Regardless of whether you plan to start working for another company remotely or you are starting a home-based business, you need to create a home office that positions you for success with your endeavors.
When you work from home, you can save money and time by eliminating your work commute, and you may enjoy greater flexibility, the ability to wear comfortable clothes and more. These benefits are enjoyable, but the experience of working from home is not without its challenges.
When you work in this non-traditional environment, you need to create a professional work space to help you stay on track throughout the day. The following tips can guide you into setting up the most practical and efficient home office environment.
Choosing the right location for a home-based business is important for several reasons. If you share a home with others, such as a spouse or a roommate, you need to choose a space that is private and quiet. Putting your office space behind a closed door in a remote area of the home is a smart idea.
However, if you are going to meet with clients in your home, you may prefer to set up your office toward the front of the home. This can minimize the amount space in your home that is opened up when inviting clients in. Some people simply plan to camp out on the kitchen table or the sofa each day, but you can see that this is not ideal or practical in many cases.
Unless you are inviting clients into your home office, you have considerable freedom to decorate your home office on your terms. Of course, a home office that is suitable for clients to visit should be professional.
A private office, however, may make use of intriguing colors and furniture that expresses your unique style. You can add personal elements to the décor, incorporate ample natural light into the space and otherwise make this an enjoyable and customized space that you love to spend time in.
This décor can be as individualized as you are, but it should not be distracting. When decorating your home office, be realistic and honest with yourself about the work environment that you need to stay on track and work with minimal distractions.
Your furniture should have the ideal form and features to meet your unique work needs. Consider how you plan to use your space, what items you need easy access to, how much storage space you need in drawers and more. Use these factors to narrow down the options available.
In addition, focus on finding a comfortable chair that has an ergonomic design. You may be able to repurpose some furnishings from other areas of the home, or you may need to look for consignment furnishings if you are shopping on a budget.
A computer is one of the most common pieces of equipment that you will find in a typical home office, but other equipment is also essential for practical use of your space. You also may need access to a printer, a copier, a scanner and even a fax machine in most cases. There are some multi-purpose office machines that cover all of these functions in a single, space-saving machine.
If you do not have a regular need for this type of equipment, you could consider heading to a third-party printing and copying venue as needed rather than buying equipment. This is also a space-saving measure if you have limited space available for additional equipment.
You may also need a landline phone installed in your home office space, but this is not always necessary if you plan to use your cellphone as your work number.
Many home offices are very small, and simply having a desk and chair in the area can create a cramped experience. Organization is critical when space is limited. Consider maximizing vertical space with bookshelves or hanging wall shelves. Vertical file folders are also a smart idea. A stackable basket feature can be used on your desk to organize your papers and urgent files.
If space is very limited, avoid decorating with an excessive number of personal items and trinkets. A cramped office can be distracting and unpleasant to be in, so focus intently on organizational strategies that free up space.
Working from home can be a truly wonderful experience, and you may feel grateful for this opportunity on a daily basis. However, there are also frustrations and sources of stress to contend with. Many of these frustrations can be addressed when you take time to set up a thoughtfully designed home office. As you create a new home office space or revamp your existing space, keep these excellent tips in mind to set up a functional and efficient work area.