Here are some pointers on how to choose a great workspace location at home.
‘There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.’ (Source: New Your Times, By William Safire, June 26, 2009)
When you work from home, you need to choose a great location inside your property. This choice is essential. If the location you select is not ideal, it will impact your overall work-from-home experience negatively. A wrong choice of location can result in problems such as:
- unwanted noise or interruptions
- an unsightly background (if you do video calls, or if you receive work-related visitors)
- constant rearranging of your work-from-home setup – to accommodate other household activities
- a lack of privacy
- possible unwanted changes in lighting and acoustics
- possible wellbeing implications – if you compromise your health in favour of a poor location
A poor choice of location can increase your stress levels and reduce the quality of your work. It can also impact your image, brand and professionalism in the eyes of those you work with, or work for. Even worse, it can turn you off from the entire experience of working from home.
Conversely, if you select a good location, your whole outlook on working-from-home will more likely be positive.
Do you have the freedom to choose a good location? Maybe not. Maybe you have limited choices or none at all. We hope wofome can give you some good ideas to improve your situation. Read on…
Your own personal profile can influence your choice of location. No two people are the same, so what you consider important, may not be important to somebody else. Ultimately, you want to choose a location that maximises your ability to be productive, creative and healthy. Here are some profile/persona examples. Think about how these influence a choice of location:
- Self Employed
- Parent with Child/Children at home
- Single Solo
- Single Co-sharing
- Home Trader
- Special Needs
Do you fit one of these personas? Look for ideas outlined in our Profile topic that might relate to your individual profile/persona. You can benefit from the opinions of other Wofomers* who have similar circumstances to yours – look for what they say about their own choice of work-from-home location.
As an example, a parent with one or more children will likely need to think differently about their work-from-home setting than, say, a single person living solo.
(* a Wofomer is a work-from-home-er)
Your work-from-home practice
Your practice is how you perform your work-from-home activity – your approach, your technique, your regimes and so forth.
Outside influences like an employer, or living with family, will affect your work-from-home practice.
The nature of your practice will influence your choice of location. wofome is building out a topic called Practice that explores things like;
- Setting Regimes
- Setting Schedules
- Time Management
- Creating a Rulebook
- Setting Home vs Work boundaries
- Managing Interruptions
Is your workspace setup complicated or simple?
Some people need nothing more than a smartphone to conduct their work-from-home activity. Others need elaborate workshops or multi-screen digital/audio-visual setups. Your unique setup will directly influence your choice of workspace location. wofome has created a topic called Setup which looks at things like;
- Static vs Dynamic
- Desks and Tables
- Seating and Chairs
- Wellbeing Equipment
- Lighting and sources of light
- Noise, Acoustics and Sound
- Screening and Backdrops
- Branding and Signage
You should browse other wofome blog topics that influence location choice. Some of these are:
- Technology – a look at some of the best-fit technology for your work-from-home setup.
- Image – the brand and image you present to the outside world.
- Wellbeing – practising good health regimes to avoid negative impacts on your health.
A work-from-home activity done from a different location
Some of us practice work-from-home-type activities that are not done from home. Are you one of the following?
- A remote worker?
- A road warrior (an on-the-road worker)?
- A coffee shop (Café) junkie (who loves to sit in a coffee shop and do remote work from there)?
- A site worker (where you often work remote from a customer’s site)?
As a remote worker, maybe you cannot always choose a perfect location. What you can do, however, is use some of the same location tips we promote on this website, to improve your remote workspace location.
Where is your work-from-home location situated?
Does one or more of these apply to you?
My work from home workspace location is…
- in a residential home
- part of a shared accommodation
- a single, purpose dedicated room
- a popup – where I spin up a workspace on a whim, and the location changes day-to-day
- a dual-purpose space – where I re-purpose my workspace back to (say) the living room, once I’ve finished my day’s work
- in a home office – which is also used for personal, non-work-related stuff
- a work-from-home workspace that is separate from the home office and located elsewhere in the home (yes this kind of arrangement is popular!)
- in a rural/isolated dwelling (with its particular challenges)
My location is away from home, and it’s…
- a shared workspace (commonly known as a coworking or virtual workspace)
- at my place of employment
- established as I travel or I am on holiday (working while holidaying? seriously…)
- at a customer’s site
- anywhere, on the road
I usually work out-and-about from…
- a coffee shop (Café)
- the foyer or lobby of a building
- a nice place outdoors
The Hybrid worker
Many Wofomers work both from home and their place of employment, alternating between the two throughout the week. It’s ad-hoc or based on a fixed schedule, like Mondays and Tuesdays from home and the rest of the week at the office. This kind of work is called ‘Hybrid’. Even if you are a Hybrid, the tips provided here can still apply to you. In fact, they can be useful in the office too!
In short, there are many things to think about when you land on your ideal remote working or work-from-home workspace location. Importantly, you should spend time thinking about this carefully. Understand that choice of location can ‘make or break’ your overall work-from-home experience.