Judy Heminsley the author of Work from Home and founder of workfromhomewisdom.com shares her secrets on creating an inspiring home workplace…
The perfect home workspace?
I’ve noticed that articles about home working usually insist you must have a separate workspace, to mark the distinction between work and home. Having spoken to many home workers with all kinds of home working arrangements, I don’t believe this is the case at all. Just because you don’t have a spare bedroom or handy attic doesn’t mean you can’t work from home perfectly happily and productively.
I’ve come across people who have spent lots of time, effort and money setting up a swanky home office, with expensive furniture and all the accessories, only to realise the minute they sat down at their shiny new desk that they’d never work there because they felt too cut off. So they ended up at the kitchen table.
Very, very bad, say those articles, and guaranteed to ensure loss of reputation, professional failure, and severe wobbling in the work/life balance department. I’d say that depends on many other factors than simple location, factors that are different for all of us. It depends on what you do, what industry you’re in, where you live, whether you have family at home, what your commitments and habits are, your personality etc etc.
The key thing in successful home working is not a well-equipped office, it is understanding yourself well enough to know what makes you happy and productive. For example, how much peace and quiet you need and when, whether your spouse/children are willing or able to provide it, how you feel in different parts of your house, where the sun comes in (very important in winter for mood as well as warmth) and so on.
Yes, of course you need a surface to work on, a chair to sit on and storage, though even the latter may not be crucial if you truly work online. But these can be positioned in surprising places – under the stairs, in a bay window, out in the shed, on the landing. Home workers are endlessly inventive and work in all sorts of environments, so don’t let the lack of an obvious workspace put you off working from home.
Cover photo: Stephen Coles