In this day and age, is there anyone who doesn’t have a side hustle that requires carving out extra hours (often from your house and sometimes till the wee hours of the morning) to bring their vision to life? The truth is, most entrepreneurs start their businesses from their homes, including Jeff Bezos who started Amazon, a trillion-dollar company, from the garage of his rented home.
But in order to have yourself be as productive as possible, its important to create an environment that’s conducive to productivity. And whereas the ideal is to have an office space that would make Harvey Spector from Suits turn green with envy, the truth is, we’ve all got to start from somewhere, and that ‘somewhere’ is your home.
Starting a home office doesn’t require breaking the bank but it is essential to create an environment that will allow for inspiration, creativity and productivity to flow. It should be both practical yet pleasing. Personal yet professional.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be an entirely separate room. Just identify a distraction-free, practical place for you to work from and you’re good to go.
Get inspired by these 8 practical steps to setting up your home office.
Understand your critical needs
Do you need a printer? Maybe a monitor? Perhaps you need a work desk big enough to accommodate your artwork. Make sure you understand what you need in order to bring your hustle to life.
Do you need a constant stash of snacks? Are you easily distracted by music? Minimise distractions by creating an environment that allows you to flourish. Keep your coffee close, bring your snacks nearby, invest in stationery that will help you be more organized – whatever helps you be productive.
Storage and organization is key
You’ll need a place to store your business documents, crafts, stationery and whatever else you need to get that business running so don’t forget to account for storage. It will help create a clutter-free environment and makes it ten times easier to identify where things are. So when you’re picking out pieces for your office, think about form and function.
Even if your side hustle involves locking yourself and churning out 10,000 words for a new book that you’ve been trying to write, you still need access to internet at some point for research purposes. So make sure that you’ve got a strong enough wifi or at the very least, your office is positioned close to the router.
Consider ergonomic rules
Your chair, the way you position your laptop and the desk you use will all affect just how much work you can actually get done. So instead of only looking at your chair’s cute-factor (although that’s important too) consider the ergonomic elements that will make sitting there for hours feel like 10minutes. Make sure your screen is at eye level or a little lower and your feet rest on the floor. You may even opt for a standing desk instead!
Make the most of natural light and consider positioning your desk in front of the window. Not only will the view serve as a good distraction but it allows you not to feel as if you’ve been banished to a dark corner. And if you’re going to be working late into the night, you need to ensure you’re not straining your eyes so make sure you have a well lit room. You can even invest in a table lamp or floor lamp to help create some nice mood lighting too.
Create office hours
This is especially true if you work full time from home. It’s important to clearly demarcate office hours to create a work/life balance. Create hours in which you know you can be as productive as possible and schedule breaks too. You might also want to invest in a clock.
Make it you
You’ve got to want to spend time there so add elements that don’t make it seem like a time-out corner but rather your goal getting machine. Add flowers, artwork and even a coffee machine close by – whatever it will take to make you want to actually work in it.