Becoming your own boss gives you flexibility, independence and control over your career.
It also enables you to work from home, meaning the end of the daily commute and the chance to spend more time with your family.
However, home workers must be highly motivated in order to make their business work. It can be difficult balancing home life with work commitments, and can be all too tempting to take a break when you should be tending to your workload.
Creating a professional and productive work environment for yourself can help remove these temptations, and get your home-based business off to a positive start.
Below are some top tips on the ideal home office design:
Room with a view
If space allows, dedicate a whole room to work duties. Many people work from a desk in their bedroom or lounge, but this can blur the line between work and home life.
Choose a well-lit room with at least one window and a lockable door. The door provides a tangible barrier between the company and your family, and allows you to keep the two entirely separate.
Many people find it difficult to work with the door behind them, so this may need to be factored into your room plan. Also consider where power sockets are situated – their location will largely govern the placement of your office equipment.
Keep it quiet
An enclosed home office helps keep noise to a minimum, and is especially important if you have young children.
Noise can have a detrimental effect on your productivity, so try to nullify sounds that may irritate or distract you during the working day.
Noisy office appliances should be positioned away from the wall to avoid amplification, while thick curtains and carpets will help to quieten a room.
Don’t be tempted into spending all your money on state-of-the-art office furniture. Start cautiously; promising yourself the desk or chair you really want if and when you reach a profit target.
Put up some high shelving instead of buying expensive storage units, and use mug hooks under the desk as opposed to cable-tidies. At this early stage in your business venture, the more money you can save the better.
A home office designed with ergonomics in mind can help you maximise productivity and avoid repetitive strain injuries.
- Computer monitors should be directly in front of you, no higher than eye-level.
- Keyboards should lie flat, just inches above your lap, in order that your wrists stay relatively flat while typing.
- Make sure you can place a foot rest under your desk, or at the very least plant your feet squarely on the floor.