Many dream of working from home.
So how can a home office be set up. There are many ways. Many work on their laptop from “wherever” in the house, be it the kitchen table, the verandah, in the spa, around the pool or even in bed! And if this works for you, then let it continue to work.
Image Credit: Fernanda Mancini on Flickr
Are you one who works from “wherever” or do you prefer to have an office set up. A home office can take many, many forms.
So if you’re about to set up a home office, let’s first do some planning.
How do you like to work?
Are you happy to work in the pj’s, or do you want to be wearing the “power suit”, or of course somewhere in between. Do you like to feel like you are “going to work”, or are you happy to be “at home” working? Think of how you want to feel when you’re working from your home office.
How much space do you want or need?
This of course will depend on your business type. If you’re an author you will require different space to one of a dressmaker, or different again for someone selling a product where you have to hold stock and package it for freighting to the customer. Here at NAI most of our business is online, so although both Natalie and I have office space in our homes, you will often find us at the local restaurant working together on some part of our business.
How much storage do you require?
Again this depends on your business type. Think about this carefully and see how you can minimize your storage space. For instance I have an online storage system for my accounting. This means that I get all quotes, invoices, statements, etc. online, including credit card statements. And, where necessary, all quotes, invoices and statements are received by our customers online. I purchase software online and download it, including Adobe products and our accounting package. I’ve set up an online filing system on my computer where everything is kept in order (just as you would in a filing system). Then of course I make sure that I back up. This way I can keep storage space in my office to an absolute minimum.
What equipment do you need in your office?
Make a list of what you need … then what you would like to have. Think about this carefully. Three years ago one of the things on my list of “what you need in your office” would have been a filing cabinet. My previous home office, which I had about 10 years ago, had two filing cabinets … and they were full! My current office … none!
The obvious are a computer and phone. Just grow your list from these, depending on your needs.
In what possible areas of your home could you set up an office?
Unless you have a home that has an office already set up, you may need to be a bit creative here. Areas in your home that could be turned into an office could be
- in a spare room
- in a cupboard
- corner of the kitchen
- kitchen table
- corner of the bedroom
- in the utility room
- in the enclosed gazebo
- walk in closet
- top of the stairs
- under the stairs
- enclosed verandah
Image Credit: Chez Larsson on Flickr
Will any of your clients visit you?
If you are going to have clients visit you in your home office you may need to think differently about where your office is going to be. Or you could have a separate place where you meet clients.
I once visited a naturopath who operated out of his home. The initial visit was on his verandah. It was a warm summer day, we were high up in the mountains and the ocean was in the distance. It really was the ideal place to be talking about health and fitness. Other visits were in his office. Can you create alternative areas where you can meet with your clients?
What are the regulation or laws in your area for home office?
Of course I can’t write about this, simply because I don’t know where you are! Just make sure that you check out and apply any regulations that are in force in your area for working from home.
Once these questions are thought about and answered, you’re ready to go!
Oh, and one final thought! Too many people talk about their job as if they never want to go back to it, and I guess many people don’t. If you don’t have a job that you love (well this could be a whole new blog post – but we’ll leave that to later) make the space that you work in a space that you love. Think about the things that you could have around you that make you feel good. Flowers, nicknacks, a family photo, books … these are the emotional ones, but don’t forget to make sure that the essentials also make you feel good. A computer that works well, a chair that is comfortable … really make your home office a space that you love, and love to be in. Enjoy!
I love to hear about your home office. Please share below.
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