7 Tips to Creating a Great Home Office

7 Tips to Creating a Great Home Office

With the rise of technology, more and more solopreneurs and entrepreneurs are setting up their businesses at home. Owners of stores, salons, restaurants, accounting firms, health and wellness organizations and more also need a great work-from-home space to handle things outside of regular office hours. Many start out at the kitchen table – or in the garage in the case of companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google! Eventually, like these founders, all business owners want their own dream office space.

For those working at home, finding a spot in your home is only half the battle. Transforming it into a great, fully functional work environment doesn’t have to be tough. It can be a lot of fun! Here are seven tips to get you started.

  1. Claim your territory.

    Setting up shop in a corner of the kitchen or your kid’s playroom is going to get old real fast. If you want to focus without being constantly interrupted, claim a spare room or space that is as far away as possible from the daily comings and goings in your home. Consider putting a fun “do not disturb sign” on the door or on your desk. Make sure your family or roommates understand that this is your place of work and keep it off limits 24/7. Not only will you get more done, you will avoid issues with Revenue Canada. Having a designated area solely for your business will make it easier to claim reasonable expenses when you file your taxes. It will keep your accountant happy too.

  2. Let there be light.

    The first thing to look for when picking an office space in your home is natural light. It creates a more pleasant working environment and a recent study from Northwestern University revealed that it also has a positive effect on our mental and physical health. Try to put your office in a room that has at least one window. If this isn’t possible, consider using lamps with bulbs that replicate full-spectrum daylight. This is especially useful in northern climates.

  3. Colour counts.

    Given that you work from home, you’ll likely spend more time in your office than anywhere else in your home. The colour you choose to paint could have a big impact on your business! Some people say that gray, beige and white can create a drab environment, while others love the crisp, modern feel of these neutral tones. Perhaps you prefer a calming blue or restful green to help with efficiency, focus and productivity. Or a mellow yellow to spark creativity and innovation. Whatever you pick, it’s all relative, so design with the colours you love. The great thing is that you can always change it on the cheap!

  4. Sit and stand.

    Not that long ago, a desk and a chair were essential in any home office. If you choose to stick with tradition, consider the ergonomics of your workstation. Worksafe New Brunswick has an excellent guide to choosing and using the right desks and chairs. However, research shows that sitting at a desk every day for eight hours or more can be harmful, no matter how comfortable and ergonomically correct. Because of this, some business owners are using solutions that can turn their desk into a standing desk, like the ones sold by Varidesk. This may help you reduce neck and back pain and burn calories throughout the day too. One recent study even suggests that standing desks could help increase productivity by 45%!

  5. Stay organized.

    It’s probably not a good idea to store important papers in piles, that’s what filing cabinets were made for! Consider your organizational needs and equip your office accordingly. A writer will need bookcases. A jeweler may need a cabinet with small drawers or cubbyholes. Want to learn from others? There is never any shortage of ideas on Pinterest. It’s also important to keep your computer desktop and files organized. If you want to share files across multiple devices, check out the best cloud storage and file-sharing services of 2017 from PC Magazine.

  6. Personality plus.

    It’s hard to believe that some employers still insist on a boring, sterile work environment with bare walls, no photos and not even a tiny cactus on your desk. As your own boss, you can inject as much personality as you like into your home office. Seeing the people and things you love will make you happier. It could also supercharge your productivity. Make your work space a fun place with inspiration posters, children’s art, lots of plants and anything else that rocks your world!

  7. Sound advice.

    Not everyone likes to listen to music while they work, but if you do, a sound system doesn’t have to be expensive. Many laptops and tablets offer great quality sound these days. You can also consider Bluetooth speakers. Whether you prefer raucous rock or smooth jazz, music can improve concentration and inspire creativity.

Now that you’ve got the freedom to work from home, even if it’s just some of the time, be sure to create the home office of your dreams. Following these tips will help you set up a pleasant, functional space to increase your business success.