Not surprisingly, home offices are very common among self-employed business owners. In fact, 59% of all U.S. entrepreneurs run their businesses from their home according to the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report. By working from home, you can save both time and money. This includes eliminating long commutes, rental fees, and other expensive overhead costs. Home offices can also grant you more flexibility and independence resulting in better work-life balance.
At the same time, home offices can also be distracting. Your TV, kitchen, and honey-do-lists are all just steps away – not to mention the bustle and disruptions of your family or roommates. Creating a home office that balances these pros and cons is all about setting up a space that allows you to focus on your work and enjoy the rewards. To experience this, here are 3 easy steps:
1. Find the Right Space
There are several elements to consider when finding the right space to setup your home office. Most importantly, it needs to be somewhere where you can work undisturbed. Ideally, this means a separate room with a door. Not all of us live in an ideal space, though. As a result, you may need to get a bit creative about where you choose to work. This could mean repurposing the breakfast nook, renovating the basement/attic, or sectioning off a space in your living room using screens or room dividers.
Size also matters when it comes to choosing your space. If you’re mostly working on a laptop, a small space can be perfectly adequate. However, if you have a lot of equipment, inventory, and supplies, you need to have enough space to store and work with these items efficiently. As an alternative to a home office, check out virtual office space on-demand, as well. If you have predictable monthly income, taking on this predictable monthly fee may be just the right solution!
2. Minimize or Avoid Clutter
A cluttered work area fuels a cluttered mind. Find ways to avoid this by leveraging the right technology, equipment and processes that result in streamlining your productivity. The first rule to achieving a clutter-free space is to only purchase what you need. There are many things you may wish to have in your home office – seating, multiple monitors, a wrap-around desk – but if they are not essential, choose a more productive way to use that space. For example, equipment that offers mutli-purpose functions, such as an all-in-1 printer that copies, scans, and faxes is a great way to utilize space as well as save money. You can even find furniture that offers multi-function, space saving value, such as a bookcase that converts into a spare chair or a desk that converts into a spare bed!
Workflow when setting up your office is also important to ensure that you can move, find, and access things easily. What items do you use the most? Position these close to your desk so that they are readily accessible. Also make sure you can navigate your space easily. If you have items blocking your path or you find that you must reach behind and move things frequently to access them, it’s time to reorganize.
3. Create a Productive Ambiance
With the right space and workflow setup, you can then create the most productive ambiance. Ambiance is about the overall character of the space and atmosphere. The more you can make it about “you,” and how you get inspired, the better! This can mean arranging just the right lighting, music, smells, sounds, sights, textures, and more. Choose what appeals to your senses and incorporate it into your work area.
When you consider how much time we spend at our career pursuits – learning, earning and looking for fulfillment – it makes perfect sense that our work space be ideally conducive to ensuring our productivity. Go for it! Only you know what’s right for you. Use these tips to craft your ideal world for doing what you love and enjoying every minute of it!