Thursday, January 23, 2020

Here Are the 6 Best Ways to Start Creating Your Perfect Home Office

As home-based businesses become more common, it’s not surprising that home offices are also trending. After all, you need a comfortable and productive workspace, no matter what type of business you’re running. The good news is that no matter your industry, there’s a way to set up the perfect home office. Here’s how.

Don’t Settle for What You Have

Say your current home doesn’t have a spare room for an office space or any storage. Do you have to make do while your business grows? Definitely not. One solution to the dilemma of not having enough square footage is to buy a new home with more space. If you know you need more space, research home prices in your area or your desired neighborhood (the median listing price for homes in Dallas is $385,000). Keep an eye on floor plans so you can pick a house that’s perfect for you and your company.

Consider an Expansion

Just like you’re growing your business, sometimes you need to grow your property, too. If buying isn’t an option for whatever reason, investing in home improvements might be. Think about adding onto your property with a garage conversion, spare room, or over-garage apartment—it may even add value to the property. Consult with an expert before knocking down any walls, though, or it could end up costing you much more than necessary. Plenty of factors are at play, but the average room addition runs somewhere between $80 and $200 per square foot.

Know Your Needs (and Priorities)

Every business is different, which means the work environment for yours may stray from the norm. Consider your company’s needs and priorities. Maybe you’re a sole proprietor or freelance professional and only need space for a single desk and computer. Or, you might operate a company that requires you to meet with clients in your office. Either way, prioritizing your business functions helps you design a workable space for the operation.

Think About Storage Methods, As Necessary

For business owners with physical products, storage can become a headache. Even if you have space at home, you may not want piles of inventory in your work area or excess boxes and packing materials making a mess in your garage. The good news is that expenses like storage unit rental can be tax-deductible for your business, meaning your home office doesn’t have to house every aspect of the operation. Other tax deductions apply for small businesses, too, whether you have everything on-site at home or not. Make sure to check every box when it comes to getting breaks on your company’s taxes.

Invest in Technology

Though it can be challenging when you’re first starting out, some technology is vital for your company’s success. No matter the industry you’re in, reliable tech isn’t optional. HGTV recommends office devices like a laptop/tablet hybrid, a Bluetooth headset for client calls, and a shredder to discard confidential documents. Plus, you may need an internet upgrade before working from home is even feasible. For example, NerdWallet recommends a minimum of 1 Mbps internet speed if you’ll be hosting video conferences.

Establish Clear Work-Life Boundaries

Staying focused when working from home can be a significant roadblock for your business. After all, distractions are everywhere—from family responsibilities to social media to the snacks in the fridge. Therefore, making sure you establish clear limits between work and home life is a smart and productive step. Inc offers productivity tips like taking regular breaks to clear your head, using “bribes” to stay motivated (and on schedule) and sticking to a schedule and level of attire you would use in a standard office environment.
Running a home business can present both unique benefits and harrowing trials. But with the right home office space, equipment, and mindset, nothing can stop you from making your business ownership goals a reality. You just need to take steps to get started.
Photo via Pexels

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