If you are starting a business, one of the first things to set up is your home office. While working from home can be attractive initially, in the long-term you will need a productive area, where you are able to work without distractions. This article 5 of the most important considerations when setting up your home office.
Tip 1: Choose a big enough room
The factor that will influence your home office the most is the size of the room that you are going to use. While you may be limited by whatever spare room (or corner of a room) that you have available, in general, the bigger the room is, the better. Having more space will make the environment a more pleasant experience to work in – and also allow you to be more productive. If you are crammed into a small cupboard, you likely won’t have the room to spread out and see all your work at the same time.
Possible tax saving: An added bonus of having a larger office (in the US) is that you may be eligible to offset it against your taxes. If you qualify for a home office tax deduction, the simplest approach is now to deduct based on the size of your office: the IRS currently allows a tax deduction of $5 per square foot, up to 300 square feet. The larger your office, the greater the tax deduction that you may be eligible to.
Tip 2: Make sure that your office is private and quiet
The next big consideration when setting up your home office is picking somewhere that is private and quiet. Distractions will cause your productivity to plummet. If you are able to hear the TV in the background (or worse, have one directly in front of you), your setup is not conducive to success. At a minimum, make sure that your office has a closed door and is separate from your living area.
Tip 3: Ensure you have more storage than you think that you need
One of the most overlooked factors when setting up an office is storage. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have very few work-related items, only to discover after starting working that you have far more stationary and other items than you ever anticipated.
While it is almost inevitable that no matter how much storage you have, you will end up filling it, it is important not to skimp at the beginning. Make sure to think through all the various items that you will need access to, and plan accordingly. Too little storage will quickly result in your office becoming cluttered.
Tip 4: Maximize light, but also install blinds
Having light in your office is a big perk. Not only will it help you see what you are doing, but it can also be impactful on your mood – a big window (and hopefully sun) can make even the dullest of tasks seem a lot more pleasant.
However, there is a danger that excessive light can make it difficult to work. Having glare on your computer screen can be a big distraction. Blinds allow you to adjust the light – more so than curtains which are either open or closed. This makes them ideal for home offices – allowing you to limit glare, while still having a bright office.
Tip 5: Upgrade your wifi, or install network cables
A final tip is to ensure that your office is well connected to the internet. There is nothing worse than having an intermittent connection. If you have any doubts about whether your WiFi signal strength is sufficiently high, consider installing a new WiFi box, or better yet, a network cable between your modem and your computer.
Beyond home offices: Consider co-working spaces
While having a home office can be great – you may also want to consider co-working spaces. These can be ideal options for entrepreneurs who both want to maintain a separation between work and life, while also allowing you the opportunity of meeting other entrepreneurs who are going through similar experiences to you.