Not everyone is able to have a home office, because of too many people or too few rooms or simply because it isn’t a priority. But for me, I just don’t feel as productive if I don’t have a dedicated office space to do my work. There are so many benefits to an office:
- Distraction-free work space: When I sit down at the dining room table or in my living room glider to write a post or review or handle paperwork for one of my businesses, I just don’t end up getting a lot done. That cute kid who lives with us has something to do with it, but so does the television and the normal flow of household traffic. In an office, I can sit at my desk and get in the zone.
- Physical separation: Did I mention the household traffic? There’s a lot to be said for having a door to close.
- A place for everything: Whether everything is in its place or not, having an office space means being able to store and file and sort items so they just might be where you think you’ll find them the next time you need them.
- Tax write off: Who doesn’t love getting more money back from the federal government (or paying less out)? If you have a home business or do work from your home, you can qualify for a write off of the square footage and the percentage of your utilities that it takes to run that office! My home office deduction alone made me operate at a loss for my fledgling business in our 2013 filing.
- A place to take yourself seriously: Another note about business ownership – no matter what kind of business you run, you will take yourself and your business more seriously if you do your sit-down work in an office. Whether you have a workshop or studio to create, an office allows you to store supplies and is a constant reminder that your business is legitimate. And even if you don’t have a business, an office functions as the business center of your household – pay bills, plan vacations or home improvement projects, whatever keeps your house running.
The downside to buying a house when you’re pregnant is the physical inability to dive in and make each room your own. Because of that, my office remained a hodgepodge of inventory storage, filing, and all the extra boxes that needed sorted and put away or purged.
I’m happy to report, however, that we’ve had a breakthrough! Arthur spent a fun day between his grandparents on Saturday, allowing Brian and me to dive headfirst into cleaning out the office. After several hours of hard decisions, breaking down boxes and some much-needed organization, I have a working home office!! It still isn’t perfect but I couldn’t be happier with how far it’s come – and I can’t wait to dip in there this evening and get some real work done.
And not a moment too soon: I am exploring a call to pastoral ministry and am taking the first steps to make it official with our church conference. An office is more important than ever so I can juggle all of the different elements of our lives! (More on my call to follow.)