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If your business is a physical location, then it probably makes sense for you to have your office there. Most of my clients have an internet-based business, not place-specific, and have the freedom to choose workspace locations. When you can manage your business anywhere, an office in the home will probably bring more bang for your buck.

There certainly are advantages to having a workspace in your home:

  1. No commute
  2. Tax deduction for a dedicated space, supplies, and equipment
  3. Little overhead
  4. Comfort
  5. You control the conditions (lightning, temperature, furniture)
  6. Set your own hours
  7. Available to your clients 24/7

And disadvantages:

  1. Available to your clients 24/7
  2. Isolation
  3. No one structures your day and workflow for you
  4. You must have strong boundaries separating business hours and space


So rather than casually setting up a spot in a random place, let’s talk about requirements for a workspace that’ll make your business hum.




Where you choose to situate your office is the most important consideration. In a perfect world, it would be in a separate room where you can close yourself in and out, establishing a clear boundary between work and home. Unused spare bedroom, attic, do you really need that dining room? Many people make what I consider the ultimate home office – a shed in the back yard. If that isn’t possible in your house, than use the largest space you can that can be delineated as your office.

Do you want to be among your family, or in a quiet place? Are you a solopreneur, or do you have a team who needs to come to you? Do you have clients who visit? In either case, a back yard studio (“shed”) might be ideal. Whatever you decide, make sure there’s a way you can close off the rest of the house for quiet, such as when talking on the phone with a client. You might enjoy working among household noise, but it won’t impress your clients when they hear kids arguing in the background, or to have to check your schedule for when your partner can run the vacuum.


Space and Power


Next, think about your space, storage, and equipment needs. How much storage space do you need? Things such as files, mail, office supplies, products. It’s usually best to store up, such as shelving, and stackable trays, and cubbies on the walls, leaving work surfaces free for essentials you need every day. How about electrical outlets? There never seem to be enough, so you might have to have an electrician add some. Plan for more than you think you need.

Lighting is an often overlooked necessity. If possible, place your work space in a spot near a window. It’s amazing how natural lighting improves your mood and productivity. If there is no source of natural light, then some well-placed light fixtures will be needed. Try them out in a store if you can. Make sure your lighting is the right brightness for your eyes. Too dim and too bright can both cause tired eyes. Soft lighting is much more pleasant than harsh, direct, florescent lights, for example. There are so many different types of bulbs available – incandescent, florescent, LED……and many colors, from bright white to warm.




The furniture in your workspace is a reflection of your business. While it might be tempting to squash a folding table into an empty closet, that kind of environment won’t likely inspire you every day. How much work space do you need? If you have to lug out the table every time you want to work, you’ll feel tired before even starting your actual work! Do you need a work table such as for an artist, engineer, architect? Do you need room for folders, artwork, samples, paints, reference books, portfolios? Do you need book shelves? Remember, everything in your work space should reflect and promote your business, and help to keep you focused. It’s super important to have easy access to everything you need, when you need it. So make sure there’s a place for everything, and everything in its place. Clutter wastes time and drains your energy. Your furniture should serve you. Think of your workflow, and what you need within reach.

Organizing vertically saves valuable square footage. Instead of piles of papers on your work space that have to be moved every time, vertical stacking shelves can tame the wild papers.

Invest in a chair your bottom will love. I used to have an antique chair with a wooden seat. Even though it was shaped to cradle one’s bum, I used to have to stand up just to get the blood circulating in my legs. Go to a store that sells office furniture and try different chairs. Don’t forget good back support, too! Every body is different, so find one that fits you.




Paint the walls a color that makes you feel good. For some, that might be Earth tones of brown, deep green, and ocean blue. For others, soft colors like sage, peach, or a delicate pink. Still others might find energizing colors like bold orange and red gets their energy level up. To find the right color(s), tape some sample cards onto your walls for a few days. Let natural light cycle through several times, as colors can look strikingly different depending on the time of day and weather.

Try to place your desk so it faces a window to give yourself a nice view. If there’s no window, then have it facing the doorway. Just something to look at beyond the walls of the room. It’s good for your mind and your eyes.

Treat yourself to a few lovely items that reflect your personality. Photos of people you love, beautiful fabric you found on vacation, sea shells, heart-shaped stones, you children’s drawings in a frame, your mother’s jewelry box. Little conversation pieces that light you up whenever someone asks you about them. They’re beautiful little pieces of you.

There’s not a whole lot you can do to make your electronics beautiful, but you can do things like keep the cords neat and out of sight (nothing is worse than having to unplug your equipment and not being able to find where it’s plugged in!). There are cord organizers of all kinds out there, so finding some to fit your needs should be easy.

One more idea – display your mission statement, your “Big Why.” On days when you need a huge dose of inspiration, it will remind you why you’re doing all of this!





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