Many people think that when it comes to setting up a home office space, all you need is a computer and internet connection. While these two devices are fundamental for doing business, they hardly constitute a smooth-running workplace.
People can interact via phone, email, text, or instant messaging easily across the globe, a large percentage of working folks have merged their homes and offices. If you too want to forego the daily commute and switch out your three-piece suit for pajamas – a very important perk! – check out these essential tips on how to create the perfect home office space.
1. Consider Why You Need a Home Office
Do you often take work home with you? Does the idea of never again fighting rush hour traffic sound oh so appealing? If you said yes to either question, you could probably benefit from having a home office. However, each scenario entails a very different kind of working space.
The truth is that eight hours at the office is frequently not enough time to get your work done. Hence, working from home. While the couch might suffice as a temporary working space, you could concentrate better and get that project done faster when you have a desk for it.
So if finishing up professional odds and ends is part of your daily home life, it could be time for a home office. If you are quitting your job or changing your employment status specially to become a remote worker, you absolutely should make a home office space a priority.
2. Choose a Traffic-Free Area of the House
It’s not always feasible to clear out an entire room and turn it into a home office. That’s okay. You don’t need to, but do choose wisely your location wherever it may be.
Do you have children or pets? Consider where they spend most of their time. Though you might have the keen ability to tune out their noise while at your computer, what about when you have the occasional business call? Will their presence disrupt your conversation? If possible, also stay clear of any area that has a lot of foot traffic to the kitchen or bathroom, as you might experience more unintended work breaks than you would like.
3. Have a Contingency Plan in Place
If your home office is going to be your only office, it must be reliable. A citywide power outage may be beyond your control, but a spotty Internet connection or cell phone that drops calls could make you look less than professional to your associates.
If you don’t get a strong phone signal in your home, invest in a landline. If you can upgrade your Internet package, now is the time to do so. You might also want to purchase other key pieces of office equipment such as a scanner and printer.
In addition, make sure that your house can handle the extra electricity demands your office will require.
4. Make Room for Coworkers and Clients
Let’s face it – a lot of people long for a home office precisely because they don’t want to deal with others all day long. If you stand among this group of individuals, you’ll likely find a home office to be a wonderful respite from your current work situation.
Keep in mind, though, that you may have to entertain a client from time to time or have a meeting at your house. Are you prepared? If your intended guest knows that he or she is traveling to your house, by no means will you be expected to have a conference room or even a separate office. But you will need a private space other than your bedroom in which to hold your gathering.
So just make sure that your couch is clear of toys, the kids are at the neighbor’s, and you have at least an hour free from distractions to impress your associate in the comfort of your own home office.
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