Guest post by Ken Myers
Working from home can be a liberating experience for many people, especially for the freelance professional who can set his or her own hours. While the experience alone can be exciting, are you really able to conduct yourself on a professional level when your home office looks disastrous? Since your home is your office space, it's quite easy to leave an empty pop bottle here or a candy wrapper there. After all, you're the only one that sees the mess, right? Why should you concentrate on a professional appearance?
When you work at home it's easy to get tied up in diversions such as online videos or games. Treating your home office as a professional space can help you keep the motivation you need in order to remain successful. You don't have to clear your desk of all your knick-knacks and what-nots, but you should to try to have a more professional look to the space. If you wouldn't put it on your desk if you worked for a company, maybe it shouldn't be on your desk in the home office.
Depending on the work you do, having extra desk space for notebooks and other materials could be helpful. If you don't have room on your desk for office supplies and small items such as pens, notebooks, and a stapler, you may need to clean it up a bit to make space. Not every desktop will have the entire top available for notebooks and the like, but keeping everything as tidy as possible so you can remain focused on your work.
Having an attitude if success is important to your actual success. may rely on a successful appearance. If you can make yourself feel this success by keeping a professional appearance of your home office, then you should do so. Attitude can affect many aspects of your life, and having a good outlook on your professionalism can go a long way to promoting your own success and abilities.
Freelance work could entail having a client visit your home office for consultations. Would you be embarrassed to sit a client down in your space? A cleaned and organized space can enhance your client's perception of you as a professional and can inspire confidence in your abilities. When your desk or office is messy, it can create a negative perception that you're also not very good at your job.
Finding What You Need
The most obvious of reasons for maintaining a professional appearance in the home office is the ability to find what you need. You shouldn't have to dig through various piles of random papers or wrappers to find a pen. Knowing that everything is placed in a logical location for easy retrieval can help be more efficient as mentioned above.
It's easy to have the trappings of home life show up all over your desk so it's up to you to maintain a professional appearance in order to promote success. Although you don't have to deep clean every night, it may be in your best interest to practice better organizational skills for your future professional growth.
Ken holds a master’s in business leadership from Upper Iowa University and multiple bachelor degrees from Grand View College. As president of Morningside Nannies, Ken’s focus is helping Houston-based parents find the right childcare provider for their family. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his three children and his wife.