11/21/2013 06:00 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Design and organization key for success in home working environment

VICTORIA - Being efficient in a home office means creating an environment that is built and designed for success.

When Kara Reed, a real estate sales representative, moved into her new Toronto condo, she decided a well-designed home office was important.

Even though Reed has an office in her work building, she still works from home daily, beginning and ending her day there.

"I had always worked from home," she said. "I just wanted a home office I felt at home in. We just went about setting it up in a way that was comfortable because I do spend a lot of time in it when I am home."

In the compact space organization was key.

After moving her work files to her office building, Reed made sure the essentials were at her fingertips.

"I'm very organized so what I do have in my office is my personal files and everything I need to operate at home is in one filing cabinet," she said.

While creating a space that is organized and efficient is important for a home office, Reed's wish list also included a beautiful, well-designed space.

She wanted it to have a modern feel but still have warmth. "The floors that I chose are reclaimed ash," she said. "It is 100 years old and I loved it, so that's where I spared no expense."

Reed's office includes a lot of personal features, such as four clocks set to different time zones. Beneath each clock, the zone is labelled using letters from her grandmother's Scrabble set.

According to Michele Waters, career coach at Career Quest Coaching in Victoria, the design and setup of a home office is vital for success.

"The space where the person works needs to be a lovely space to work within," said Waters.

"It needs to have a desk, computer, and the other tools the person may need for their trade, rather than working off a kitchen table."

Waters said there should be a real separation from the rest of the home and living environment, which includes the need for respect from others who may be at home around what it means when a person is in the home office.

"I think there are quite a few factors that contribute to a successful home office and environment conducive to work," she said.

"One of the most important is the support of whoever is in that person's life whether it is a spouse, children or parents. There needs to be support, and kids need to recognize when mom or dad is in their home office, they need to respect the need for privacy with a lack of interruptions."

In addition to a space and environment designed for success, Waters said it is important to recognize how personality traits can affect the ability to work from home.

"I'm going to say probably more introverted people might be better suited because there is less social action," she said.

"But there are also tons of extroverted people who are well-suited to self-employment, but I think typically what their work might include is going out into the community to offer a service or a product."

Regardless of personality type, incorporating social interaction into the individual's life is important for balance and to maintain drive and focus in the home office.