home office in a converted loft

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Writers, nurses, customer service reps, teachers and many other professionals have work-at-home positions. You might find this is a good option for you, but you have to do a little research to make it work. For instance, if you work at home, it’s important to set up space where you feel comfortable and can work efficiently. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, and it’s definitely worth laying out some cash to make it great. Here are six tips to get you started:

Set up a good work surface. Any flat surface that’s the right height can substitute as a desk (the dining table, a wide TV stand, whatever works for you). If you can, make this an area dedicated to your job. If space is seriously limited, consider a rollaway desk.

Get a comfortable chair. Find a chair that you can spend a lot of time in without messing up your back. An office chair with ergonomic features is ideal. However, any supportive chair could work. In addition, a memory foam doughnut or other thickly padded cushion relieves pressure on your lower back and reduces stiffness at the end of the day.

Eliminate distractions. It can be hard to concentrate at home, especially if you have kids or pets. Even if you live alone, there are way too many interesting distractions at home, such as the TV, your favorite books and your comfy bed. Invest in a room divider if you’re finding it impossible to concentrate. Noise-canceling headphones can help too.

Clean the house. You may not see the pile of dirty laundry or dirty dishes when you’re hanging out in your PJs on the weekend, but try to be productive Monday morning and every undone chore you can imagine will be calling your name. Set aside a time to clean the apartment before you begin your workday. Then, you have no excuse.

Keep supplies handy. You shouldn’t have to ransack three rooms to find a pen, pad or printer paper. Keep office supplies in one place and make it clear these items are not up for grabs for roommates or family members.

Get the best internet connection. If you work from home, you’re likely to be on the internet all day every day. Go for the best connection you can get to avoid awkward delays on conference calls or video chats. If you freelance, this is also tax deductible!