your home and office
by Tash Hughes
of Word Constructions (www.wordconstructions.com.au)
Not everyone who
works from home has the luxury of having a separate room
to dedicate to their business. Yet, the more you can
separate work and home, the easier it is to feel
professional and work effectively.
ideas won’t suit every situation, may they may give you
some inspiration on how you can run a business and still
have a house that feels like a home.
Set up your desk and
materials in a cupboard of some description so that it
can be closed away at the end of business. You may be
able to open up a built in wardrobe, enclose the space
under the stairs or buy a desk unit that has cupboard
Use a decorative
screen – it could be timber, cloth, a photo rack, a
plant stand or lattice work. Behind the screen is your
business and in front is your home.
Add in a temporary
wall. Being at least shoulder height will be more
effective as it will cover your desk and computer, but a
lower one will still make boundaries. The front of the
wall could be painted or be a new place to hang photos
or drawings, or add shelves. On the business side, the
wall could hold a white board or noticeboard for
messages or be a set of shelves to store materials and
If you are working on
the kitchen or dining table, get a nice cupboard or
dresser to store business items nearby. Otherwise, set
up a system of coloured boxes to store different items
(e.g. stationary in a blue box, client paperwork in the
yellow box and business magazines and articles in the red
H Keep one side of
your desk for business and
the other side for family and personal things so they
don’t get confused.
If you have to move your business things around
because you work in different places or use your work
space for other purposes, a set of drawers on wheels may
the solution. There are many styles available now, but
the open mesh baskets make it easy to see what is in
each drawer. Then just wheel your business to your work
area when you’re ready to start.
Make use of
tablecloths and runners if
you are storing your business things in main living
areas. They brighten the room up and help differentiate
between home and business.
reversible so that they
are functional for business and attractive for your
home. For instance, put a nice poster on one side of a
notice board to hang in your lounge room; when it
becomes your work space, turn it around to see your work
notices and messages. A low filing cabinet can double as
a coffee or side table out of business hours, as can
covered storage boxes.
Set up a
garden shed as office or storage space. Alternatively,
is there room in the roof for a small workspace or
perhaps the veranda could be enclosed? If you can find
an extra room, remember that it might suit another
purpose better and your work space can be in an original
room. Perhaps the shed could become a cubby so the space
near the kitchen can be an office instead of a play
area, or the attic space becomes a new bedroom and you
work in the old one.
Separation doesn’t have to be complete; it is more to
highlight the boundaries between home and business. So
you could hang some sheer curtains across the room to
make a work space that is visible to the rest of the
room. Sheer curtains look deliberate and attractive
compared to just hanging up a sheet or old curtains as a
Tash Hughes is the owner of
Word Constructions and is
available to solve all your business writing problems!
From letters to policies, newsletters to web content,
Word Constructions writes all business documents to your
style and satisfaction.