Running a business from home offers numerous advantages including flexibility, lower overhead costs, and zero commute time. However, many people find it challenging to get work done in a non-traditional office environment. One of the keys to success is having an inviting and convenient area where you actually want to spend your time. Check out the following tips to set up a home workspace that will make you more motivated and productive.
Determine Your Workspace Needs
Before you start clearing out the guest room or purchasing office furniture, think about the work you’ll be doing. Will you be working on a computer, packaging products, organizing materials, or holding client meetings? Some business owners need a lot of space for storing inventory and equipment, while others are satisfied with a small den for video conferencing and computer work.
Some entrepreneurs may even have to buy a new house to accommodate the growing needs of their home business. If you decide to go this route, simplify your housing search by finding a qualified real estate agent. Since they are looking at the market day in and day out, they can help you find the ideal location, and keep you abreast of opportunities that pop up during your search.
Build a New Space
You can also build a new office space on your existing property. This may involve clearing out and repurposing an old garden shed or garage—or constructing a new building altogether. NationServe notes many people have success with converting a garage into a home office space. Just keep in mind that you might have to hire professionals to add outlets, insulation, comfortable flooring, and additional lighting.
If you’re short on space, consider having a new storage shed built on your property. DoItYourself recommends choosing a type of shed that resembles a house—with a traditional door and at least one window—that can be converted into a livable space as easily as possible. This is especially important if you’ll be holding meetings in your office, since an appropriately decorated space that is distinctly separate from your home will appear much more professional and inviting to clients.
Incorporate Natural Lighting
The importance of natural light is often overlooked when planning or building office spaces. Studies show that natural light increases productivity and alertness while reducing eye strain, fatigue, and headaches. Try to incorporate as much natural light as possible into your home office.
If you’re setting up a little desk area in your house, find a spot next to a big window. If you’re converting a garage or shed into an office, consider installing some windows. If you’re searching for a new home, look for bright rooms with large windows or skylights as potential home office areas.
Then, Remodelista suggests supplementing natural light with a variety of lighting types to enhance the comfort of your workspace. For example, task lighting positioned correctly will help you focus on specific activities without creating frustrating glare or shadows.
Get Creative with Decor and Storage
Most importantly of all, make sure your office is a space that you really love. Your workspace should inspire, motivate, and energize you! Incorporating effective storage solutions and functional furniture will reduce daily frustrations and help you work more efficiently. For example, floating cubbies or shelving units are great for maximizing vertical space and keeping loose papers, office tools, and equipment out of your way.
There are endless ways to set up a home workspace, so play around with different design ideas until you’re happy. Just try to limit clutter like family photos and knick-knacks. Items piled up all around you will cause unnecessary stress and hamper your productivity.
A perfect workspace means something different to everyone. While some business owners are happy partitioning off a corner of a crowded garage for a computer desk, others need to create a greater divide between their work and personal life. Consider your particular business needs and personal desires to design a home workspace that will take your business to the next level.
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