We all achieve more when we're comfortable. That's why creating a comfortable, welcoming home office where you can be efficient and creative is critical to success -- whether you work from home, own your own business, or just bring work home every so often.
In today's economy, more and more people are starting home businesses as a safety net against job loss, cutbacks and pay cuts. If you're going to launch a business, give yourself the best chance of success with a home office you can love.
Even if you just use this study space for paying bills, it can still play a big role in your family's financial success. Follow these seven steps to create a home office that can turn you into a money magnet.
1. Decorate with an emphasis on “home,” not “office.” When you're choosing colors, style, even a desk and chair for your home office, remember this is still a room in your home. That means you have the last word in all decor choices. You might choose to match colors or design styles with the rest of your home so the office feels as if it belongs in the space.
2. Let pictures tell the story - Rather than just a few snapshots of your kids on your desk, feel free to decorate entire walls with family photos. You might choose inspirational quotes to fill another wall, and pictures of people you admire on a third. Whatever you decide, remember it's your space.
3. Get comfortable. - Rather than a boring chair mat, place something more fashionable, and comfortable, beneath your feet, such as a do-it-yourself rubber mat covered in a fabric you love. Or shop around until you find a mat in a style you like. You're only setting up space for one worker, not 20 or 100 or even more, so this means you can splurge, rather than skimp. With this in mind, select the office chair that feels most comfortable to you ... and always think “up.” The leather executive chair is a good, solid investment in your future because, in your home office, you ARE the boss. You can read about how to select a Feng Shui chair here.
4. Choose lighting that works for you. - Overhead florescent lighting is proven to give many people headaches. Select the same type of lighting you use throughout your house for your home office. It will help create a sense of flow throughout your whole home or apartment. Natural lighting from opening blinds and curtains is always best during the day, so make sure to position your computer monitor so you don't experience glare. Recessed LED lights on dimmers are energy efficient and stylish. Or you can go with several lamps for task lighting.
5. Organize your technology. - In Feng Shui, electronic equipment gives off a lot of yang energy. If you're surrounded by a computer, printer, speakers, and mobile electronics all day, you may begin feeling confused, overwhelmed or even too restless to work. Temper this sense of disorganization by keeping wires and plugs managed with technology storage solutions to manage cables, wires and power cords.
6. Bring in the green. - Yes, your home office can turn you into a money magnet, but that's not what I mean. Bring live plants and fresh cut flowers in to your home office to introduce positive life chi. A flourishing plant, or five stalks of live bamboo tied with a red ribbon, in the wealth corner of the ba gua brings good luck in a Feng Shui home office.
7. Welcome pets ... and music. (But possibly not the kids!) - Most businesses frown upon bringing a dog or cat to work. But if you're more comfortable working with your furry friends by your side, welcome them in to your home office. You might even give them their own carpet or bed to encourage them to stay and relax.
Similarly, don't hesitate to crank up the tunes if you work better with anything from classical to rock and roll playing. This also helps to block out noise and distractions from neighbors and family -- especially the kids -- if you tend to work while others in your home are having fun.
On that note, you may choose to turn your home office into a “no-kid-zone.” But if you find your children can respect the fact that your office is a “quiet space,” give them a small area of their own. Add a small desk or table and chair to the room, where they can do their own homework or even color and do craft projects, while you work.
Kids or no kids? Pets or no pets? Music or quiet? It's all your choice. That's the freedom you have in your home office -- to decide what works best for you and your family and create a space that encourages and nurtures those habits.
In the comments below, tell me where you're at with your office. What's the single biggest action step you'll take as a result of the tips above.
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