Many people may hear that you work from home and think “they are so lucky!” The fact is that working from home can be a job in itself and an ongoing challenge. Have you ever been discouraged in your home office? Have you ever been taken away from your work with distractions that others in a typical office may not have? Have you ever found yourself looking at renting an office space to get out of the home? If you have experienced any of these issues, it’s time to renovate for creation and success.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were over 9.4 million Americans working from their home in 2010. Now that number has increased due to the massive progression in technology, as well as lower employee costs for large corporations to have “split” employees. With that said, many of you (including myself) work from home and know how challenging it can be. This article is going to be the first in a three part installment that doesn’t just look into your home office, but also in what ways you can better manage your time, create boundaries, and increase your success, all while continuing working from your home.
Some of you reading this may already have a home office in place. Maybe it’s exactly what you always wanted, maybe it leaves some area to improve upon, nonetheless I encourage you all to read on and think of improvements or modifications that will make your workspace even better.
Let’s dive right in and look into your home office as a whole. Setting up a home office contains many steps but let’s look at a few:
Where in your home will you be least distracted? Having an office set up to the children’s playroom isn’t going to be ideal, as it will undoubtedly lead to distractions as well as sounds that may come across as unprofessional when on the phone with a customer. Choose a space in your home where you feel free to work and motivated to arrive to each day.
When choosing my office, I considered the sound of my daughter (20 months and a wild soul), access to the outside for breaks and a quick walks, and lastly, space and size. These factors work for me but think what’s best for you in your home situation. Some find that a garage can be a great home office, however, temperature and cleanliness can be a chore to overcome. Look at your home from a contractor standpoint and find the space that provides the unique things that you enjoy or require.
Don’t count anything out. Maybe you have a large family room that no one ever enters or uses and all it would take to transform it into an office is a doorway or a couple of walls. Construction is never fun but once you have your perfect home office in place, the countless hours spent in it will be much more enjoyable.
Decor and Furniture
The color of a room is proven to effect a persons mood and productivity. Choose a color that inspires and motivates you. Don’t be afraid to paint your office whatever color you wish, it’s paint and can be painted again. An empty room can be an opportunity, so grab a pencil and create some renderings of how you can arrange and maximize the space. Don’t forget the power of natural light in a work place when considering placement of your desk, it not only lifts moods but also is much easier on the eyes.
Invest in furniture and decor that will not only work, but last. The difference between a $100 desk and a $500 desk may seem hard to understand at the time of purchase but in 5 years, you’ll know why. Purchase a desk that is much larger than you need, we all know it will become full of items in no time. Consider your body type and comfort in the decision as well. I am a fairly tall person and for me, having no backing on the desk was very important. I had learned with my previous desk that a backing and someone my height leads to bruised shins and my knees resting against it all day with no room to stretch. Think about your day and where you spend your time. Is it 100% computer based or do you prefer to handwrite notes or documents? If you do, consider an L or U shaped desk so you will have a clean area to write freely without having to re-arrange your keyboard and other items.
Designing your office should be a fun project, so enjoy it. Your expenses in this project are tax deductible so make sure you get what you want, not just what you need. Many of us are not only the owner of a business, we are the accountant, human resource department, mailing room, marketing department, graphic designer and much more. The time spent running your business is hard enough, enjoy the day as much as you can with quality and nice things surrounding you.
Do you appreciate gardening? Get an indoor plant for your office to bring life to a room where your day is spent. Do you enjoy reading your emails on a tablet? Get a couch or comfortable love seat to do it on. Do you stand up frequently through the day? Make sure to account for space to stretch or jump around through the day.
Investing in Your Success
In our next installment, I will be discussing technology and the incorporation of it into your home office. Before we leave this topic for the month, I want to instill a thought that I truly hold belief in. As an entrepreneur, you are the business. You are the heart and soul, the beating heart and growing bones. Your home office is more than a “home office.” it is your canvas of creation. It is the place where your success will happen so please invest in it.
Believe in yourself and build the space that works for you to cultivate success. Spending money is hard, especially when it isn’t on fun things like a new car or a vacation, however this space will take up more of your time than any other so spend the time and money ensuring you have it the way that works for you.