Monday, November 2, 2009

Thinking Of Starting Your Own Thing? Create A Workspace.

This is Lisa Congdon's space via ShareSomeCandy
A comment on a post I recently did about working from home made me really start thinking about the home office and what should go in it. I have actually failed at several home offices because I made them like I thought I should make them instead of what worked for me.
This is a pitfall of the freelancer, location independent, and avid blogger. I have this idea in my mind about what the home office should be like and then I don't really use it because it's not my space it's just an idea of a workspace come to life. Artists are great at creating studios to work in so I took a note from them:
Build your dream workspace, but get some ideas first.
Take a few minutes and look at these and these and decide which of these places makes you feel inspired.
For me, I like to have tons of cool pictures, articles, and toys around me when I work. I dislike living in a cluttered place but for my workspace I don't mind at all.
Throw out ideas like "I have to have a desk" or "There must be a file cabinet". Your workspace should reflect not only the type of work you do but also how you like to feel while you come up with ideas. I love the feel of an artists studio so I have lots of art magazine pages ripped out and around me when I work. A desk doesn't do anything for me so I don't use one.
Some good things to consider are:
Corkboard. I love corkboard because you can put things up and take things down however frequently you want to. You can also spray paint them to look more interesting if you want.
There are magnet boards that do much the same thing - IKEA has some great ones for $12. You could potentially cover an entire wall in these and have a mood board that you can change and design every day if you wanted to.
If you are a traveler, you could put up pictures of your next dream trip location. Does having a mood board increase productivity? I can't prove it but I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy having a cup of coffee and working next to things that make you feel inspired more than a cubicle wall.
Create your "office" in a room you use. This part was really important for me. I hate going into a room and closing the door to work. It's why I work so well in coffeeshops, background noise helps me concentrate. If you set up your space in a room you use you can make your office part of the scenery. There's going to be work/life blend with location independent work
so I just embrace it and work in a room where I can work and live.
The bottom line to creating a good workspace is to have all of the tools you will need plus an environment that keeps you motivated and inspired. If anyone's got any other good home office tips post them in the comments!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Andre Blackman said...

Thanks Caitlin! This going to come in handy very soon. Keep up the great work.

November 3, 2009 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger Royce said...

This got so many ideas going through my head that I needed to re-blog it on FIWK and get some discussion going about it.

I like how you went in a more free-form route without a desk, something I probably wouldn't be able to do. But just having your own space to work in is a big victory, in my opinion.

November 4, 2009 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I strongly suggest a wireless keyboard and mouse, and a chair that reclines. It actually gives me a chance to relax at home while doing necessary online tasks and mutlitasking, which for me usually means reading about sports and watching TV.

November 5, 2009 at 12:58 PM  

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