You often hear that your work life and your home life should be considered separate. You shouldn’t let your home issues interfere with your work and vice versa. But this isn’t always easy, and can be even more difficult when setting up a home-based business.
According to Jenny Fulbright from PowerHomeBiz.com, “Operating your business from your house combines your work and the rest of your life. With both of these life aspects located in one space, you will need to develop a new set of disciplines.”
Fulbright offers the following tips on how to successfully set up an office in your home:
1. Set up your office in a part of the house that has lots of light and air. Consider the year-round conditions in the spot. Does it tend to be too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter? Make sure it’s in an area where you can maintain an optimal working temperature any time of the year. You should also consider an area that has windows that you can open, when needed, to get air circulating in the room. Also, look for a place that has ample lighting. If more light is needed, consider overhead lighting and floor lamps.
2. Set up away from the busy, high traffic areas in your home. Your office should be situated away from the kitchen, front door, or family room. If you have children at home and will be hiring a sitter, make sure the area you choose is one where you can’t see or hear the children and they can’t see you. Ideally, the area would have a door that you could close when you’re working.
3. Organize your supplies. This is no different from a regular corporate office. You should arrange your supplies and office equipment in a manner that promotes efficiency. Keep extra supplies in a closet or cabinet to give you more space and help you avoid clutter. The best is a U-shaped arrangement, in which you would have three surfaces to keep everything in reach. You should also establish two separate phone lines just for your business—one for regular phone and voicemail and one for your fax line.
4. Limit the items in your office to things you’ll need for the business. Clear out any old clutter to make sure your office will not double as a storage area. If you can’t completely remove items that may create a distraction, at least put them in a place that is out of your vision. If needed, create psychological and visual separation by enclosing your work area with a screen or other barrier. Ultimately, tidiness can help improve your productivity.
5. A home office doesn’t need to be a separate room. If you don’t have the space to organize an office in a separate room, you can set up a desk and chair in the corner of a room or up in a loft space. The most important thing is to have an area dedicated to your workspace. If you are considering doing some renovations, you could convert your basement, attic, or a place in your garage into your work area.
Now that you’ve designated an area in your home for your office, you may need to purchase these essentials:
· Copier/Printer/Fax/Scanner machine
· Cordless phone with answering machine
· Desk chairs
· Desk lamps
· Internet router
· Office supplies (notepads, printer paper, pens, file folders, etc.)
· Paper Shredder