Not everyone has the space to set up their own home office in a separate room. If you find that you would like to work at home but are worried that you will not be as productive without a home office, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that your day and your business run as smoothly as it would if you had the home office space.
Clear Out a Closet
I run my “home office” primarily from my kitchen. I have a laptop set up on my table and I cleared out my main walk in closet to use it as my office space. I went to the dollar store and stocked up on plastic filing trays, and all of the standard office equipment such as pen holders, stickers, a hole puncher, file folders with labels, and everything else I thought I would need. I also have four shelves. One has business books for reference, another shelf has my in and out work trays and my mail basket, the third shelf has all of my assorted office supplies and the fourth shelf has my all in one printer and supplies. I have 2 stacked cardboard filing boxes with hanging file folders, all labeled for my client work on the floor in the space beside my shelves.
Use Any Available Wall Space
I have a big bulletin board tacked up on my wall close to my back door. On this I have a calendar, reminder notes, schedules, and other odds and ends that I can look at with a glance and be reminded of what I need to do. I have a row of clipboards hanging on pegs beside the board for day to day work for each client I am presently dealing with for that week. I have a mail bag hanging on another hook for packages and things that need to go out to the UPS delivery service. I make the most of the wall space, because it is valuable space too!
Get Organized on Your Computer
Get the most from the programs you use online and offline. For your email, create as many folders as you need to keep track of all correspondence with clients, customers, service companies, sub contractors, or any other essential persons you deal with in your business. On your computer, keep all of your completed work or notes in separate folders for each client.
Print them off every month and keep a hard copy in your filing cabinet, or if you prefer to use flash drives or CDs, burn a back up of your files on a disk in a regular routine. This way, you will never lose your clients important information or completed work. I also upload any files to my server that I think I may need but do not want to be bothered digging through burnt CDs or my flash drive for. Also, if I am working on something and a client pops online asking for a particular file, I can simply send them a url to download the file themselves.
A home Office Is Not a Home Office Essential
If you are creative and organized, there is certainly no reason why you cannot effectively run a business without a separate room for a home office. With the help of the programs available for free online, you can store and save files, manage your invoices or other paper work without the need to keep physical paper files if you don’t want to. A place for your laptop, a comfortable chair, and a few shelves and you should be ready to get down to business and make some money.