You don’t need a separate home office

If you’re thinking about working from home, you don’t need a separate home office, according to Debra Ng. Just find somewhere to keep your files and your laptop — your kitchen table can do the rest.

Setting up a home office really means finding somewhere to keep your work. You may find it easier to concentrate and switch to "work mode" if you have dedicated space. But just having a place for your things can help. A home office armoire may be a quick solution if you like having somewhere to keep everything without using up much space.

Still, legions of independent consultants work from coffee shops and libraries. Just stick your laptop in a briefcase and you’re ready to go.

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Tony Rose says:

Good Point Andrea! It is definitely a luxury.

Tony says:

I respectfully disagree. I think having a separate “place” is essential to help keep your work life balance in check. Having everything on your kitchen table will just always keep you connected and never feel like you’re done with work for the day. I enjoy the luxury of a separate finished room in my basement with a bathroom right next door. I have everything arranged and organized so I don’t feel cluttered. In the evenings, I am upstairs with my family and don’t even think about work all that much. If having a separate room isn’t feasible, then I wouldn’t rush right out to secure an office space somewhere. Use what you have and make it work.

Laura says:

I’ll have to read Deborah’s post to learn about this. I certainly respect her position on things. My take on the topic is that, while not always necessary, a home office is certainly nice to have. I especially wish that I had a door to shut.

Andrea says:

I think that, when you live in a major city like Vancouver, where a 2 bedroom condo goes for half a million dollars and a fixer-upper house can cost as much as a million, it isn’t always possible to have a dedicated home office. I’m sure it’s the case in other major cities. So I’d hate to think people are holding back on their consulting dreams, just because they don’t have a spare room in the basement.

I have a dedicated home office now, but, with the pending arrival of my next child, I may give it up this space some time next year. I survived for many years without a home office and I’m sure I could do it again.