How To Set Up a Home Office or Coworking Space

See also: Motivation for Freelancers

You have the freedom to perform your duties without commuting to the company office. However, it's still important for you to create a work setting that fosters productivity. Whatever measures you take to accomplish this goal will depend on your personal circumstances.

Do you plan to work alone or with others?

Does your job require a rigid schedule or a more flexible one?

If you know of other work-from-home colleagues near your location, you could opt to share your work space inside your home or other facility.

Here are a few tips to get you started toward creating an effective and cohesive home office or co-working environment.

Finding the Right Location

Think of creating a "space within a space".

The location should ideally be somewhere that is non-invasive, for the most part, to the activity taking place in other parts of the home. Upscale or downscale your home office according to your home's square footage. This not only requires choosing the office's dimensions but also involves making it ergonomically comfortable.

Make sure your work space affords you enough room to stretch your legs and is manoeuvrable. If it's better to work on a roomy table, choosing an L-shaped desk is a good choice. Another option is to choose a desk integrated with file drawers to cache paper clips, pens, folders, and binders. Look for ergonomic furniture pieces that are both beautiful and functional in contemporary, shabby chic, or artisan styles.

Using the Right Tools

Building an office from scratch takes careful planning, skill and creativity.

In order to build and design an office or Makerspace properly you'll need to use the right tools. You have the option to customize your own set or buy a toolbox. Take care to learn how to use manual as well as power tools properly and safely.

If you don't feel comfortable doing a building project on your own, invest in professional services. It's cheaper to have the job done correctly the first time when installing shelves, cabinets, and work desks than to correct a poorly constructed work space in the future.

Use Natural Light

You can help the environment, and save energy and money, by using natural light.

A great view from a large window not only uplifts you and your co-workers' mood but also saves a considerable amount of money compared to using overhead lamps and other lighting accessories. Use plants to increase oxygen levels and reduce tension. Choose wall colors and office decor that energize or relax you.

If it's not possible to install a window in your office, hang pretty paintings, abstract wall art or mirrors to reflect light and provide the illusion of being in a larger work space. Remember, position your computer(s) in such a way that prevent glare from a window or overhead light, and place a mini lamp on your work station for task lighting.

Stay Comfortable

The main way to keep your operations running smoothly is to create a comfortable, nurturing work environment.

Pick a work chair that cushions your body correctly to prevent back and neck pain as well as muscle fatigue. If possible, create a space that allows you to sit in front of your computer if you need to.

Adding a sofa or chair for relaxation is a great way to take breaks in between your work schedule. It's a huge inconvenience running out of printing paper or ink, so make sure these items and other office essentials are well stocked in accessible labeled storage compartments.


Personalizing your office with favorite family pictures, keepsakes, novelty items or framed famous quotes isn't exactly necessary to function throughout your work day.

However, it can bring inspiration, confidence and a level of warmth to a professional setting. Be careful not to add so much paraphernalia that will cause you to lose your focus and disrupt your line of sight.

Keep Your Office Tidy!

Routinely cleaning your office keeps it free from clutter, dust and debris.

This is especially important if you or your co-workers suffer from allergies. It also prevents office equipment from overheating.

Check wires and cords for signs of wear and tear to prevent fires and regularly inspect your software. It's suggested to lift cords off the floor with tubing, desk cord winders, or with a wire organizer that's attached to the desk. Position equipment close to outlets that is accessible and can be easily unplugged if necessary.

Optimize Your Performance With Apps

Professionals working alone or with co-workers can optimize every aspect of their work performance using apps to manage tasks, share files, invoice and record, pitch projects, track finances, and perform cloud services, to name a few.

Choose apps that provide the most benefit to create a seamless and secure functioning office.

Here are examples of useful apps that will make your life simpler, more productive, and more successful:

  • Trello

    Trello adapts to your workflow and project intensity. You can upload files from Google Drive and sync it to Toggl. Signing up for Trello's best features is free.

  • Evernote

    Evernote is a very user-friendly app that works across all devices to build amazing content. The app is available offline and allows you to share and saves ideas sent by emails, text, images or documents. It even captures words scribbled within your notes.

To find these apps, just Google them. And you don't have to stop there: search for yourself and find those apps that will help you with your day-to-day assignments.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and Running Your Own Business

The Skills You Need Guide to Self-Employment and
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If you are thinking about running your own business, or already do so, but feel that you need some guidance, then this eBook is for you. It takes you through self-employment in easy steps, helping you to ensure that your business has more chance of success.

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Building your own work studio can usually be accomplished in a very short period of time.

The way your office environment looks, feels, and even smells directly affects the quality of your production. So, it's important for your work space to be visually appealing, ergonomically comfortable, well-lit, and free of dust, debris and clutter.

If your job entails you give your undivided attention to do a task, consider designating a quiet area for this purpose. Keep track of your office supply inventory and make sure everything you need is well stocked.

Specialized apps can help keep different elements of your business running smoothly to increase productivity and keep everyone happy and focused. Ensure that your office space can handle heavy traffic and multiple tasks.

About the Author

Jeff E. Brown is a freelance writer and a self-taught handy man with a knack for life-hacking and DIY projects, and is always on the lookout for the latest developments in tech.