By Zemen Marrugi, M.Ed.
Whether you are a Teacher or a Freelance Writer, having a home office is a very important part of your career. As the co-owner and founder of Opal E Event Planning LLC and a full time elementary school teacher, I have found that my home office is a crucial part of my success. My “organized mess” keeps my working environment structured and in its own way motivates me to get creative. Here are five things I feel that every home office needs.
1) Reference Material: This includes book, journals, studies, and any professional resources that are relevant to job. I like to also keep binders of professional articles that are relevant to my career. Unpack some of those college textbooks, too. If you took a class in college that is relevant to your current career, then the text book will have some valuable resources for you to reference too over the years.
2) Office Supplies: You’d be amazed on how much paperclips, staplers, and tape I go through on a regular basis. Knowing that I will use these particular items also reminds me to keep an eye out for any discounts that may take place. Little tip: The back-to-school sales are a great time to replenish your home office supply list.
3) Clear Thinking Space: Make room for your random thoughts. This can include a bulletin board, cork board, or even a dry erase board. Make sure you’ve got some type of visual aid where you can collect random thoughts as you go.
4) Organization: Even though it is your personal space, make sure you organize on a consistent basis. I’m guilty of this one, but the more time you invest in filing things back and labeling the correct material, the less time you’ll waste later when you need to quickly located that very important item. You also will not spend money repurchasing items that you already have, but cannot find. Wasting time and money should never be your goal!
5) Internet/High Speed Connection: Make sure that your home office has a few available outlets for your chargers, phone, fax, laptop, etc. I learned this the hard way when I first decided on which room in the house was going to have the fortunate title of being my home office. Taking care of these technical items will help enhance your home office and increase your ability to work productivity.
Your home office will go through a lot of phases over the years. It is not only the place that should motivate your creative juices to stream to new heights but also create an environment that’s aligned to your personal taste and style. Make it efficient! Make it professional! Most importantly, make it your own!