The Fundamental Home Office Setup Guide for Your Small Business
By Julie Morris,
First, carve out a physical space in your home for your new office. A guest bedroom, garage, or empty basement might work perfectly. You could even work out of a separate structure on your property, like a garden shed, as long as you’re willing to invest in a few modifications—these structures typically lack windows and electrical hookups. Just make sure whatever space you find is large enough for your needs. Working out of different locations in your home is inefficient!
If your business has completely outgrown your home and you just can’t find space for a comfortable office, it may be time to move. You can keep the home buying process as simple as possible by following important steps along the way. For example, Redfin recommends starting your housing search by calculating how much you can afford and getting pre-approved for a mortgage.
Determining Your Needs
Once you have found a room or building for your office, think about the equipment, furniture, and storage solutions you need. If you spend most of your day at a computer, you will need a reliable internet connection, a good quality chair, and a simple desk. Ensure that your desk is large enough to hold papers and computer equipment without causing clutter chaos! If you will be meeting with clients, incorporate some professional décor and guest seating into your design plan. Business owners who build or craft products may have to include substantial storage space for supplies and tools.
Be careful to consider your workflow as you plan out your office layout. Position desks, tools, and storage solutions strategically to maximize your efficiency and reduce distractions. For example, ClutterBGone recommends creating a dedicated mail center, a printing space, and a file system for managing paper clutter.
Household distractions are the enemy of every home-based business owner. When setting up your home office, pay special attention to sights and sounds that may be distracting. Can you hear the living room television from your office? Does your office window face a busy street? Will your children be tempted to visit you while you’re working? Don’t assume that you will be able to “tune out” distractions. Plan ahead to create a quiet and private workspace by choosing a room far away from regular household activity. Since smartphones and tablets can be a significant source of distractions, have a dedicated spot in your office to store these gadgets away from your desk.
Lighting is an essential element of any office environment. According to Us&Co, people tend to work best in natural light, so make sure you have windows in your home workspace. You may have to add windows to a garage or shed if you choose to work in one of these locations.
In addition to natural light, you can use different types of lighting to create a comfortable workspace that reduces eyestrain and headaches. Don’t rely on general overhead lighting alone. Use task lighting for focused projects, like reading and writing, and accent lighting to soften your surroundings and make your office more inviting. This will give you control over the brightness and intensity of your lighting so you can adjust your work environment as needed throughout your day.
Running a home-based business is no easy task. To keep your business moving forward, design a distraction-free workspace where you can focus easily and access everything you need right at your fingertips. Take the time to plan out your office design to ensure your new workspace is conducive to comfort and productivity.
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