For mothers who work from home, boundaries, both literal and figurative, are the most important building blocks to your success. However, boundaries are often hard to maintain, especially under one roof. This is where a dedicated office space comes in handy. And not just any space; A space that you can have to yourself, with design and décor that promotes productivity. Here’s how to go about setting it up.
Evaluate the space you have
The first step is establishing the physical boundary in which you intend to work in. Not all mothers will have a spare room to work with, so if that is the case, assess other areas that you can re-vamp. For privacy, you can install a partition or an “off-limits” time frame for family use. An extra space in the bedroom can suffice, but be careful to keep it as separate as possible. If you aren’t convinced that a bedroom work zone is not ideal, check out this argument in Daily Life.
Add some space
If you find that you simply cannot accommodate an office space at home, explore some other options. Satellite offices are increasingly popular and are a good option for hours-long work sessions. But if you’re looking for something more consistently available, look into renting a space of your own. You can contact your real estate agent for assistance, or easily find heaps of leasable office spaces in Gumtree’s real estate listings. Plus, having an offsite office has some added perks, too. You won’t have any noisy interruptions from your family and they won’t be able to easily knock on your door to disrupt your workflow at will.
Set your hours
Create a schedule and stick to it. These are the hours that you intend to spend working in your office, without interruption. Make sure that your family is aware of this and emphasize its rigidity, barring emergencies.
Keep the time
Two of the first items to install in your home office are calendar (preferably a desk calendar or large wall mounted one) and a clock. Part of being a mother means having planning, scheduling, and time management superpowers that keep you and your family on track. And while these items may be in your workspace, it’s important to integrate them with your family’s needs, lest you find yourself double-booked between a client meeting and a soccer match.
Adopt an organizational system
Be meticulous in keeping your space tidy. Your office space won’t do you much good if it’s too messy and cluttered to find anything. Invest in some shelving, storage bins, and filing systems to help keep you focused.
Decorate with intention
Use décor to your advantage. Choose elements that will promote creativity, productivity, and a sense of calmness. You can achieve these vibes by adding some plants, painting the walls a cool hue, or allowing the natural light to flood in. And when it comes to furniture, opt for seating that is ergonomic and comfortable. Top it off with some personal touches, like family photos and your favorite artwork. If you’re strapped for ideas, head over to Pinterest to browse endless office décor inspiration.
Don’t forget your pets
If you have cats or dogs that stay home with you while you work, you may not want to exclude them from your workspace. But getting up every five minutes to bend to their will can be pretty interruptive, too. Consider leaving a window open for the cat, or the door ajar for the dog. You can even install a pet door within your office door if you feel so inclined.
An effective home office space comes down to boundaries and atmosphere, whichever way you prefer to implement them. Some mothers may not mind being interrupted, and other may find that they don’t get much done without unbroken concentration. Some may find that a sparse office area helps them to focus, while others may enjoy some personal knick-knacks lining the desk. But whatever your preferences, these tips can help make the most out of your space, with any personal style.