Corina Manea

Want to Work from Home? Get Your Own Office!

By: Corina Manea | December 27, 2016 | 

Want to Work From Home? Get Your Own Office!There is this misconception that just because you work from home, you don’t actually need an office.

You may not need a built-in traditional office, but you do need a separate space.

You can go to a co-working space if you want, but I think it takes away the whole idea of working from home.

For the last couple of years, I’ve been working from home and I love it.

It’s safe to say I wouldn’t change it for anything.

However, it did not start this way.

I, as many others, thought to work from home meant you could work from your couch, bed, or kitchen table.

But after the novelty worn off, I found myself frustrated.

For each client meeting, I had to look for a place with enough light for them to see my face.

The background had also to be office-like, especially for business meetings.

You can’t show up (on the screen) for a client meeting with your bedroom or kitchen background.

It’s not professional, and it’s not comfy either.

But let’s back up.

Before looking at the how, let’s talk about why is important to have your own office at home.

Three Reasons You Should Create Your Own Office at Home

The first, most obvious reason is you will not be disturbed by visiting friends and family.

Not everyone understands that even though you are at home, you still have to work.

You don’t go all day binging on Netflix or hanging out on Facebook.

For decades our society made us believe that working means only going to a brick and mortar office.

But technology has given us the privilege to work from home.

This means you need a laptop, a Wi-Fi connection, and a smartphone.

Even though more and more companies have employees who work from home, the misconceptions persist.

Another reason you need your own office in your home is to create productivity.

We are creatures of habits, and we like to have personal things on our desk, arranged in a certain way.

We like to leave our mark on things around us.

When you don’t have an actual office in your home, you feel lost.

(That’s how I felt in the first few months of working from home.)

It takes a while until you find the place in your home you can sit all day, every day.

And when you’re in the groove, your kids or significant other may bump in and interrupt.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be disturbed when I am focused and “in the zone.”

But the most important reason you need an office when you work from home, is to get your brain used to it.

Our brains are very powerful computers, that can work for or against us.

When you have your own office at home, you tell your brain, this is the place where I need to be creative, I need to be productive and efficient.

What happens then?

Every time you go into that office, you will notice an increased focused, a “let’s do it” attitude that comes from within.

It’s a switch that happens in your mind every time you walk into your office.

Working from home is all about productivity and enjoying life more.

Why wouldn’t you want to have an office inside your home?

Now that we’ve established the why behind an office at home, let’s look at the how.

How to Create an Office When You Work from Home

Before you start telling me your home is tiny, let’s establish a thing: If you really want it, you’ll find a way.

If not, you’ll find an excuse.

Find a place in your home with natural light.

Feel the energy in the place. No, I am not going all ying-yang on you.

What I am saying is pay attention to how you feel in that place.

If you’re uncomfortable, the energy flow in that area is not good for you.

If you feel like it’s the space you’ve been looking for, you know what to do.

You may not find the perfect place right from the start.

You may set your desk in a space that makes sense, only to find out later you don’t like it that much.

Experiment until you find the right space for you.

It’s just like arranging your furniture. Some things seem like they belong in a certain space, others not so much.

I moved my office FOUR times in my home, until I found the perfect space in my home. So don’t give up.

Even if your home is small and you don’t have a spare room you can call office, you can still create your home office.

You need your own desk and chair in a space that inspires you.

Once you’ve found it, make it yours so, when you look at it, the first thing that pops to mind is: I love my office, I love to work from home.

That’s what I say (no kidding) every time I step into my office at home.

In time and with patience, your family will understand, that you’re working when you’re in that space, so they will stop disturbing you.

What other tips would you add?

image credit: unsplash

About Corina Manea

Corina Manea is the chief community officer at Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She works directly with Spin Sucks students and writes for the award-winning PR blog. She also is the founder of NutsPR. Join the Spin Sucks  community!

  • Pamela Maloney

    Get a real office chair. I spent 2 years working in different areas of my home and local community before I the progressive crook in my neck was unbearable and making me irritable and miserable. After complaining to my GP, she reminded me that I was an adult and should have some sort of an adult-style workspace. If you are planning to work full time from home, I’d recommend a real office chair and maybe an external monitor and keyboard for days when you know you are going to be locked down in your office space. If this doesn’t seem doable, look for yoga classes and a physical therapist instead.

    • Kate Nolan

      Seriously. A chair. I didn’t get one for about six months and things changed drastically once I had an actual office chair and not a dining room chair!

    • Jo Lynn Deal

      Yes, the chair is a big must-have. Everything changed for me physically and productively when I got the right chair. Now, I’m looking into the standing desks.

    • Great add, Pamela. The chair is SO important, especially when you spend many hours on it.

  • You can’t wear bunny slippers. Not that you have to wear stilletos, but I have definitely found that you still have to dress professionally on days you’re working from the home office. Your client can’t see that you have pajama bottoms on, but it definitely affects your attitude.

    • That’s so true, Rosemary. We project how we feel, whether we realize it or not.

  • paulakiger

    My current caregiver situation is driving my inability to do some of what you mention, Corina, but I totally agree with you! I have had more chiropractor visits since working from the dining room table than in the ten years prior (this relates to the ergonomic chair comment below). Once our situation changes and my FIL is no longer with us, I am hoping to move into a dedicated room. It does make a difference. // I do think I could like co-working though — I miss the rhythm of having people around who aren’t relatives — people who have their own interesting stories to weave into my day. Great piece.

    • Having your own space does make the difference, Paula. It did in my case in terms of focus and productivity. But it does not mean you can’t or shouldn’t do co-working. You can always combine home with co-working. As long as you’re happy and productive, that is all that matters. Let me know when you set your own home office and when you try co-working. Would love to hear what you think.

      • paulakiger

        I will keep you posted. 🙂

  • This reminds me of studying in college. Studying in bed was counterproductive and there were too many distractions when I studied at the kitchen table. Studying at my desk put me in the “lets get down to business” mindset. I think we have a tendency to distance ourselves from the skills we learned in school and try to figure it all out again. When really, we already have the good study/work habits, we just don’t transfer them to new scenarios.

    • So true, Hanna. We’re trying to reinvent the wheel. We should remember and apply those good habits from school.