from a home office /2
Setting up your home office in a designated space for maximum productivity
By Lori Karpman
Edited from previously published article on February 14, 2016
In order to be successful in a home based office you have to have designated space that is equipped and designed for maximum comfort and efficiency. You likely spend more time in this space than any other so while it has to have the elements of a “real” office, it can be personalized so it supports you in your daily activities.
In order to be successful in a home based office you have to have designated space that is equipped and designed for maximum comfort and efficiency.
The two most important decisions you will make first are selecting your desk and chair. When choosing a desk choose one that is solid and heavy, (not an Ikea table) with four legs, a full front and drawers. Use the drawers to keep your desktop clean since a clean desk is a clean mind. It assists the subconscious mind in solving problems, creating solutions and generating new solutions.
The next big investment is your chair. Indulge yourself an ergonomic chair that you can sit in comfortably for long periods of time. If you are not comfortable and suffer aches and pains you will not be productive. It is well worth the investment to shop around and find the right seat. Remember that you’ll spend most of your day in it so make it as comfortable as it is functional.
Insofar as function is concerned, your office needs to have all the same supplies a working office requires. This includes small stationary supplies for your desk drawers such as sticky notes, pens, paper clips and a stapler to name a few. A larger desk drawer can accommodate file folders, catalogues and other materials that need to be filed. Depending on the nature of your business you may need more filing space and filing cabinets now come in colours. If you have one you can use the top for a printer organizer to support the printer and store paper.
‘Have fun with decorating and personalizing so that your office becomes the supportive and productive environment you need to generate revenue.’
Usually some form of shelving is needed and can be used to organize and display books, family mementos, pictures, awards and other items that personalize the space and make it your own. Don’t limit your search to an office furniture store. Chose something you love, that fits your personality and that you can look at day after day, providing it is functional of course. Have fun with decorating and personalizing so that your office becomes the supportive and productive environment you need to generate revenue.
You will also need the right equipment that is, a computer and printer. Buy the best quality you can afford. Your printer must provide a professional quality product. I recommend getting an all-in-one printer/scanner/copier. Do an automatic back up of your computer daily and make sure you have the latest virus software running. An external battery for the computer is a good idea as it gives you precious time to save your material in the time of a power outage.
Do not use a Gmail or Yahoo email address — get a professional email address. Additionally, if you really want customers to call you provide a toll free number.
What most people haven’t considered is insurance and there are three kinds you will need. The first is property insurance for the contents of your office since these assets are not covered by your home policy. Next, you need personal liability insurance in the event that someone gets hurt on your property for example, and finally, business interruption insurance in cases where you cannot work because of destruction of property or theft. This will reimburse your for the loss of income during that time period.
‘Do not use a Gmail or Yahoo email address — get a professional email address.’
For extra measure here are a few tips from the spiritual discipline of Feng Shui. Blue is the best colour for an office as the colour blue is associated with wealth. The ideal desk placement is where you have a good view of the door and if possible out a window. My desk is on an angle so that I have both. Never place the desk with your back facing the door, or up against a wall in front of you. If you have awards and diplomas to put up, put them on the wall behind you where they can support you and last but not least — do not buy a glass desk, money energy flow right through it and it make it difficult to amass and keep wealth.
The level of success you will achieve in your home office is based on your level of self discipline and how happy and comfortable you are in your office space. I have a massive mahogany club foot desk with a leather top and I feel like a queen sitting at it. The wall behind me is decorated with diplomas and my bookcase is filled with books, art and cards from my children; awards and personal items that make me smile.
This could easily be an external office and feels entirely different than any other area of my home. There is a big environmental difference at the end of the day when I close my computer and leave to go “home”. Having the routine and the discipline was hard at first but I can now easily separate work from play and have the true quality of life that only a home office can offer.
In Part 1, we looked at Why having a home based business can be a challenge
Lori Karpman, one of Canada’s leading experts on franchising and multi-unit business development models, helps business people and organizations worldwide by creating multi-faceted solutions for their marketing sales operations, HR, finance and technology. Find her on LinkedIn • 514 481-2722 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.lorikarpman.com