Working from home sounds great – the lack of commute, dress code and the ability to structure your day how you see fit all make telecommuting an aspiration for a lot of workers. Getting the right set up at home can make or break your routine, though. Placing an office in a highly trafficked area of the house or setting up too small of a workspace are simple mistakes with big consequences. There are plenty of elements to consider when you are setting up a high-functioning and inviting home office. Take the time to create a plan for your new workspace – this will save you time and make you more productive in the long run.

Identify Your Must-Haves

The first step in creating a great home office is drafting a list of must-haves. These include the basics such as a desk, phone, computer and other office equipment. Other needs will vary by industry and your own personal preferences. Consider this: if you are in a creative industry, do you need a large desk workspace where artwork can be stored? Or if you prefer to keep some paper documents confidential, do you have a need for more storage space than the average home office? All of these items should go on your must-haves list. Making sure they are available to you before you start working from home can streamline the transition.

Choose the Right Space

Not all home offices have a room of their own, but that does not mean that there is no thought put into their location. If your home is bustling with family and pets, but you prefer to work in a quiet environment, placing your office near the kitchen or another highly trafficked area of the house will not result in effective work. Choosing a tranquil area, such as a guest room can yield much better productivity.

Keep in mind how much equipment and storage you will need. If you require several large electronics or a large desktop workspace, a kitchen nook workspace will simply be too cluttered. Workspaces with many pieces of equipment and storage would be better off in a separate room.

Make it Inviting

Last but not least, make your office space an inviting place. If you think that the décor won’t make a difference in your productivity, think again. The most innovative companies in the world invest in creating open and inviting workspaces. This is because appealing offices make for happier, more productive workers. Working from home means that you can be your own innovator. Choosing a workspace that has lots of natural light, placing a few appropriate plants and keeping things neat and tidy can go a long way toward helping you stay focused throughout the day.

Setting up a plan for creating an inviting, functional home office is a simple and effective way for freelancers, consultants and telecommuters to ensure their productivity when working from home. It’s a simple step that shows a small amount of planning and foresight can lead to positive results.