Everything you do when setting up your own home office should be geared towards ensuring you approach it with the same mindset you would have when working elsewhere, suggests Maria Sanchez, who writes articles on SEO and digital marketing for her blog, and is an experienced entrepreneur specialising in content marketing for Lucky Assignments, academic writing website.
Before you start converting your loft, basement or garage into the center of your business, you need to understand that you are the business’s greatest asset and with the distractions of home life, you need to protect that asset as you would any other piece of equipment. This means setting some boundaries for yourself and others. Your family or flatmates need to understand that you are off-grid for the times you’re in your office, and you need to recognize that too.
Make for yourself, as you would at any other workplace, a rota which ensures that you will maintain productivity. You have the freedom to choose your own hours, but these hours must be adhered to. With this in mind, you might want to bring workplace policies and procedures home, ensuring that you maintain a positive, productive atmosphere in which you can grow your business.
Wherever you choose as a workspace should be fit for purpose and practical. A game room, for instance, with consoles and TVs, will almost certainly be a very distracting place. If your work requires plenty of space and power sources, you’ll need to assess and plan how your workspace will be set up, making use of floor-plans and measurements. If your climate will allow it, you could even think of creating an outdoor workspace!
You may also need to consider whether it will just be used by you. Ask yourself whether it is a practical place for clients, for instance, to be brought and negotiated with. If you are planning on hiring anyone, then you’ll need to make doubly sure that you aren’t breaking any workplace health and safety directives and stay up to date on policies which may affect your employees.
For many, certainly if your job requires equipment or material, you might consider whether the location has adequate storage space. If needs be, can your budget allow for modifications to be made to the area?
Most businesses these days will require an adequate wi-fi signal to keep you in contact with your clients or stakeholders. Your need for communications might also require a landline, and there are some governing bodies that insist on a landline to legitimize businesses.
A big consideration is the lighting in your location. Some work requires excellent lighting, especially for art or intricate engineering. But there is also the effect that bad lighting can have on your productivity. To this end, you might consider whether it’s worth investing in your own portable lighting.
The things you need
Once you’ve picked a location for your workspace, you can go to town in kitting it out. It might be worth making a list of the essential needs of your business.
Including the right desk is often the first consideration you should make. You’ll need to think what size of desk or workbench you’ll need, how portable it’ll need to be, whether it’s merely for practical use or whether you’d like it to be something fancy to make an impression on potential clients.
If your office space doesn’t have enough or any storage space built in, you need to consider how you will organize the equipment, materials or documents. It’s a good idea to actually visit office furniture shops rather than just buying online, as you’ll get a clearer vision of the dimensions.
You might want to shop around for the forms you’ll need for you business. Make sure to leave space for a monitor and desktop computer, or a printer with plenty of storage space for toner and ink cartridges.
For many home workers, investing in a comfortable but sturdy chair is very important. Other workplaces have often got the capital to bulk buy office furniture, and you may not have that budget to spend, but it’s worth considering the use you’ll get out of it and the posture you’ll be sat in for many hours of the day.
Finally, it’s also a good thing to try and personalize your workplace. Give yourself space to collect reminders of your achievements, whether its a certificate from a university or a particularly good piece of feedback from your clients. That way you can continue to take inspiration and continue to be motivated in your endeavour.
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