How to Work from Home - Creating a Home Office

If you’re one of the millions of Americans working from home, your daily routine and home office space should provide the best of both worlds—maximum productivity and work-life balance. Check out our comprehensive guide to working remotely and creating a home office that works for you.


Home Office Hub

home office printers
Home Office Printers

A reliable printer is a must-have for any home office. Learn how to choose the best home office printer for your needs.

home office scanners
Home Office Scanners

For many remote workers, scanners help transform home offices into places of productivity and innovation.

home office organization
Organization Tips

From decluttering your desk to storing your supplies, check out these clever ways to create a well-organized at-home workspace.

home office essentials
Home Office Essentials

Our printable supplies and equipment checklist has everything you’ll need to make a home office that’s truly functional.


How to Make a Home Office

Working from home can provide flexibility and independence, but it can also come with certain challenges. After all, when you’re working remotely, you’re more likely to have household distractions, communication gaps with coworkers, and difficulty separating work from your personal life. The good news is, with a functional home office space and a smart remote work routine, you can achieve telework success. Read on to learn how to create a home office and how to work from home productively.

To get started creating a home office space, follow these four basic steps:

  1. Decide on the Space: You know the old saying, “Location, location, location”? The same principle holds true when it comes to creating a home office—determining where your workspace should be located is the first and most important decision you’ll make. Be sure to think carefully about storage, lighting, temperature, and traffic flow. (Unless you’re a person who can work through any distraction, avoid placing a home office setup in the busiest part of your home.)
  2. Create a Plan: Once you’ve decided on your home office location, you’ll need to come up with a functional plan for the space. Think about where to place key furniture items, such as your desk, chair, filing cabinets, and equipment, based on your workflow and habits. If you have a small home office setup converted from a closet or nook, consider space-saving options such as a wall-mounted monitor or modular shelving that can double as a desk.
  3. Take Stock: Check out our Home Office Basics checklist for essential supplies and equipment, then take stock of what you have and what you still need. Focus on the most important equipment first, commit to staying within a budget, and repurpose items where possible (an underutilized armoire, for example, can be put to use as a home office bookshelf). Whenever possible, keep all work supplies in your home office (this can also help you maintain a healthier balance between your work and home life).
  4. Get Organized: Finally, you’ll need to establish and maintain an organizational system. Read our Home Office Organization Guide to ensure there’s a place for everything and everything’s in its place.

A home office should not only be functional; it should also be comfortable. Consider the following tips to ensure the most ergonomic home office setup and telework habits:

  • Choose the right chair: When you’re working from home, it’s important to have a good chair with built-in lumbar support and adjustable features, such as seat height, wheels, back rest, and arm rests. Your chair should be adjusted so that your feet rest flat on the floor with your thighs parallel to the floor, while your arms should rest gently on the armrests while relaxed.
  • Consider desk clearance: It’s important that your home office desk is not too high or too low. If the desk is too high, you’ll need to raise your chair height. If it’s too low, you’ll need to lower the height to provide clearance for your knees and thighs. To ensure leg clearance, do not store items underneath your desk.
  • Elevate your electronics: Your monitor should be placed directly in front of you, at about an arm’s length away, with the top of the screen at or slightly below eye level. Position your monitor directly behind your keyboard with your mouse and key objects within easy reach, minimizing the need to stretch while seated.
  • Put your feet up and use props: If your chair is too high and you cannot rest your feet flat on the floor, consider using a footrest or small stool instead. A rolled-up towel placed between your chair and lower back can also be used to provide added lumbar support, while a thin pillow can make a hard chair more comfortable to sit on.
  • Switch it up during the day: In addition to creating an ergonomic work from home office setup, it’s important to change your posture often. Be sure to sit up and stand up instead of staying in a hunched over position, and avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time. Finally, don’t forget to take breaks to move and stretch throughout the day.

For many remote workers, learning how to work from home productively can take a little time, patience, and practice. The good news is, these tried-and-true techniques can help you get more done right away.

  • Maintain your routine: Even when you’re working remotely, you should try to mimic a regular workday as closely as possible. A structured routine that includes getting dressed in the morning, eating lunch, creating a to-do list, and maintaining set work hours can go a long way toward maximizing productivity.
  • Minimize distractions: When you’re working from home, any number of distractions can arise—from kitchen messes to TV programs. To help maintain focus, try to set ground rules with family and roommates, and post your calendar in a common area so they know when you’ll be working. Avoid taking personal calls during work hours, and consider using a noise-cancelling headset that can help you tune out chatter and stay focused.
  • Keep kids busy: Need to work from home with kids? It’s even more important to establish a daily routine that both you and they can realistically follow. Make sure they have a schedule for each day that includes schoolwork, meals, free time, and other activities. The Brother Creative Center offers free printable worksheets, coloring pages, crafts, games, and more to keep kids busy.

Work from Home Resources

Brother Refresh delivers ink or toner right to your door, right when you need it, offering peace of mind and eliminating unnecessary trips to the store.
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Juggling work and parenting? Brother Creative Center offers free printable worksheets, coloring pages, crafts, games, and more to keep little hands busy.
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With the Brother QL-1100 series, you can easily print postage and shipping labels for most carriers right from your home office for maximum efficiency.
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