01 Sep Hints, Tips and Advice when setting up your own personal office at Home
Hints, Tips and Advice when setting up your own personal office at Home.
Flexi-time has increased by 12.35 per cent from 2012 – 2016 (ONS), and last year, the TUC found that the amount of people remote working has increased by nearly quarter of a million (241,000) over a decade.
Data from the ONS shows that 4.2 million people regularly worked from home in 2015
That’s rather a lot of us that realising the benefits of working from home, whether they’re remote employees or running their own small business. But setting up your home office isn’t without its challenges. For many of us, space is at a premium, there are endless distractions, and it can be hard to separate your professional life from your personal.
Read on for home office setup tips and inspiration on what works best for other small business professionals just like you.
- Set up a private/different phone line.
- Consider what desk you use for better health and make sure you have periods of standing
- Make sure you have a comfortable office chair
- Enforce office hours
- Check your insurance coverage
- Keep your home office separate from your living space
- Stop interruptions before they happen
- Don’t Mix Business and Pleasure (Financially)
- You must want to spend time there
- Follow a daily routine
- Have processes and procedures
- Go green
- Take breaks
- Break up your routine
When you’re working from your own house, the boundaries between home and work can quickly become blurred. Give yourself a degree of separation (and avoid the embarrassment of a family member interrupting an important call) by setting up a personalized business phone number that rings straight to your home office.
I don’t sit well. I find that if I sit in my office, I become uncomfortable while working. As such, I struggle to write with focus, and I start to feel neck and back tension. I’ve learned that I need to alternately sit and stand during the day. I often start the day standing at a standing station in my office;
If you’re going to be sitting in your home office for several hours a day, you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself by investing in a good chair.
It’s important to find an office space in your home that works for you and your family and can be personalised to fit your interests and work needs.It’s also important to ensure you have time away from your ‘office’ so why not create your own office hours.It may not be the conventional 9-5 but what suits you.
It’s important to figure out what will work for you!
Don’t assume your homeowners or renter’s policy covers your home office. Check your existing policy to learn whether you have liability coverage for accidents that may befall business visitors, such as clients or customers, or even delivery people. You may need to purchase a separate commercial liability insurance policy. Also find out whether you have property coverage for losses to business items, including expensive equipment, and if so, the extent of your coverage.
Perhaps it’s as simple as a corner desk In the spare room, somewhere where you can close the door when your work is done.
One of the issues people often run into when creating a home office is that family and friends think they can interrupt you since you are at home and without supervision,
You must make it very clear that when you are in your “office”, you are not to be interrupted. At first it may be difficult for both you and others, but eventually everyone will have understood that it’s not personal — you are trying to make a living and have to set boundaries.
It’s important to make sure business and personal checking and savings accounts are separate. This will save you loads of time and effort at tax time, not to mention throughout the year if you pay quarterly. Also, if you are ever audited, having a business bank account will make it much easier to prove that your books are balanced correctly.
I love working from home because I get to work exactly the way I want — on my couch, at my desk, in my workout clothes, or whatever. But I also love that I get to choose what I’m listening to and how the place feels too!
Also, it must be effective. I’m not “playing” business. This is how I support my family, so my home office must work. It must be conducive to producing your best work.
Avoid getting side-tracked, and you won’t fall short on any tasks that you need to do for the day. Write up a schedule for yourself and stick to it.
Like the tip above, it’s useful to create a formal system of operations for your home office that you follow. This doesn’t need to be too formal, but standardising recordkeeping, paying invoices, logging time, responding to emails, and other administrative tasks will help add structure to your day. It will also help to keep your office organised and ensure that information is available where and when you need it most.
Real plants add more than just a colourful element to your office. They actually help clear the air of all sorts of nasty toxins, from formaldehyde to benzene.
Don’t have a green thumb? No problem. Try hardy indoor plants that are hard to kill, such as aloe vera, spider plant, and dracaena.
Working in a traditional office forces you to take the occasional break from your desk, whether it’s for a meal or a meeting. But when you’re working from home, it can be hard to remember to do other things when the lines between work and home become blurred.
Take yourself out for a coffee or lunch, go for a walk, play with your dog, or just step outside for some fresh air to break up your day.
No matter how great your home office is, sometimes you just need to break up your routine. Find a local café with WiFi and make it your office for a day.
A change of scenery can help inspire creativity and being around other people can help to fill the social void that leaving a traditional office can create. Best of all, you’ll never run out of coffee!