Working from home is not a new thing; many people all over the world do. But today, things are turning out to be different. A deviation from the norm. And if you have never considered working from the comfort of your home, now is the time to give it some thought.
Without having to go into details about why this will become the ‘new norm’ in the not-too-distant future, setting up a home office has unexpectedly become a hot idea, and looking on the bright side, we can say this: Thanks to a 2020 pandemic that has practically shut the world down. COVID-19
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Before things blow over, something we can’t yet predict, some are already losing their jobs or at best, working partially, while many others remain uncertain about their immediate future. Most have more time on their hands than they ever imagined. So, don’t you think you need to give this a though, especially if you fall within the groups of people mentioned?
If and when you decide to have an office at home, there are a few things you will need to think about and then put in place. Working from home requires some discipline of sorts. It is easy to just do work on your coffee table or kitchen countertop, unfazed with things strewn all over the surfaces or with children’s toys and other odds and ends scattered all over the floor.
Before you begin to plan, it is good to consider if working from will become a temporary or permanent situation. If working from home will be a temporary situation; something you need to do to keep yourself busy before work starts in full force, then perhaps it is okay to work while lounging on your sofa or sitting at the breakfast table drinking coffee.
However, if you wish to make this a permanent thing or a long-term state, then you need to be able to work, not only comfortably, but effectively and efficiently. This is supposed to be a business, a money-making venture, therefore it demands to be approached seriously.
- Know the type of work you will be doing.
- Identify the kind of tasks you’ll be carrying out.
- Find and create an area to set up as a workstation. This can be created anywhere in the home – the living room, dining area, hallway, a dead-corner, niche, or bay window.
- Make sure your workspace is conducive to your work and out of the way of other members of the household.
Even if you live in a small home or apartment, you will always find a spot to establish your home office. Reasons for this is that with the advantages and perks of modern technology, we can run a home business utilising minimal space without encroaching on other zones of the interior or being an inconvenience to other members of the household.
Interior Spaces to Consider
Consider these areas. Identify their possibilities:
- Under the staircase
- 1st-floor landing
- Free wall space in the living or dining area
- A repurposed closet
- A guest room that can double up as a study or home office
- A nook or wall recess that is at least 90cm (3ft) wide x 60cm (2ft) deep x 180cm (6ft) high
- An enclosed patio or outdoor room
There must be a perfect integration between your home office setting and the interior space. One more thing, it is important that you pick out the best place within your home to do your business tasks without turning everything upside down!
Home Office Setup
Finding the best space to serve as a home office workstation is usually the easy part. However, designing and decorating the space using functional and efficient furniture (and furnishings) that are the right scale and size in relationship to the rest of the room is the not-so-easy part. As mentioned earlier, space and its concept must be functional, comfortable, and pleasant.
You must personalise your work area and endeavour to make it cheery, bright, and even colourful. Your office must come across as a passionately put together space with a real sense of business infused with energy.
Most work-from-home individuals often forget that this space needs to be attractive and inviting. They worry more about its function and ergonomics. But creating an office at home goes beyond that. You want an office that is so lovely that you don't want to close the door on it or hide it from inquisitive eyes. You want to show it off! To achieve a balance, when developing your design concept, you should:
- Blend it with the surroundings in a pleasing manner.
- Ensure it is organised and free of clutter.
- Keep your desk neat and avoid too much desk-bound paperwork.
- Have a memo board for notelets, to-do list, calendar, or photos.
- Store files, receipts, and the like electronically.
- Make sure your desk and its accessories match the room’s décor and theme.
- Make the workstation a flexible space if other family members wish to use it.
- Ensure that your furniture corresponds with the scale of other items and features in the room.
- Have ample storage if you have physical files by installing floating shelves above the desk.
- Consider having vertical files to organize and keep at arm's reach if your work requires you to store a lot of paperwork.
- Add a splash of colour (wall, chair, and floor rug).
- Hide all electrical cords. This will make your workspace clean and organized.
- Make sure that you have a comfortable chair because you may need to sit for hours to get your work done.
- Have good lighting for your desk and its close surrounds.
- Pleasingly accessorize your office desk. Personalise your workstation with things that make you motivated and cheerful
Remember that your home office is an interior zone where you’ll be spending a great deal of your time working, so, it is important to be happy with its setup.
Workstation Furniture and Furnishings
Typical furniture required to set up a workstation is pretty few. You will need a good work surface, physical storage for books, notepads, and perhaps paperwork, a comfortable chair, swivel or not, depending on your preference, good lighting, basically a table lamp, and a convenient source of electricity. Having a wastepaper basket is not a bad idea too. Examples of workstation furniture and furnishings include:
Useful Templates for a Home Office Business
If you are planning to, or have just started your home office business, there are other instruments you will need to run your business professionally and optimally at all times. Need I repeat that this is a business venture and therefore must be approached proficiently and professionally.
Whether your business is graphic or interior design-based, or involves craftworks, virtual assistance, freelance writing, or a medical transcriptionist, there are all sorts of documents you would need for your business at different times. From planning, invoicing, and marketing tools, to promoting, marketing, and presentations, you don’t need to lumber yourself with the real nitty-gritty of running your work-from-home business, you may not have the time to constantly have to draw up necessary documentation.
To ease your workload and present your services or brand to potential clients, your communication and implementation tasks must be done professionally. This is where you will find templates incredibly useful and less time-consuming.
- To do lists template
- Work from home quotation template
- Productivity log template
- Daily schedule template
- Work from home order log template
- Tri-fold job brochure template
- Job invoice template
With these types of templates, you will be able to manage everything you would require for any type of business. It will involve minimal work that will take you only seconds to complete. They are printable, editable, 100% customizable and are available in different file formats - MS Word, Pages, Google Docs, PSD, Illustrator, InDesign, Publisher, and PDF.
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