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If you own a home-based business, you know how challenging it is to stay focused on professional work at home. Our homes are full of distractions, from chatty family members to beckoning household chores, and getting through the day’s to-do list can seem impossible at times. Creating a dedicated home workspace is an excellent way to get around this problem. Here are some tips for designing and building a space in your home where you can give your business your full attention.
Move into a Bigger Space
Depending on how much space you have in your home and on your property, you may want to buy a new home to make room for your growing business. This will allow you to find a space that fits your business and personal needs perfectly. Whether you need a backyard workshop, a large garage for storing supplies, or a quiet home office for focused work, Redfin recommends following some basic home-buying steps to ensure the process goes smoothly.
For example, start by determining what you can afford based on your household income, down payment amount, and monthly expenses. It’s also smart to get preapproved for a loan and start browsing for homes online so you can get a better idea of your options.
Design Your Own Home
If you’re interested in selling your home and moving into a more accommodating space, you may also consider building your own home. Building a custom home will allow you to design your space however you want. You get to decide on the exact layout of your personal rooms and business spaces, so they will facilitate productivity and reduce time-consuming distractions. For example, this might mean building your office far away from the living room or kitchen.
Get started by sharing your ideas with a professional builder and looking at available lots that might accommodate your needs. With the help of a good home builder, building a custom home won’t be as time-consuming and stressful as it sounds.
Convert Your Garage
You may not have to move to make more room for your business. With a little renovating, you can create a comfortable and efficient home office in your garage! Get started by decluttering the space. Clutter can be extremely distracting, and even if you don’t notice it surrounding you, research suggests that clutter can impact your mood and productivity. Rent a storage unit or find somewhere else to store your things so you won’t have to share your office with yard equipment and seasonal decorations.
Once your garage is cleaned out, it’s a blank canvas ready to set up however you want. Keep in mind that you might need to add some outlets and internet hookups—garage walls tend to be too thick to support a strong Wi-Fi signal from inside the home. If you live in a cooler climate, you may also have to add insulation and heating to your garage. In-floor heating is an efficient and cost-effective option. If your garage lacks windows, consider installing some to let light and fresh air into your workspace.
Plan for Client Meetings
If clients or customers will be coming to your home, you will have to put a little more thought into the design of your workspace. It’s best to have a separate entrance in this situation, so people won’t have to walk through your house to get to your office. This may also be a good reason to build a separate structure on your property or convert an existing building into your workspace. Tool sheds, gazebos, greenhouses, and workshops can be converted into an office as long as they’re the right size for your needs. Just keep in mind that you may have to hook up electricity and plumbing to the building.
There are certain decorative touches you can add to make your home office appear more professional to guests, clients, and potential employees. To add some professionalism to your office, Don Pedro recommends displaying your credentials, investing in an executive-style desk, and painting the walls in an attractive and sophisticated style. If you’ll be meeting with clients fairly regularly, consider setting up a little reception area and adding designated guest parking.
Plan Your Space to Maximize Productivity
Take the time to plan your space before making renovations, buying furniture, or hanging decorations. Good planning will reward you with an office that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Sketch a floor plan of the space, measure the room, and include windows, doors, and outlets in your design. This will help you get your layout right the first time, so you can avoid rearranging heavy furniture and tech equipment over and over again.
Remember, you can always hire a professional designer to help you out! This is particularly useful if you will be meeting with clients on your property and you want your space to appear as professional as possible.
Inviting Workspace | Focus on Your Comfort
While the functionality and appearance of your home office are certainly important, so is your personal comfort. An ergonomic office chair is an essential element of comfort—and might just save you from back pain and neck tension. Similarly, natural light can help reduce eyestrain and keep you feeling energized during the day, so try to position your desk near a large window—bonus points for a beautiful view!
Just be sure to supplement this natural light with a variety of lighting solutions to keep your space bright and uplifting. Task lighting, for example, can help you stay focused on your paperwork or computer work.
When you run a home-based business, you can work from anywhere. But this doesn’t mean you should! Trying to get work done in a space that’s too small, too cluttered, or too distracting can be frustrating and stressful. Not only that, but your inefficient workplace may be holding your business back. Carve out space in your home for your business so it has room to grow!