Thursday, November 15, 2007

Invest in a clutter-free desk

Sick of your 9-to-5 job? Want to prioritize your day by what you think is important? Feel like working in your pajamas? There are endless reasons why Americans want to work from home. According to WorldatWork, a human resource company that specializes in employee retention, 12.6 million Americans work from home at least one day a week.

According to Moira Allen, editor of, workspace is the key to efficiency at home. "I found that the most important feature in my home office was a layout that gave me a sense of pleasure in 'coming to work,'" she explained. "If your office is awkward, or dark, or poorly laid out, or just plain ugly, it can be a deterrent." She recommends quality furniture and a comfortable chair.

Function is also important. If you can dedicate an entire room to working, you'll be much more able to block out the world and focus on your work. As an added bonus, you can also write a home office off on your taxes. If this isn't possible, try for a dedicated section. Make your workspace off-limits to family members, and set up a system to inform them when you are working and not to be disturbed.

Finally, have the tools of the trade readily available. "Things that you use less often can be stored in some other part of the house," Allen said. "But you don't want to have to jump up and run to a closet every time you need to load paper in the printer. Eventually you'll sort out those things that need to be close at hand, and those that don't."

This article originally appeared in Boston NOW on November 15, 2007.

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