How to Choose a Home Office Location

Let me preface this by saying that what I consider to be the “ideal” (or even a “good”) home office may not be the same kind of thing as what suits your particular personality and preferences. However, based on my years of experience as a professional freelance writer, I’ve come to learn that certain characteristics make for a better home office.

The Room Must Be Separate

In the early days of my freelance career, I basically worked out of the dining room. It suited my needs at the time and I thought it was adequate. The good news is that I was able to watch television while at work. The bad news is that I was able to watch television at work.

The TV wasn’t the only distraction either, as I’m sure you can imagine. This wasn’t as big of an issue when I had the house to myself during the day, but it became increasingly problematic in the evenings. And so, I highly recommend having a separate room as your home office.

Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you are working in the middle of your home. A separate home office in a separate room helps to create a greater mental separation between home and work too, quite unlike the lady on the couch above. It’s also important that other people in your home respect the closed door of your office.

It Must Be Adequate in Size

This is not a luxury that everyone can enjoy, but I’m also not saying you need tons of square footage to have an adequate home office either. The amount of space you need will depend on your situation and how you choose to operate.

The one good thing about heating bills, property taxes, mortgage interest and the like is that you can write these off… or at least a portion based on the square footage. That’s just one more motivation to give yourself a bigger home office.

Let There Be Natural Light

Some people might be perfectly comfortable doing their coding in the dark confines of a basement, only lit by the warm glow of the Internet, but that’s not for me. When you spend most of your waking hours in the office, you should have some natural light. This not only helps to maintain some of your sanity (and minimize the effect of urban cabin fever), but also to combat the effects of seasonal affective disorder too.

Human beings need natural light for their holistic health, just as much as they need clean water, adequate rest, and nutritious food. I would recommend that you align your desk to minimize glare from the windows, though.

It Should Be Accessible

Working from home clearly isn’t for everyone, but it can be a great option for many different professions. If you have any interest in seeing clients in your home office, then it should be accessible. By this I mean that clients should be able to go to your office with minimal intrusion into your home.

It’s best if your home office has a separate entrance altogether, in this case, but even the spare bedroom closest to the front door would work quite well. Look for what best suits your needs.

And that’s really how you find the best home office location: get it to fit you and not the other way around.