How to Organize Your Home Office to be Family Friendly

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One of the reasons you chose to work from home was to spend more time with your family, am I right? Perhaps you were working outside the home and began to resent those lost hours to the point you were getting jealous and angry. You are not alone. Many people find a work-at-home situation soothes the stress they were feeling and is the ideal solution for their family life.

Creating an organized family friendly home office is one of the tasks you have in front of you. It is a delicate balance to try to achieve. On the one hand, you need to get your work done. On the other hand, you want to enjoy your family. Is there a way to do both? Yes, here are a few options to spark your creativity.

Create a cozy family nook

Nothing says relax like a big comfy sofa or nice oversized loveseat. It also serves as a ‘magnet’ to draw the kids together in one cozy area away from your desk. Have blankets and pillows handy for short naps or cuddling. Invite the family in after school to relax and catch up on their day. For pre-school children, keep a box of toys and books handy to keep them busy while you wrap up loose ends. If your home office isn’t large enough for a sofa or loveseat, throw down a rug with a couple bean bag chairs or nice, big, oversized pillows. The object here is to have an inviting place to welcome your family into your surroundings, but still separated from your work area.

Create a Homework or Busy Area

Put a coffee table or small kitchen table and some good lighting in your office separate from your desk to make a homework spot for your school age kids. Use the same idea for your pre-school children and include lots of art supplies so your young children can ‘work’ while you do. If room isn’t available for a table, get out those old TV tables you have stored and put them to good use, then fold them and store them away again until needed. These can be great items to find at your local thirftstore or neighborhood garage sale.

You get the idea, find a way to create a seperate space for your family in your office, so that they can enjoy your company without causing you stress.

Have Healthy Snacks On Hand

Snacks and beverages are especially important when kids arrive home from school. Children are hungry after a long day, and hunger creates unhappiness. Rather than leave your office to fix them something in the kitchen, have a small supply of snacks and drinks ready in your office space. Consider having a small refrigerator to make it more convenient to have healthy snacks in arms reach. Make it fun by serving snacks picnic style so your kids will know they can relax and enjoy their food in your company.

Create a Clear Set of Office Rules

office rules file folderHaving a family friendly office does not mean there are no rules involved. There will be times when you will need your office to yourself, and this needs to be made clear from the beginning. If you have a set schedule, you can post your hours on the door for all to see. You may want to have a ‘Welcome’ mat to put outside the door when everyone can come in, relax and visit. Save work that doesn’t need a lot of concentration for those ‘family times.’ Be clear about the rules and arrange your work time so you can enjoy your office and family both.

Hopefully, isolating yourself in your office and making it totally off-limits to your family is not what you had in mind when you decided to work at home. So make sure you take the time to create a home office that is, at least at times, open for visiting. Take time to enjoy the reason you decided to work from home – your family!

If you have any great tips that you use to make your home office more organized and family friendly, please share in the comments below.

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  1. Great ideas. I wonder how many people even thought about making a family friendly workspace when they envisioned their home office. It makes sense when you think about the real purpose of being at home.
    Even those who do not have a full-time home office, this should be considered for those days when you “have to / get to” work from home.
    Blog on!

  2. Yes, we are so used to having our work life separate from our “real” life, we forget that as entrepreneurs, we can make our own rules about how to work from home. Thank you for the comment.

  3. My answer was to have a (locked) door on my home office. It stayed inviolate for the needs of my clients’ security and my ability to have my work unmolested.
    But, I also had a (clean) workspace with a remote screen on the wall and a sliding keyboard) in the family room that I used should a client call in the evening. So I could stay with the family and solve the (critical) problem and join them quickly on the sofa or loveseat.

  4. I love this, you have found a solution that works for your business, your clients and your family.

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