Four steps to the perfect home office

Working from home gives you the opportunity to set up an office that perfectly suits you and your business. Emma Jones offers her top four tips on creating the right environment.

1. Make some space – you’ll work much better if you have dedicated office space. That way, you can work without distraction, and close the door at the end of the working day. This space could be the spare room, the attic or even the garden shed. Working at the end of the garden path is becoming increasingly popular and the garden office industry is booming on the back of it.

Wherever you choose, make sure it has plenty of natural light and decorate it with soft tones of blues and greens as these colours will make a home office, and you, work particularly well.

2. Furnish – Once you’ve identified the space, whether inside or outside the house, it’s time to furnish it and the two most important pieces of furniture are those you’ll spend most time at – your chair and desk.

Buy a chair that is designed for computer use and try it out. Sitting awkwardly for any length of time will put your body under stress and make you work less efficiently, so make sure your chair is fully adjustable. Ideally, your feet should be flat on the floor and your back straight. Getting this right will make working from home so much more comfortable.

Invest in a good, sturdy desk that offers you sufficient working space and can also accommodate your computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse. The top of your monitor should be at eye level and the monitor itself about an arm’s length away.
Scale furniture to the size of the room to avoid any sense of claustrophobia and keep furnishings an inch or two away from the wall.

3. Cut out the clutter – it’s difficult to work effectively amidst chaos, so try to keep your workspace free of clutter. If necessary, invest in some good storage but always buy boxes with lids and make sure you label them well. If you have a lot of boxes or files it can be distracting so consider buying a screen or a box seat for visitors to hide them from view

4. Final touches – to make your home office complete, consider adding a plant to help reduce any feelings of isolation, or a vision board to remind you of your business goals and priorities each time you enter and leave the room. And a decent sound system to provide some background music or something to dance to when celebrating a new deal!

Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nation and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’

Enterprise Nation is racing to follow every home business on Twitter by Home Enterprise Day on Friday 20th November at

Emma Jones

Emma Jones is Founder and Editor of Enterprise Nation, the home business website. She has successfully started two businesses from home offices in London, Manchester and rural Shropshire.Following a career with an international accountancy firm, Emma started her first home based business at the age of 27 and successfully sold it just 15 months after launch.Redbrick Enterprises Ltd was founded in 2002 to advise the public sector on effective homeworking. Spotting a gap in the market to provide information and inspiration to homeworkers, Emma launched Enterprise Nation [], the home business website, in January 2006.The website is a free resource for people starting and growing a business at home and has a readership of more than 390,000 people. As well as site content, there is also a free fortnightly e-newsletter and podcast.Emma’s first book on how to start a business from home Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home will be published by Harriman House in May 2008.

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