by Sandra Beck
There are a few things to think about when you are setting up your home office. There are some minimilist people — let’s call them freaks — these are the people who carry around a pretty little bag (usually crocodile embossed) computer bags and say things like – isn’t the computer wonderful? all I need to run my business is this? Then they hold up the bag and I usually try not to punch them.
I am a little slips of paper, multiple spiral pads, pink, yellow and blue ink pen kind of worker. Buried under my mounds of papers are fancy colorful clippies, highlighters, gum and a few Thomas Trains. Mine is a full time office and I have actually moved to a new house to accommodate my business. I rarely see clients, only the virtuals who come to pick up work. I have no need to be neat and no need to have an office that is perfect for a client visit.
Some of you might not be so lucky. When you need to see clients, you need to make sure your office is presentable and that they have somewhere to sit. I find that the two client chairs I do have fit the bill. I got them at www.homedecorators.com and they are parsons chairs with fabric slipcovers. Initially I bought them for my virtuals to sit in and they do. Mostly they hold bags, jackets and the sticky remains from my kids last visit. Slipcovers allow me to change the look – though I haven’t and to put them in the wash (which is like weekly).
The thing is — you need to think about how much time you will be in the space. The part time office that is only used once a week or for a few minutes every other day may be a space that you can put in a box or a shelf and pack away. Like I have set up in my kitchen. My full time office is in a storage room that was part of the new home.
I have built in desks and wall units to hold my stuff. I lock the door when I leave because my kids are fascinated with everything sharp, important and that belongs to my clients. Being able to shut the door at the end of the work day or work period is a relief.
Some of my mom friends share a home office in one of the woman’s home. This is a unique choice that would personally drive me nuts, but for some, it might give them the comraderie they need.