With more people working from home these days, creative innovators are finding ways to make their personal workspace feel and look more professional. From décor to boundaries, a typical home office is looking more and more like a regular office setting. Here are four ways to maximize the business-like environment of your home work area.
Set up your home office in an area that is out of the way of daily household traffic. A corner of a good-sized dining area could work, or possibly a finished room in the basement or attic. You need a dedicated space to do work, and little else. Some home business entrepreneurs have refinished an outdoor shed to function as a personal home business space. If you want to use a side space in the family room or in a decent size space under the stairwell, consider including a room divider to remind everyone in the family that beyond the barrier is your private workspace.
Avoid doing other tasks in your home workspace, such as folding clothes, preparing food, or helping kids with homework. Set up your desk with the necessary essentials for your job, which typically includes a laptop or desktop personal computer, a cell phone or landline with a voicemail message feature, and desk supplies such as pens, notepads, paper clips, and other items for the job. Shelving for supplies like printer paper, stationery and envelopes, file folders, and similar storage items is helpful. Make sure your lighting is adequate. If more illumination is needed, add a desk lamp or stand-alone light near the workspace.
If your job involves meeting with colleagues, clients, or professionals like accountants, you may find yourself in need of organizing a video conferencing setup. Setting up a space for video conferencing can be as simple as clearing off a wall and creating a pleasing backdrop. Many remote professionals suffer from having cluttered or unattractive backgrounds or areas they conduct meetings like this. You could also look into a virtual office. A virtual office is office space you rent out only one or two rooms or you might even only rent a desk. Virtual offices can present a number of benefits, depending on the needs of your small business, including: avoiding the distractions of working from home; reliable internet at fast speeds; a physical business address in a prestigious location, which can be used for business cards, mail correspondence, meetings and more; the ability to expand to new markets by using a local address and phone number; and an inexpensive alternative to leasing a full-time office.
Plan your home work schedule around your other household duties or activities. If you are getting breakfast for school-age children, start your workday at nine a.m. after they catch the bus. If you have a small baby or an elderly parent to care for, arrange your schedule around their needs and daily routine. It may feel like a lot at first, but the benefits of creating a schedule and sticking to it far outweigh anything else. Getting behind on your work because you slacked off on your schedule only ends up hurting yourself in the end.
If you’re wanting to improve your business and its reach, you should consider local marketing efforts. Targeting your local area can make a significant difference, and with the rise of people going to small businesses for more things, you might find yourself in a perfect situation to attract more customers. For local marketing assistance, see how we can help!