If you are lucky enough to be able to work from home, what do you need to think about before you start buying letterheads and business cards? You need to think of the basics considerations. This will be your office for a home business so you need to make sure it is set up first.
I have put together 5 basic considerations for your home office. It might seem obvious, but It’s worth using this as a checklist to make sure you are ready to go: Get things right in the beginning and your day will run smoothly, and your mind will be clear and ready to get going. So without any more ‘introductory chat’ let’s get into it:
Working from home is amazing, it’s comfortable and rewarding. But you have to be careful that it’s not TOO comfortable. Sounds odd, but you need to make sure that your work area / office is professionally set up. This will help productivity. It has to be relatively formal working space but one which can be adapted to your tastes to inspire creativity.
If you don’t have a dedicated room, make sure you have a dedicated area, and that you set the ground rules as to who can use it, what times of the day it is your office. I have written an article about to how to work more efficiently which goes into this aspect in a little more detail.
Make sure you have enough space. Easier said than done, but there are so many solutions to laying out an office in a small space that you can make anything work. So in order to help with this, make a list of the equipment that you need. I have compiled a definitive guide to make it easier for you to find these items all in one place. LINK
An important point is to remember to use that office just for that. Don’t spread your work around the house, keep it to your office. Make sure you have all the furniture you need for this to happen. If you don’t have the space, think about storage in the garage for archived work or somewhere else, so that you only keep current work immediately to hand
2. Furniture and lighting
Choose your furniture to match your home but also to make you feel like you have a professional space. And ensure it’s functional. A desk with no drawers might look nice and simplistic, but if you are limited in space this might become slightly annoying.
I am a massive advocate of the right lighting. I am not a fan of ceiling lights, for ambience or for your eyes. But you must make the most of natural light. This is the absolute best form of lighting not just for your eyes but for your state of mind. Consider this when laying out your office.
Make sure you only have things you NEED. If you don’t need a paper shredder then save that for a later day. I love office equipment and stationary, it just makes you feel so organised – maybe I’m a bit sad huh, but I know I’m not the only one, but make sure you don’t just buy surplus items just because you might need it one day.
You will definitely need a wireless hub and broadband too, preferably a high speed connection. You need to look professional and there is nothing more frustrating that slow loading times when you spend a lot of time on your computer.
You will probably need more than just a mobile phone as well. Think about a separate phone line from your home phone and make sure your phone has the functionality that you would get in an office, such as messaging or conferencing.
A big issue about working from home is if your computer goes wrong, which we all know they can. If you are in urgent need of getting some work done but have no where to turn to fix the problem, this could waste valuable time and possibly business, you can’t just call down to the IT department. So find a computer support team, preferably local who are able to fix problems quickly. You may have to pay monthly to have this sort of service, but it’s well worth it.
Backup your work. at least once a week. I have been stung by this before.
And don’t forget to insure your technology for breakdown or theft. You can usually add this to your home insurance policy.
5. Healthy working practices
I’m not talking about eating an apple every 40 minutes. I mean ensuring that your set up, as you intend it to be long term, is optimal for your health. Have your computer screen raised to eye level and your keyboard at elbow level. If this means you need a separate monitor or a separate keyboard, so be it. This will help posture and eliminate the chance of neck strain or back problems.
In addition an ergonomic chair will greatly improve posture. They look odd but if you are spending hours in front of the computer, they are a worthwhile investment.
Think about pads to protect your wrists as you use your mouse or keyboard. In my definitive guide to setting up your home office, I have given you some great examples of these types products which can really help with comfort.
Now, you are ready to start searching for that equipment. See my Definitive guide where I have done the research so you don’t have to.
If you have any questions at all about my 5 basic considerations for an office for a home business, please let me know below.