5 basic considerations for an office for a home business

5 basic considerations for an office for a home business

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:

 

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1.Positioning

considerations for an office for a home businessWorking 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

 

considerations for an office for a home business lighting2. 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.

 

3. Equipment

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.

Considerations for an office for a home business

 

4. Technology

considerations for an office for a home business technologyYou 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. considerations for an office for a home business seatingHealthy 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.

 

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14 thoughts on “5 basic considerations for an office for a home business

  1. Nigel says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more about some of these factors, especially point No.5. I used to get a sore back at work until we had professionals come in and advise positioning for your posture. Many people had their screens way too high.
    I also like the idea of backing up my work at least once a week. Do you have any tips on how to do this? Do you use a special program?

    • Ruth says:

      Hi Nigel

      I simply use a hard drive where I back up my files once a week. take a look at this selection from Amazon. I prefer to have something i can hold. But a lot of people use dropbox too which comes highly recommended. This is based on a cloud system so you can access your files anywhere you like. I hope that helps.

      Thanks for your comments

  2. Stephanie says:

    I really enjoyed reading not only the article on five basic considerations for setting up your home office to work from home. I think it is important and helpful to have a quiet space to work and to establish some boundaries with the family so they know when to not disturb you. I work from home too and I am constantly being disturbed by family members for the smallest little things, such as, someone wanting me to see the comics section of the newspaper or something completely meaningless. Any ideas on how to effectively set up those boundaries?

    • Ruth says:

      Ha I know what you mean Stephanie. I think the best thing to do is to have a chat to the kids and get them to ask you everything they need for the next hour. If you give them hourly slots to work to it is more manageable for them not to disturb you in smaller chunks. The younger they are the harder this is. If they are young, like mine are, I give myself 20 minutes and then go and talk to them, and then go back. But most of the time, I don’t work when they are around. It’s pretty difficult!

  3. Ehab says:

    Hello Ruth,

    Great tips and very simple, i hope one day to have my own home office after i succeed in my online business as it’s still in the first steps, i agree with all the tips but i like more creative ideas for the office shape not the classic one,anyways thanks for sharing this beautiful tips.

  4. Shawn says:

    Thanks for the tips Ruth. You provide some good points such a defining your work space, setting your hours, designing your work space to motivate. an idea board, and scheduling. Treating one’s home work space the same as an actual office is good advice. A dedicated area is bound to help with creativity.

  5. Paula says:

    Thanks for these tips Ruth. I have been thinking of moving my own work space to a dedicated part of the house as I feel I have bits of everything including notepads, books and various other bits in every part of the house. It doesn’t have to be a big space, just a little bit more organised.

    • Ruth says:

      Absolutely, I agree. Everyone has different requirements to be organised, some are extremely organised and need to be this way to be happy, others are happy in a more haphazard set up. Find what’s right for you. Good luck!

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