If you’ve chosen to start your own business out of your home (or perhaps you’re telecommuting), creating an efficient office environment is your first step to ensuring you’re productive and not distracted being in your home setting. Here are seven items essential to setting up a proper home office -- you’ll be so productive, you’ll want to award yourself “Employee of the Month!”
A Designated Office Space
Although working from your bed or couch might sound like heaven, you’ll quickly discover you’re not very productive when you’re lounging with the TV on in front of you. A designated space in your home will help you keep your work and life separate, and being in your office space will help you get into your work mindset. Even a small space can be transformed into a good working space if you are smart about setting it up so it functions well. Look for a spot that is away from the major traffic or activity in your home. If it has a door that you can close, all the better. Choose a spot with good lighting sources as well -- above your reading area and behind your monitor to avoid eye strain. And hey, a window is always nice if you can get it.
A Proper Office Desk And Chair
As with any office where you’re often sitting for many hours in front of computer, having an ergonomically designed chair and a standard office desk will help ensure you sitting comfortably and not encouraging chronic pain or strain problems due to poor posture. Again, don’t forget your eyes – proper lighting sources are key, and avoid setting up your monitor facing a window to avoid glare and reflection.
An Internet Service Provider
Likely the most important tool for a home-based business today, reliable internet service allows you to access your emails, use social media to promote your business, research online, video call, and so much more. It can even replace the traditional land line, since you can now make online calls and video calls using services such as Skype and Google Chat. Most major service providers offer special packages for home-based businesses.
A desktop computer is fine if you know you only need to conduct work from your home office, but in today’s digital world, being mobile is part and parcel for many jobs, so a laptop can make more sense. You can take it with you to presentations, on business trips or even on vacation (if you absolutely must check in on work when on holiday, which we don’t recommend). And if you need a change of scenery (sometimes working at home can make you feel like you never get out), you can easily tote your laptop to a nearby coffee shop or library and work from there.
No matter the type of business you’re in, you’ll have paperwork. Investing in a filing cabinet and developing a filing system is your best bet for staying organized and keeping paper clutter to a minimum.
An All-in-one Printer, Fax and Scanner
If you anticipate having to print or scan documents on a regular basis, investing in a product that performs both those functions makes good sense. If, however, your company won’t call for either of these very often and you have a copy centre easily accessible, you can skip investing in this tool, especially if your home office space is limited.
In order for your home-based business to be successful, you need to be easily reachable and responsive to your customers and a smartphone makes this possible. While it may blur the divide between your work and non-work life, a smartphone helps ensure you don’t miss that urgent call or email from your most important client.
Running a home-based business is an increasingly popular choice, and as you can see from the essential items above, having a productive home office is really as simple as bringing all the necessities of a traditional workspace into a designated space in your home. The big plus? If you want to make your office dress code yoga-pants only, you can do that. Because, hey, you’re the boss.
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