People often by a home or rent an apartment and the only private room in their home turns out to be the bedroom. This shouldn’t be the case as every woman and man deserves a home office or library. You could use your bedroom to do work, read, make phone calls, email, etc., but I think a bedroom should only be about relaxation and, yes, sleep!
So, why on Earth would anyone need a home office? Well, here are some quick benefits:
- A home office is a quiet place that you can escape to (away from kids and family) that allows you to: do work, read, think, plan, make telephone calls, write email, and research.
- Your productivity will increase if you have no distractions and are able to focus.
- You will read and think more (face it, we do less of this in the modern world). Think about your college days and how nice it was to take a seminar in western philosophy or European literature. You can re-create that deep submersion into a particular field or subject via the home office.
- Your stress level will decrease (provided you don’t spend all your time locked up in your home office doing only work related tasks like answering email and putting together Excel documents). Stress decreases because you are in a quiet place that allows you to focus.
Now, a home office doesn’t need to be fancy with a huge mahogany desk and cognac at the ready. The simple office can be as little as a nice large desk, plenty of light, and a door (of course this should be a separate space in your home or apartment: the attic, basement, or extra bedroom). The super deluxe office can include wall to wall bookshelves, lots of windows or skylight for natural light, internet access and workstation with a large monitor, a plush reading chair, modern task chair, ability to listen to music, etc.
Whatever your situation, I’d argue that setting up an office is just as important as getting your 401K up and running, as it will provide a great foundation for a productive life (i.e., thinking, reading, and just getting tasks and goals accomplished).