice. It’s pretty, too. You may need task lighting for particular activities.

Storage

Sufficient storage matters in your home office. If you work almost entirely online, your storage needs may be minimal. On the other hand, you may have significant storage needs.

My office has storage that far outstrips my needs. There’s an entire wall of cabinets and shelves. These will be used for other things, not just my business needs. Pretty much the only thing it lacks is a file cabinet… good thing I already have one of those. Doesn’t match the cabinets, but I have one.

Think about the supplies you need daily, weekly, and so forth. Are they accessible? Will it interrupt your work to get supplies when you need them? Are they in the way when you aren’t using them? The organization and storage of your work supplies depends on your needs, and your setup should reflect that.

How Dedicated?

Not everyone can have a home office that is 100% a home office. Many use the space for multiple purposes – often a guest room. So long as you can use it exclusively most of the time, it can help you be more productive. Be aware of IRS rules for the home office deduction if you take it.

My new office will probably also be part library and part guest room. That mean bookshelves and a futon or sofa bed. We’ll see what we find. The big thing is that I will be able to work without being interrupted when I want.

Rules

Solid rules for when your family can come into your office are very important if you want to be productive in there. You don’t want to be interrupted for every little thing, yet you may want to be readily available to your family for the right reasons.

Talk about your expectations with your family. How much are you hoping to work each day? What hours? When can you be interrupted? What are your expectations of the other adults in the home?

These rules may vary by the ages of your children. An infant may well be in the office with you, a toddler may come and go fairly freely if you’re the only ones home, but as children get older they should be able to manage quite a bit without your help, and come in only for emergencies.

Don’t forget about friends and neighbors who might drop by during the day or call on the phone. Will you accept personal calls or drop in visits? The more you treat your home office as a professional working space, the more professional others will view you. That means you should expect your working hours to be respected just as they would if you worked outside the home.

Common Home Office Setup Mistakes

Setting up your home office wrong can limit your productivity. Try not to make these basic mistakes.

Having too many distractions in your home office is a big mistake. Don’t put a TV in there if you can help it. It’s much too easy to watch TV when you should be working.

Don’t let your kids’ stuff clutter your office. I’ve done this one, allowing my kids to put papers from school on my work desk. Big mistake – it’s better to have a place where children can put things that need your attention but won’t distract you while you’re working. Our new house has a small built-in desk that I’m using for mail and papers from the kids. I need to organize it better yet, but it’s an improvement over putting it all on my work desk.

Do personalize your space and make it pleasant to be in. Office plants, photos and basic decor can make your home office a much more pleasant place to work.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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