Decades ago a woman was expected to either build a lucrative career or stay home and create a family. But thankfully, those days are long gone. There’s no reason the modern woman can’t have an exciting, enjoyable career and be a great mom at the same time. It takes long hours and hard work, but the rewards are fulfillment on all sorts of levels. Thankfully, modern technology offers all sorts of options to make your life easier. And depending on your chosen career, you can often manage it all from the comfort and ease of a home office. That way you’ll be there for all of the important moments in your kids’ life while getting your work done at the same time. But if you don’t set things up well you could end up with too many stresses and distractions to tackle it all simultaneously. Nothing’s impossible, so just consider some of these home office design tips to help the work at home mom.
While this may not always be possible depending on the layout of your home, always try to set up your office inside a dedicated work space. There are going to be those moments when you need to focus in quiet, such as during a conference call or when you have a big project or presentation due. Being able to close the door and secure a little bit of peace could make all the difference. If you don’t have the extra room available, at least claim a portion of one room and put up a privacy screen to delineate the space. Tell your kids that when the screen is up it means mommy needs some quiet time. Hopefully after some growing pains you’ll actually get it.
You won’t always be able to shut the door on your kids, but that’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, part of the reason why you want to work at home is probably so you can be there to spend more time with your children. So when setting up your office space make sure you child-proof everything. It’s one thing to have your kids wandering around your office asking random questions, but it’s something else entirely to have to keep your eyes on your children. Make sure all power plugs are taped into their sockets and the open sockets are capped with plastic. Tie up all cables and wires, and either place them under plastic organizers or just tape them down to the floor. That way there will be no tripping, falling or breaking of expensive hardware. And make sure potentially dangerous devices, such as a paper shredder, are put away when not in use. That way you won’t have to worry about curious fingers.
Next, think about ways you can make your office fun for the kids. Providing healthy distractions will help you get loads of work done even with the little ones under foot. Bring in one of those white boards that can wipe clean, with a variety of non-permanent markers. You can use it for project organization, or lean it against the wall to give your kids an outlet for the arts. If you need the white board dedicated to your work or you cannot trust your young children with markers, try painting one wall with blackboard paint. That way your kids can doodle away with chalk, and you can erase the work if you have to have a client there.
Finally, set yourself up with mobile devices to create a bit of flexibility. Just because you have a home office doesn’t mean you must be tethered there. You work from home, but with laptops, smartphones and tablets you can really work from anywhere. That means taking your to do list and your computer and heading out for an hour at the park, or bringing the kids to see a movie and hanging out in the lobby to get your work done. Hop online and check out the differences between internet fax services, and the various web-based phone technologies that will offer you further freedom. By designing your office to be mobile you’ll never regret your decision to work from home.