This article is a bit different from all my other, but I hope it will be helpful for you in these difficult times. It will give you some information about how to organize your home workspace, how to measure it and how to create a proper work at home climate.
If you are following my blog you know that my husband and I travel a lot. This is because of his business and because of our agreement to not separate. A lot of relationships have been destroyed because of the separation you know. To follow him, I had to leave my job and to organize my own business. My hobby has become my work.
So, at this moment our main “base”, our “home” is in Europe, but we actually live there less than two months before the next flight comes along. Four times per year we travel to Australia for one month and all the other times we are in different countries in all the continents except Antarctica -for a week or two or only for 3-4 days. And because I am a small craft business owner, I need to organize my craft space in all these Airbnb places or hotel rooms we stay in. And do you know what? It is not difficult. You just need to follow some simple steps.
And don’t forget, we are talking about a craft business, which means travelling with a lot of tools and materials. Probably yours is not, so for you it will be a lot easier. Only once I made the mistake of trying to find materials on arrival and it was a huge time loss. It was in Dubai and following a necklace of unhappy events, we eventually we found the craft shop I needed, and it was great! But we lost almost a whole day! Imagine losing so much time when your clients are impatient! Not nice! So, I learnt my lesson and travel with a 1/3 of my luggage full of tools and materials. All of which I have to organize in the next hotel room or airbnb place. But this is not your situation. You will be working from home, so you just have to consider what you need from your “office-office” and move it in your “home-office”.
Sounds like a strategy game, doesn’t it!
First – find the proper space
Americans are lucky in this situation. Most of you guys have huge houses, compared to the European style of living in apartments. So, you really can find a space in your home. Maybe in the dining room, in the guest bedroom, in the basement… The most important thing is to have a window with real day light and, if possible, somewhere you will not hear distractions. Also, you need the possibility of fresh air – not just relying on AC, but also by opening the window for not less than 30 minutes twice per day.
It must be a space where you normally spend little time. This is why, for me, the guest bedroom or the basement are the best places. A lot of women have big laundries and as a mother and wife who has worked from home for years, I can tell you this is a very good area to create a home office too. If you have enough space, of course. It is very relaxing to listen to the washing machine doing its job, while you are doing your own. Its monotonous noise reduces intrusion of other noises from the house and the street and can create a meditative space around you. For me it is wonderful for concentration. Even now, while I am writing this text, my washing machine which lives under the bench top in the kitchen, is working and because our small apartment has an open plan layout of kitchen and dining room, I can hear it very well.
How to measure your home workspace
Look at the following picture. Actually, you don’t need a huge space. But you need it to be comfortable. It is important to have enough space to stretch your legs while sitting and to stand up and stretch your body without leaving your workspace.
It depends on how many files, etc that you will need to move to home, but clearly, you will need enough space to organize them and to reach them without extra stretching. As someone with a back injury I can tell you that unexpected body twisting can wreck your whole your workday and maybe even the whole next month or two. Keep the simple ergonomic rules. Choose the most comfortable chair or if necessary, order one. If needed use pillows to make it as comfortable as possible.
Stay home, be safe and enjoy your new workspace!
To be continued in Part II…
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Thank you for helping me! ♥
If this situation makes you think more about starting a home based business, maybe my book Work from home will be interesting for you.
There are also some ideas in my article 20 things you must do before starting a home-based business – Part II.