When we think back at how the office environment looked a few decades ago, it’s safe to say that office culture has changed a lot. Nowadays, home office is not only normal, but it has become a growing trend that more and more companies are willing to adopt. It comes with a great deal of benefits for both employers and employees. Besides cutting down on expenses, there are other advantages such as flexibility, increased motivation and productivity or improved life-work balance.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, you know that the work setting plays an important role in the smooth running of your day to day activities. So, if you’ve decided that working from home is what suits your needs, you should focus on creating the ideal environment for the type of activity you’re performing. Here are some things you should consider before setting up your home office:
Define your needs
The steps you should follow when you start setting up your office depend greatly on the nature of your work. If you work in tech, it’s obvious that you’ll need proper equipment to run your activity and enough place to store all your devices. If you’re a designer, you must make sure that your office has perfect lighting and buy a special desk to create your artwork. If you’re an accountant, you’ll probably need cabinets for all your files and documents and so on. So, take some time and think about what carrying out your daily tasks involves, as that will help you understand what your home-office should look like.
Choose the right space
Whether you’re going to run a business from a home-office or you’re going to work remotely from home, it’s better to keep your private life separated from your professional life. This is especially important if you don’t live alone and share your house with family members, friends or pets. Imagine talking on your phone or being in a meeting while people are constantly passing by, talking around you and interrupting your work.
Having a completely separate space for your office in your house is important in order to limit distractions and keep you focused on what you’re doing. It’s a good idea to choose the quietest corner of the house for your office, where you can enjoy peace and privacy. However, if you don’t have a spare room where you can set up your office, using a room divider to set the limits is the next best thing.
Check your insurance
Special circumstances require special precautionary measures. Not all houses are created equal and therefore each person will need to purchase the type of insurance that is suited for his living situation. For example, for floridians, a thorough research on wind insurance policies in Florida is a must, since the area is prone to natural disasters. In your situation, if you want to set up a home office, you should make sure that you are covered in case of an unpleasant event.
Usually, standard homeowners insurance provides limited or no coverage for home-based offices and businesses. So, depending on your circumstances, you might want to consider purchasing additional insurance to protect your home-office from property damage, data loss or other types of unexpected events.
Have a good internet connection
Since you’re going to work from your private space, you’ll rely on technology to stay connected with your employer, employees, peers or clients. The last thing you’ll want is to be cut out from the rest of the world due to poor internet connection. Telecommuting can involve spending a lot of time on video calls and other tasks that require using the internet and your work can be hampered if you don’t have a good connection. But before choosing your internet provider, it’s wise to do a little research and find out which company has the best offer, so you don’t end up spending a fortune on internet services.
Set up a business phone line
Separating personal from professional life also involves having a business phone line for your home office. Using the same landline for both personal and business calls can create a bit of chaos, not to mention that it’s far from being a professional approach. You definitely wouldn’t want your kids to answer important phone calls. Setting up a business phone line will help you be more organized and make everyone’s life less complicated by keeping useful limits in place.
Ensure proper lighting
It’s been proven that natural light can make you feel more energized and therefore improve your productivity. It’s also important to have good lighting when you’re in a video call, as the other person will surely find it a bit disturbing if they can’t see who they’re talking to. In an ideal situation, you would have a room with a large window where you could place your desk, so you could enjoy the benefits of natural lighting. But if you’re not lucky enough, your best option is to purchase a light therapy box that can make up for the lack of natural sunlight.
Consider a standing desk
Even if you’re going to work from home, you’re still going to spend most of your time in front of a desk. The good thing is you can choose which type of desk you’ll be using. Standing desks are a great alternative to traditional desks and research has shown that they can actually increase productivity, besides being a healthier option. You can alternate between sitting and standing throughout your work day, depending on your needs. But if they are too expensive for your budget, you can opt for a tabletop standing desk that converts your normal desk or table into a standing workstation.
Good time management
When you’re working from home it’s easy to lose track of time and the line between work and leisure can become blurry. To avoid spending extra hours in your home office and work until reaching exhaustion, you must set clear time boundaries. Having a schedule and setting alarms that will remind you to take short breaks throughout the day can help you manage time efficiently. Regular work hours should be respected, even when your office is in your living room.