These days, a lot of entrepreneurs work from home. After all, it is not just about optimal comfort and productivity but also about saving money on tax. The overheads and set-up costs are lower compared to a rented office space, and working online isn’t equivalent to free money in 2018 – not like it did back in 2008 when throwing a website up got you business instantly. It can also help you save a lot of time that you might otherwise have wasted commuting.
It was perhaps not a surprise that many successful entrepreneurs started their journeys from their home office. Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne developed the first Apple computer in the garage of Job’s parents’ house and Jeff Bezos created Amazon from his garage in Washington.
While all of them did eventually move to bigger offices, thousands of entrepreneurs continue to work from home. If you don’t have a garage to set up your home office, don’t worry; there are several ways to create stylish and creative Instagram-perfect workspaces that reflect the real you. Here are 4 things to consider when building your home office.
1. Select the right area
It’s very important to select the best possible space for your home office. After all, that’s where you will be spending the most part of your day! You need to determine the type, size, and location of your home office based on the type of your business. In general, it is better to have a dedicated workspace where you can keep all the distractions out, or at least minimize them. Therefore, you want to avoid picking any space that’s near to a kitchen, laundry room, and gaming zone. Also, it should be large enough to operate your business; for example, consider how many workstations you need. Is one enough or you need more for your employees? Will clients be visiting you? If so, you might need a lobby as well as a separate entrance for them.
Depending on your business needs, your workspace options can range from the corner of a room to a large space in the basement. Some of the most common options are extra bedroom, basement, attic space, and garage. Outside structures like enclosed cabanas and tool sheds are also good options. There are even cheaper and quicker options such as a corner space in the dining room or kitchen. However, these are not recommended for a full-time office space.
2. Inspect the space/location
Once you have zeroed in on the location, it is time for a thorough inspection. If you are converting an extra bedroom to an office space or building a new one, you can skip this step. But if you are converting an unused space into a workstation, get it inspected by a professional.
An experienced interior office renovation handyman can tell you if the space in question is suitable for accommodating all your office equipment. In addition, he/she can advise you of potential hazards such as seepage or leakage of water etc.
It is essential to fix any problems around the space before converting it into a full-fledged home office. Get the space inspected before you begin any interior, decoration & finishing works. And, if you have to renovate the space, try to keep it minimal.
3. Hire a contractor or do it yourself?
Renovation of any kind is a costly affair. So, decide whether you want to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks. For instance, hiring a contractor is more expensive but you can expect higher quality work. DIY, on the other hand, can save you money but if things go wrong they can be even costlier not only financially but also physically. From paint-splattered throws to blood splattered toes; keep you and your home safe without forking out a fortune.
Understand when you need to hire a contractor and when you can do it yourself. If the task is too much for you to tackle alone, or if it really is something which requires a professional; call one!
4. Get suitable furniture and choose the right lighting
Lighting affects the mood of a room. Ideally, you want to choose a space with plenty of soft, natural lighting. Then, supplement artificial lighting with the natural lights. If you use fluorescent lights, be aware that some fluorescent lights produce harsh or dull light that is unpleasant. Using the right type of fluorescent lighting is critical, especially in workplaces. Nobody wants to spend time in a residential or commercial space with sterile or overly bright lighting.
As for workspace furniture, go for something that’s comfortable and ergonomic since every piece of furniture is going to play an important part in boosting your productivity, as well as potential.
Some ergonomic tips include:
- Investing in an under-foot rest & adjustable footrest to ensure your feet are not left dangling (which may lead to swelling)
- Positioning the keyboard so that your forearms are parallel to the table top
- Keeping the monitor at eye level (instead of having to look up or down, causing neck strain)
- Choosing a chair that provides adequate back support with adjustable height, tilt, and seatbacks
Working from home is fantastic. You can be in your PJs and get a ton of work done, without so much as stepping a foot outside. Find a noise-free space and set up your workstation, with the right type of chair, add some green, install a coffee machine, et cetera. Let the daily hustle begin!
David has amassed more than 20 years of experience in the service repair and renovation business. Through MrWright.sg, he has helped both commercial and residential clients to build their offices and dream homes within their budget. His innovative and can-do attitude earned him many repeat customers. Through his articles, he hopes to share information nuggets to help businesses and consumers save time and money.