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Much has been said about the perks of having a home office—not the least of which are its benefits to your finances, health, and overall well-being. Fundamentally, it should encourage output and inspire hard work, which makes it important to establish your home office with great care and no small amount of planning. Here are some of the most important elements needed to create a home office and, by extension, set the stage for your success.
You need space (or more of it).
On principle, you can work anywhere out of your home when you run a home-based operation—and yes, even your bed is fair game. However, there is actually legitimate science behind why it’s unhealthy to work out of your bedroom, which simultaneously makes a strong case for the home office. Not only does it change the emotions the space triggers, it can interfere with maintaining balance between home and work.
Of course, you can set up shop just about anywhere in your house where there’s space to work—in theory, that is. In reality, as your business grows and your tasks, inventory, and responsibilities increase, so does your need for space.
While there are many ways to satisfy this requirement, arguably one of the best options is to buy a new home. Some small business owners consider foreclosed homes. The cheaper prices are enticing, saving you a great deal of capital that you can subsequently use on your business.
Be aware, though, that with foreclosed homes, what you see is what you get, so it’s only prudent to thoroughly inspect the home and understand its limitations before you make an offer, as well as get pre-approved for a home loan. Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to work with an experienced real estate agent who really knows a thing or two about foreclosures, as things can quickly become complicated.
You need to make improvements.
As soon as you have the requisite space for your home office, it’s time to get it set up for your business. While as TechRepublic notes, it will undoubtedly have a good number of must-haves, it’s important to start with the basic infrastructure to get it up to operational speed.
At the most fundamental level, your office will need adequate heating and lighting that makes it comfortable for good productivity. Beyond that, your home office should have a high-speed internet connection and a secure network, a surge protector and uninterrupted power supply (UPS), and a telephone or VoIP system.
Beyond basic connectivity and operability, you should pay attention to your home office’s furniture and fixtures, too. At the very least, you will want functional surfaces like desks, ergonomic chairs, and storage units. Depending on your business, you will also likely populate it with myriad electronic equipment, such as computers, multifunction printers, shredders, and so forth.
You need to have a clear vision.
Of course, a good home office is one that you will actually want to work in, which is why it’s crucial to design it with equal parts productivity and aesthetics in mind. It’s your own workspace, after all, so you have the golden opportunity to tailor-fit it to your personal workflow for maximum efficiency. Equally as important is the chance to personalize it for inspiration rather than distractions.
As a rule of thumb, design your home office setup to have all the bells and whistles that make you work efficiently. However, take great pains not to overdo it as clutter can easily accumulate and impede you from thinking clearly. In this regard, NPR recommends taking to heart the French culinary system of mise-en-place—that is to say, there’s a place for everything, so keep everything in its place.
Worthwhile rewards on the horizon make a great case for starting and running a home-based business. Indeed, while the growth of your home-based business starts with you, it actually starts in your home office. By knowing what you need to create this inspiring and productive space, you will find yourself a step closer to home business success.