When you work from home, there are plenty of excuses to avoid getting down to business. One of the most frequent reasons clients give me for procrastinating about their work is that they just don’t like their home office.

Your home office should be a pleasant and comfortable environment that you enjoy being in. It should make you feel inspired, efficient, and productive. Don’t be tempted to furnish it with leftovers that aren’t welcome in the rest of the house. They likely won’t meet your needs, and you won’t feel good about working in a poorly furnished space. Having a professional-quality workspace is important if you’re going to enjoy your work and produce professional-quality results.

Take a good hard look at your home office and ask yourself the following questions:
1. Aesthetics

Is my office inviting? Do I like being there? Are the furnishings reasonably attractive and is the arrangement functional? Is it bright and cheerful? Warm and cozy? Does it suit me? Have I included accessories that are meaningful? Inspirational? Beautiful?

2. Desk

Is the surface large enough? Is there room for task lighting, an active projects file and whatever papers or reference books I’m currently working with? If I keep my computer on my desk is there a keyboard tray at an ergonomic height so that my shoulders aren’t in a perpetual hunch? Does the computer crowd my work space?

Does it have at least one file drawer to house papers I work with every day? Is there a drawer or two to keep regularly-used supplies handy?

3. Desk chair

Does it allow me to sit comfortably for long periods? Does it swivel? Does it have casters so that I can move easily between desk and files? Is there a floor mat under it? Is it adjustable so that my feet are flat on the floor? Is there adequate back support? Does the chair have arms I can rest my mine on?

4. File storage

Is there sufficient drawer space for paper files? If not, have I found an alternative that keeps paper from becoming clutter? Do my file drawers open easily without scraping on the cabinet frame from the weight of the paper? Do the drawers have side rails so that hanging folders can slide back and forth allowing I easy access to the file I want? Are current project files within fingertip reach? Do I keep a tickler file handy to contain papers and work reminders until I’m ready to deal with them? Do I have a labeling machine to make neat, professional labels for my files?

5. Supplies and office tools

Is there a convenient place to keep office materials and supplies out of the way but easy to find and retrieve when I need them? Is there room in a desk drawer or on the desk top to keep things I use every day? If I have books, binders, or other printed materials that I reference, are the shelves sufficiently sturdy to keep from sagging? Do I have outdated materials I’ll never need but haven’t cleared out?

6. Shredder/recycle bin/wastebasket

Are these items within reach as I sit at my desk so that papers don’t pile up? Do they have large enough capacity that they don’t require frequent emptying? Is the shredder robust enough that it doesn’t jam and overheat? Does it produce shred that’s un-reconstruct-able?

7. Reading chair

If my work involves quite a bit of reading, or I find I just need a break from sitting at my desk, do I have room for a comfortable reading chair and light?

A dreary, uncomfortable or inefficient home office can create an aversion you may not even be conscious of. If you find yourself working other places in your home, or avoiding your work altogether, upgrading your office is a great place to start. Having a workspace to call your own that you look forward to being in and that supports your best intentions can mean that you actually can love your home office!

Author's Bio: 

Elaine Quinn is an internationally known expert with 10+ years experience helping home-based business owners increase productivity and work-life satisfaction by getting better organized, and staying motivated to get things done! If you’re part of the work-from-home revolution and sometimes feel overwhelmed by everything there is to do as a solopreneur, her new book, There’s No Place Like Working From Home, is for you! It’s filled with easy-to-implement solutions to common organizing and time management challenges, and includes sound techniques to defeat those more personal demons: avoiding social isolation, keeping a sharp competitive edge and staying motivated. Get a sample at her website, www.NoPlaceLikeWorkingFromHome.com