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The Home Office That Works

Posted: February 21, 2012

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Women who work from home can boost their productivity by setting up a comfortable and efficient workspace at home.

By Prerna Malik

For most career women, the office and home tend to overlap. Whether you’re a high-powered executive who brings home projects from work or a working mother with a home-based business, chances are you have a niche that you use to work in.

A home office can be a dedicated room with a door that shuts out the television and the household sounds or it could be an area in your dining room. Regardless of how big or small your home office is, here are ways to organize and improve it to boost your own productivity and efficiency:

Organizing is a working woman’s best friend

You can increase your productivity at work instantly by keeping your home office organized and clutter-free. Have a system that helps you to deal with paperwork and project work. Whether it is a workflow system or a simple “File, Trash, Act” system, make sure you don’t let paper clutter pile up and files get disorganized.

Sangeeta S Bahl, Founder and Director of Impact Image Consultants and a working mother is a firm believer in dealing with mail as it comes in. She says, “Handle mail within 24 hours and you’ll never have paper clutter to deal with.

Organizing is also key when it comes to your desk. Since I have a small working area (read, my dining table), I have to make sure that everything on it helps me to work quickly and easily. So, I have a small basket with stationery supplies, a tray for files and paperwork, and a shelf for books.

You can increase your productivity instantly by keeping your home office organized and clutter-free.

A place for everything

Your home office can quickly sap your productivity if every single moment is spent hunting for something or the other. Not only that, it can really impact a working woman’s mood and make her very irritable indeed. That is why, you need to make sure you have a place for everything and everything in its place.

A few ideas to help you improve space management in a home office are:

– Shelves: Invest in a few smart bookshelves that can go up on the wall or stand in the corner so that you can stash your reading material, boxes of stationery and other important things easily and quickly.

– Boxes: To hold papers, stationery supplies and miscellaneous items. These can be both artistic and functional. You can get several affordable and attractive options from most office supply stores.

– Filing Cabinet: If your business involves a lot of paperwork, it would be a good idea to invest in a filing cabinet so that you can keep all important papers organized and safe. Bahl went a step further and got herself some beautiful foldable file folders that not only organize her filing but also look aesthetic.

– Labels: To help you remember where everything is and where everything goes. I use premade ones but you can easily use a marker and label things by hand.

Sit right; work better

The right kind of furniture can make a HUGE difference to the way a working mother works and feels. Investing in a good, ergonomically designed chair and desk can not only boost productivity but also make staying pain-free possible for women at work while at home. In Bahl’s office, the furniture also includes a sofa along with the desk. She recommends investing in office furniture that is workable to make your work time easier and more efficient. 

Aesthetics and technology do matter

At the end of the day, a busy career woman should enjoy working in her home office. So, make sure it looks pretty and appealing to the eye. A vase of flowers, a few photos of fun holidays or some great artwork on the wall can really help keep you inspired and motivated as you meet clients or deal with deadlines. Manika Awasthi, a working HR professional and busy mom, has books, pictures and photos to brighten up her home office and keep her inspired and energized.

At the end of the day, a busy career woman should enjoy working in her home office.

Awasthi, also, strongly recommends investing in technology. A reliable, high-speed Internet connection, a laptop with the right configuration for your work and a smart phone, she feels, are the best ways to make your home office a productive space.

Regardless of the space you have for an office, a few simple improvements to your workspace at home can make it the best, most productive place for YOU – the multi-tasking, ever-on-the go career woman.

*Photo credit: nkeppol

About The Author: Want to get more insights into boosting productivity as a working mom? Check out Prerna Malik’s latest eBook How to be a Work-at-Home Mom: The Happily Ever After Guide to Leading the WAHM Life, or find her dishing tips to manage home and a busy work-at-home life at The Mom Writes.

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