Let’s assume that you aren’t going to move directly into a dedicated office (unless of course you are, in which case, great!) but the vast majority of people starting new businesses have more humble beginnings than that. There are probably a few options open to you, so the first thing you need to do is decide where exactly you are going to work.
It isn’t enough to say “I will just work wherever I like”, this is going to be a long, laborious process, and it warrants a specific space in which it can be delivered; sadly sprawling on the sofa just isn’t going to cut the mustard.
Pick a room
If working from your own home, you basically have 3 choices regarding where you can create a working space;
An empty bedroom within your house that could be quickly converted into a makeshift office
A little-used room that could be given over solely to your working needs
A garage or shed
We recommend that you select a space which can become exclusively used as your office. Not only will this bring the practical benefits of not being a multipurpose room, but will also help you to adopt a ‘work’ mentality when you are in it. Keeping your workspace separate from the rest of the house also serves to create an after hours buffer between you and your work responsibilities. This ensures that you can relax without constant reminders of all that you have yet to do.
If however, you don’t have the available space for an office, you are going to have to just make do with whatever is available; just ensure it is away from distractions and somewhere that you won’t be constantly interrupted. Many people in this situation find that public spaces can offer a realistic alternative to working from home; coffee shops are a great example of this, but just make sure that you read these ground rules, before you begin.
Now that you have selected your workspace it’s time to start thinking about how you will improve its suitability for the work that you have to do.
Consider not only what practical elements you need to change, but also how you will alter it aesthetically to nurture a more focussed, hard working mentality.
There are lots of things that you might like to do to achieve this, such as having;
A proper desk with ample space to work and plenty of storage. This will not only help you to stay organised but can also contribute to the creation of a good working mindset.
Extra storage space to avoid the almost inevitable stack of miscellaneous documents
Secure storage for the safekeeping of sensitive / private documents
A comfortable, yet practical, chair
A good stationery supply
Plenty of light, including desk lamps for later working
A source of fresh air
No distractions such as televisions or other technology
Ample access to important utilities such as power points
IT equipment that will meet all of your requirements e.g. printing, photocopying, etc
Excellent internet connectivity
Decorative touches such as posters, plant life, and so forth that will make your office a more pleasant place to be
A comfortable space where you can relax whilst working away from your desk i.e. making phone calls / reading etc
At the very least look into whether or not you need to upgrade your home insurance in light of the fact that you will be running a business from there; chances are you won't, but it can’t hurt to double check.
There are so many things that you need to consider when creating an office in your home that many people simply opt to skip it in favour of a more casual home / work arrangement. Whilst this might work in the short term, it will become more and more untenable as your business continues to develop and the level of space you need increases.
You might like to check out our recent post on creating a business remotely, for some top tips and advice on creating a functional working environment in your home.