Take it from someone who s been working from a home office for years there s a technique to setting up a home office. Before you buy all of your office supplies online, here are some tips to help you set up a productive work area in your home.

Choose a Separate Area
The biggest mistake a lot of home workers make is setting themselves up to work in the same space they use for recreation. Not only is it bad for your back to sit on a couch all day, but you ll find that when you re done with work it s hard to switch modes if you re sitting in the same spot. Equally as bad as sitting on a couch is sitting at your kitchen or dining room table. Dining tables are designed to be comfortable for eating but are not angled properly for typing or using a computer. If you re serious about working at home and it is going to be for more than a few hours a day, you will need a desk and an office chair.

Set a Schedule
Having too flexible of a schedule can be a double-edged sword. While it s nice to be able to work on your own time and take a day off without asking, it s dangerous to be too willy-nilly when it comes to your work schedule. A good way to get around this is to make a task list for each day and stick to it. If you re unable to avoid time-wasting websites and recreation throughout the day, consider disconnecting your internet while you re working or at least designating times for recreation so it won t interfere with completing your to-do list.

A day planner may be the perfect thing for setting your schedule, and many include pages with hourly schedules so you can map out your entire day hour by hour.

Things to Buy
While it is possible to utilize some of the resources of your home when setting up your home office, there are certain necessities you need to buy to make your work area functional and comfortable.

  • Desk: If you don t have a desk for storing work supplies and expanding projects, your work materials quickly overtake your home. When you buy a desk, make sure it fits in your available space and has at least one drawer for files and/or paperwork.
  • Office chair: Office chairs are designed to be used for hours every day and will offer superior support and comfort to standard dining chairs or living room furniture. Just be sure that you choose a chair that is adjustable so you can maintain the best possible posture. If you have short legs, you may also want to invest in a foot rest, which will not only increase comfort but will assure that you don t twist or fold your legs in a way that causes back pain.
  • Shredder: Even if you don t have a home office, every home should have a document shredder for destroying paper containing sensitive information. In the age of identity theft, millions of people every year have their credit destroyed and their finances negatively affected when unsavory characters get hold of their information. Shred anything containing your address, social security number, account numbers/banking information and anything else that might be used to identify you or access your personal information. Even expired credit cards can be dangerous to simply throw away. When in doubt, shred. Shredders are available in many sizes including small hand-held devices. The best shredders use a  cross-cut  method to destroy documents in a way that makes them virtually impossible to reconstruct. Also, if you recycle paper products, you should still shred sensitive documents. It will not affect their recyclability.
  • Desk lamp: Making sure your work area has adequate light will preserve your eyesight and reduce eye strain and headaches, which are big problems for people who sit at computers all day. Some modern desk lamps come with bulbs that simulate natural light, offering the least eye strain and truer colors (perfect for artists).

Online office supply stores offer a lot more products than the basics we ve mentioned here. With office machines becoming more common in households, you may choose to invest in a laser printer, a personal copier or other machine to bring the conveniences of the office into the home. There are several versions of these machines designed for home use and offer the same performance as industrial machines on a smaller scale and for a lower price.

Our top-rated stores for office supplies online are full of tips, gadgets and equipment for setting up a productive work environment. Many of the sites also offer sales and promotions throughout the year, as well as rewards programs for repeat customers and home office workers. Check out one of our top-rated sites Office Depot to see what s going on this month!

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