Tips for Creating a Home Office
If you’re thinking of creating a home office, chances are you know about some of the benefits. You'll have lower overhead costs, more flexibility, more convenience and a much shorter commute time than if you had to go to an office building each day. The Coronavirus has forced many businesses to shift to at-home operations for the time being anyway, so it's key to make sure you're prepared for this change and can be productive at home. The tips below can help you with creating a home office that meets all your needs.
Find the spot
The first step of creating a home office is determining its location. Ideally, you can put it in an area that's separate enough from your main living quarters, such as the garage or basement. However, if this isn’t possible, at least try to ensure that your office has a door. Working from home means that you'll have to be diligent about minimizing distractions.
If your current home is not going to provide you with the space you need to be productive, it might be time to look for a different home. With your office in mind, research rental options in any areas you'd like to live in, and be sure to factor in space for storage.
Lay it out
Once you know where you’re creating a home office, it’s time to lay it out. This is when you’ll consider the equipment you need and determine how to best fit it in the space provided while also allowing you to work comfortably. Also, keep in mind space for storage and shelving when laying out your office. Moreover, if possible, position your primary workstation where you can get plenty of natural light throughout the day.
Buy the equipment
Creating a home office requires you to have the necessary equipment. When you’re budgeting for your workspace, your equipment should be one of the last areas you make cuts; invest in quality equipment that will help you achieve your business goals. Otherwise, it can leave you less productive and frustrated.
Some basic items to consider are an ergonomic desk (desks are available for under $200), an ergonomic chair, a computer (laptop and/or desktop) and a reliable WiFi source. You’ll also need to consider whether you need a printer/scanner, fax machine, shredder and other kinds of equipment. And of course, filing cabinets and other storage solutions might be in order. Furthermore, this is the time to make sure you have all the software and tools you need to work efficiently.
Furnish and decorate
This is the fun part! If you plan on having customers or clients visit your home office, you may need to get additional furniture besides your desk and chair. Oftentimes, a couple of armchairs will suffice, but if people will be coming in and out of your office on a daily basis, you might consider including a sofa, a coffee table, side tables and other such items.
You may need to paint the walls as well when creating a home office. But before you grab a brush, make sure your landlord has given you permission to paint with your color of choice. If you can proceed, consider color psychology when choosing colors; you can paint your office to foster creativity, focus and energy! Also, pick fixtures and decor that complement the space. If your workspace is relatively small, you’ll want to pay special attention to choosing functional decor. And don’t be afraid to really make the space your own by adding artwork, posters, photographs or any other items that add a little bit of your personality.
Creating a home office you'll be productive in is key. Choose a location and layout that will allow you to work comfortably and not get distracted easily. Invest in quality equipment, and furnish and decorate your office in a way that appeals to customers/clients (if applicable) while also expressing your personality. Making investments like these can make all the difference when it comes to creating a home office you'll thrive in.