Whether you are running your own business or working as a remote worker for a larger company, success is dependent on a wide variety of factors. One of the biggest factors, however, is self-motivation. Obstacles to self-motivation will vary from person to person so it’s important to understand what helps you work best and what keeps you from doing your best work. Some people will actually be more productive in a traditional office environment, while others find it more difficult to do their best work from home. One of the best parts about working from home, however, is the freedom you have to set up your own home office in a way that works best for you. Here are 5 steps to setting up a workspace at home that works just right for you.

1. Select the Best Spot to Do Your Best Work

If you live alone, you may have more options for a home office than if you have a big family or busy home. Having said that, however, it’s perhaps even more important to select your space based on your needs if the interior of your home provides a lot of distractions. If you live in a busy home with other people, you may consider trying to renovate the garage or create a dedicated office space in the basement or attic. At the very least, you might want to renovate a room in your home as a dedicated office. Even if you live alone, it’s important for both tax and efficiency reasons to have a dedicated room in your home as an office.

2. Plan Out How to Use the Workspace to Your Best Advantage

Planning your workspace is particularly important if you are renovating a room or dedicated space for your office or using a room that will do double duty as something else. While some people may want to place their desk in front of a large picture window with a view, others may find this more conducive to daydreaming and may need to face away from the window. Some people may want to place their desk near a wall where they can have handy access to a bulletin board, while others may want to “float” their desk in the center of the room. If your office will need to do double duty as a guest bedroom, you may want an armoire desk that can be shut away when you have visitors. Another thing to consider is whether you want a dedicated business desktop or a portable laptop. If you want a dedicated office desktop, this will affect how you arrange your space because of various cables and cords. Even using a laptop will still have an effect on your layout because even a laptop still needs to be plugged in.

3. Design a Space That Will Help You Function Best

Planning your workspace involves laying it out in a way that works best for you, designing it involves adding in all the elements that will help you be your most productive. Some people work best in a wide, open space with minimal furniture and accessories, while others needs bookshelves, storage cabinets, file drawers and a range of accoutrements. Some people prefer their office to be decorated in cool, calming colors, while other want something bright and cheerful to greet them in the morning and usher them through the day. There are no shortage of design ideas the internet, so do some research to find a style that works best for you.

4. Equip Your Space

Once you have planned out your space and determined a color scheme and what kind of accessories you need to function best, the next step is to get it all set up. This includes choosing the right furniture and all of the accessories you decided you might need, such as a desk, bookshelves, filing cabinets or a bulletin board. Perhaps one of the most important office accessory you will need to invest in is your chair. You will probably spend a great deal of time in your office chair, so not only do you not want to scrimp on your office chair, but you probably want to also test out several chairs in person before choosing one. While there is nothing wrong with ordering a chair online that you’ve thoroughly tested out, there is just no substitute for sitting in it a while to make sure it’s going to be comfortable over the long haul.

5. Lock It Down and Keep It Safe

Having a home business or working from home means safety is now your responsibility. Making your workspace safe and secure means protecting it both digitally and physically. Sometimes, this means protecting expensive business equipment from family members as well. Regardless of whether you choose a laptop or desktop computer, you will most likely want to have a dedicated business computer. You will also want to make sure your home network is secure by using a dedicated password and maybe setting up an entire separate account on your WiFi network. You might also consider investing in cameras and a heightened home security system, especially for your office.

Working from home can have a number of great advantages, but it can also be more difficult than working in a traditional office. The biggest key is understanding what helps you function most efficiently and creating the right space to facilitate that.

BIO: Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about latest apps and gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows. You can reach him @bmorepeters

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