Every year, more people are ditching their offices and 9-to-5 jobs to reap all the benefits of working for themselves instead. And just as many are sticking to their 40-hour gigs but opting to work from home instead.
If you’re working from home, you need to set up a workspace where you can tackle everything on your to-do list. Keeping a stack of files and your laptop on an end table in your living room won’t cut it in the long run! Here’s how to design a space that is both efficient and comfortable.
Consider Your Needs:
Depending on which industry you work in and what your average workday looks like, you may need different tools or features in your home office. For instance, if you have an online shop, you may need space to organize and store your inventory. If you occasionally meet with clients at your home, you will likely require extra space. On the other hand, you may only need a basic desk and filing cabinet. Take some time to determine your home office requirements; no two offices will look the same!
Need More Square Footage?
Once you’ve figured out how much room you’ll need for your ideal home office, you might come to the realization that it would be difficult to effectively run your business out of your current home. Some entrepreneurs find that buying a bank-owned or foreclosed home is actually a great investment. You’ll enjoy significant savings, and you can pour that money right back into your business.
When you choose to go down this route, you’ll need to follow a few basic steps. After getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll need to find a real estate agent who has previous experience with foreclosures. Understand the inherent risks in buying a foreclosed home, and make sure you’re ready for a thorough home inspection.
If you purchase a home with the intent of building a freestanding office or workspace, you may be required to hold a business license and permit. Some residential zones may prohibit any type of business that increases foot traffic, so check with your local zoning board before making any drastic change to your home or buying a new property with your business in mind.
Furnish Your Office:
Before furnishing your new home office, deep clean the space. If you want to brighten it up and make it look a little larger, a new coat of paint might be in order. You’ll spend hours each day at your desk, so make sure you choose one with plenty of space! OEC recommends picking a desk with enough room to keep your office supplies and get your work done, but not so large that it takes up valuable space. Test out a few office chairs, too. You’ll need plenty of support for your back on long workdays!
Choose the Right Tech:
If you want to boost your productivity, outfitting your home office with the right devices is key. Start by getting your office connected with a Wi-Fi router. It might also be time to upgrade your laptop, or you may want to consider purchasing dual monitors. According to Vivo, dual monitors can help you shave time off your typical workday. You’ll likely need a printer, and you should consider adding a smart speaker for added convenience.
Hardware is not the only technology that can make things easier either, especially if you’re working with the remote team. Make sure to utilize digital tools, including Google Drive and its suite of collaborative tools, such as Docs and Sheets. You may also want to invest in online workspaces like Redbooth and team chat apps like Slack. LastPass and other security software will also come in handy, and help you keep your business just as secure as a brick-and-mortar operation.
Finally, it’s time to bring some of your personal styles to your home office. Keep your decor simple so that it doesn’t distract you when you need to focus and pick a few photos you love to inspire you. Placing a few houseplants on your desk and windowsill will purify the air and give your office a clean, natural look!
Many people prefer the path of entrepreneurship over traditional employment. But if you want to take your home-based business to the next level, you need to design an office where you can get it all done. Whether you have the opportunity to buy a new home to accommodate your business, or you’re simply designating a comfortable corner of your current living space as your new office space, you’ll be amazed at how productive you feel when you have an office of your own, right at home.
Remember to always get an inspection for any property purchase,
Either for a Home or your Business.