The advantages of working from home are many, but the idea of being able to work on the patio, the couch, or even right from the comfort of your bed attracts a lot of people. What most don’t realize, unfortunately, is that the majority of people will be more productive if they set themselves up with a traditional workstation or office space that includes all the staples: a desk, a chair, hard-wired Internet (which might be optional, depending on the work that you do), and so forth.
A home office is a chance to create your perfect space. That kind of freedom is great, but it can also be intimidating to some. Fortunately, you’re not alone in this endeavor. First up, you have to figure out the right location.
Those who already have a home office may not have to worry about this step—after all, the space is already there. Others may have a spare bedroom or space in the basement they can use for an office with a little bit of work. There are some people, however, who may not have that kind of extra square footage. That’s okay because there are other options.
Pick a space that is comfortable, well-lit, and has the technology and electrical access that you’ll need. Nothing is worse than setting up your workstation at the dining room table only to realize that your laptop charger cord won’t reach and you have to relocate to plug it in. If you’re someone without an obvious space for a home office, start looking around your home in creative ways.
Do you have an unused nook? A large room with an empty corner? Perhaps there’s space under the stairs that isn’t being utilized. A dedicated room that can be separated from the rest of the home is ideal, but that’s not always an option.
You’re going to spend a large part of your day sitting at your desk. You might as well make sure that you’re doing it comfortably. Traditional office chairs are a good place to start, but you might want to branch out and consider other options, such as a comfortable side chair or a unique ergonomic office chair that’s easy on your back and joints. A good chair can even be the starting point for the inspiration for the rest of the space.
Some people start setting up a home office, only to set aside a list of items that they will need “eventually” but don’t want to buy now. Your office should be ready to go from day one. Even if you aren’t going to use something all the time, you should have it for when you need it. The last thing you want is to be unable to do your job because you were trying to save money in the wrong places.
Flexibility is great, but it can lead to a lot of erratic work schedules for people who are going back and forth between work and home activities all day. Not only that but if family members are home, they need to know when work is happening so that they can stay away and give you the space and privacy that you need. Even if you don’t keep a standard eight-hour shift, you should have some kind of agreement of when the office is off limits or when you are “at work” and shouldn’t be disturbed.
You need a business line for business calls. If you’re working from home for a company, they might provide you with the communications setup you need. SMBs and solo businesses, however, are usually on their own. If you still have a home phone, do not use it for your home business or office. Calls and messages could get mixed up and it just looks unprofessional.
With the influx of VoIP services, you can easily set up a business line via the Internet and take calls that way, saving a fortune on a physical business phone setup and hardwired line.
Along with all the important details of setting up your home office, you’ll also get to decorate this great new space. To do that, think about what kind of colors, design aesthetics, and other elements you want to include. It’s often helpful to consider motivating or uplifting choices, such as a warm color for the walls or plenty of natural light from windows. Maybe you have mentors and famous people from your industry or history that you look up to—consider adding their portraits to the wall.
If you want to create a “Zen” office space, incorporate various design concepts and keep décor light and simple. This keeps it clean and calm so that you can focus on getting things done. Think about what motivates you to get things done and what kind of changes you could make to the décor in that regard.
If your office doesn’t work for you, it becomes more of a “can’t-workspace” and that’s no good for anyone. Even if you’re on a budget, you should be able to find small ways to make changes that create a space you can feel good about working in.
Working from a home office means that you’re probably not going to be hiring people to handle things like fielding calls and screening leads—but you also don’t have time to do it yourself. The glory of home office work today is that you can find plenty of ways to outsource, including the 24/7 answering service offered by the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai.
Our team of dedicated experts can provide support for lead intake, appointment scheduling, and even your outreach campaigns to help you generate leads in the first place. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.