By Aiden Howie
Last year in the U.S., there were about 15 million home-based businesses and the majority of them were launched and led by women. Home is the place where we gather with family, prepare our meals, and put up our feet at the end of the day. It can be a challenge to add running a business to that list, especially if you don’t have a dedicated workspace. Here are a few ideas for and from women-owned businesses to help you set up and maintain a work-from-home environment that will inspire and motivate you.
Justina Blakeney, Founder of Jungalow (Photo: Jungalow)
The Right Desk
Office jobs, whether the office is at home or not, often lead to a lot of sitting. It’s much easier to work on a computer with a desk in front of you, and traditionally that means sitting down. Standing desks can have many benefits, like helping avoid weight gain, lowering blood sugar and increasing energy levels—among other things. Office Furniture Resource (OFR) is a new and used office furniture company. It offers this new AMQ adjustable height desk (you choose the top), and it also offers a New Home Office in a Box, which includes an adjustable height desk and an office chair.
The Right Location
Some of the best desks are not desks at all. If you don’t have a dedicated office at home, create a work surface for yourself in a space that’s comfortable and, if possible, off the beaten path. Kitchen tables or breakfast bars offer great temporary places to get your work done and allow sitting and standing options. Avoid working with your computer on your lap in places where you typically relax, like your bed or favorite overstuffed living room chair. Seattle-based interior designer Heidi Caillier’s kitchen nook design would make for a great office space.
Avoid setting up shop in a place that will divert your attention away from work. Find a space that doesn’t have enticing books lining the shelves or an easy-to-watch TV nearby. I want my workspace to feel warm but not distracting, as I’m sure many of you do as well. Simple artwork, plants and pottery can bring a more welcoming feeling to a room without being distracting. The Peaches and Coffee print from Tactile Matter is a great addition to any office wall. A Marble Queen Pothos plant brings the beauty of nature indoors and can be delivered anywhere in the U.S. by Ansel and Ivy. Leif’s Birdie ceramic storage jar is perfect for keeping the clutter off your desk.
The Perfect Playlist
Many people, myself included, need background noise to get anything done. I always have music playing. Finding music that is enjoyable, but not too attention-grabbing, is important. Personally, I find movie soundtracks and music without lyrics calming and inspiring—perfect for working! Below is a list of female artists and bands with female members whose music I like to stream—some perform original songs and some do instrumental covers of well-known songs:
Natural light is a great source of vitamin D and can help ward off seasonal depression. It’s also beneficial in improving quality of sleep, which is very helpful for busy business owners! Some easy ways to up your intake of natural light while working from home include adding mirrors to your workspace and painting or decorating with light colors, which are more reflective. Laura Engen Interior Design exemplifies the use of natural light in this client home office redesign project. Jungalow offers a unique and beautiful selection of framed mirrors, like the Teardrop Mirror. The Clare Color Genius from Clare Paint can help you find the perfect wall color for your space.
Reminders of Your WHY
Whether it’s a picture of your family, a list of personal values or goals, or an inspirational quote like this Grit wall art print from DivineDigitalPrints, keep reminders of your WHY close at hand. It will help up your motivation and keep you going!
About the author: Aiden Howie is My Founder Story’s social media and community coordinator. She’s dedicated to sharing the stories of women business owners and amplifying their voices. She’s passionate about fighting for equality and the rights of BIPOC and LGBTQ communities, as well as ending hunger. She’s currently attending college in Florida, studying elementary education and Spanish.