Guest Post by: Tina Martin
If you’re thinking about starting a home-based business, you probably know about some of the benefits: no commute, more flexibility with work hours and scaling up/down, lower overhead costs, and tax deductions, among others. While the advantages are many, there are also significant challenges involved with running a home-based business. Chief among these is balancing work-home life, cutting out distractions, and staying productive on a day-to-day basis.
Building an adequate workspace can go a long way in helping with these challenges. From picking a location to ergonomics to furnishing and decorating, here is some practical advice on building a home office that will facilitate productivity and help you grow your business.
The first order of business is to create the actual space for your home office. Sure, you can squeeze a desk and chair into the corner of your closet or extra bedroom, but you need to make sure you have enough space to stretch out and work productively. You should also think about minimizing noises and other distractions, especially if you have family members coming in and out of the home throughout the day. For instance, setting up your office near the living room or kitchen might leave you vulnerable to frequent distractions.
Maybe your home doesn’t have the extra space necessary for your home office. If this is the case, you might need to consider purchasing a new home. Although this is a major financial investment, it can be worthwhile if it allows you to grow your business properly. Nonetheless, it’s critical to follow some guidelines when buying a new home, such as calculating how much you can spend, going to open houses and searching for homes online, hiring a qualified real estate agent, and negotiating an affordable sale price.
Clearing Out and Painting
When you’ve decided on where your home office will be, it’s time to clear out the space and choose paint colors. It will be easiest to paint the walls before you move your equipment and furnishings in. You can do whatever you want in this stage. If you’re going for a color that brings energy, try a coral. If you want a hue that invokes calm, look at various shades of blue. If you would like to create a sense of nature in your office, consider a green and brown scheme. Even if you decide to use one or more of these colors, it will help to mix them in with a light neutral tone (e.g., white, off-white, light gray, etc.).
When you’re selecting/setting up your office equipment, think of ergonomics in every aspect. This means considering your health and safety when it comes to spending hours upon hours at your desk. Make sure your chair supports good posture and adjusts to where you can work with your arms and legs parallel to the floor. Keep your computer screens at eye level so you don’t have to bend your neck, and look into ergonomic devices like keyboard pads and footrests.
Furnishing and Decorating
How you furnish and decorate your home office will depend on two factors: your personal tastes and whether you will have visitors. So, make sure the office is comfortable and inspiring to you. Consider hanging a few art pieces and/or motivational posters, putting out plants, and adding a few family photos to your desk. If you will have clients or customers dropping in, make sure there is ample furniture (e.g., a small sofa, armchairs, a coffee table, etc.), and showcase any credentials, such as degrees, awards, and certifications.
If you want to take full advantage of running a business from home, you need to build a quality home office. Pick a good spot for the office, and remember to follow guidelines if purchasing a new home. Declutter and clean the work area, and choose paint colors that suit your tastes. Lastly, look for ergonomic equipment, and furnish and decorate the office to meet your needs.
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