Working at home necessitates creating a balance between your working life and your home life. You need to create a space within the home that balances your needs as an entrepreneur with your responsibilities as part of the family.
You could work out of the kitchen or from the dining table, but it might be best for you and your family if you designated one room for your office use.
The way you use the space will depend on your business, but there are some simple and easy-to-implement ways to make your workspace look professional.
Select a Suitable Space
As previously mentioned, it is best to take one room in the house and convert it into your home office. This creates a clear boundary between your home and your workspace. The room you choose and the level of modification it requires will depend on the nature of your business.
If your work requires that you meet with clients, you will have to choose a room on the first floor or perhaps even consider converting the garage into a home office. This also necessitates that you find ways to minimize outside noise from getting inside. Reducing these kinds of noise distractions will help create a soothing professional environment for the clients.
The garage is also the best option if you run a business where you build, clean, or refurbish. On the other hand, if everything you do is online, then all you need is a professional office look to your background.
Consider hiring a commercial painting firm as they work primarily with businesses and give you valuable insight into what colors and arrangements will give a professional office look to your workspace.
Make Sure the Home Office Is Properly Equipped
Keeping that clear barrier between your home space and your workspace means that your home office needs to meet all your business requirements without leaving the space. If you are constantly leaving the office to use the family printer, then you are losing productivity.
Equip your workspace with the proper furniture, computer system, appliances, and office supplies that you need to make it into an integrated and self-contained space. This does not mean that you must sacrifice comfort. Your ability to spend long amounts of time in the space will depend on how pleasant the aesthetic appeal of the space is to you.
Look into getting an ergonomic office chair to reduce wear and tear on your body from long hours sitting down. It is also advisable to get a special ergonomic mouse to reduce the risk of contracting carpal tunnel syndrome. Set a dedicated alarm to remind you to take a break or look away from the computer screen for a few minutes. This will reduce eye strain and headache triggers.
Another way to reduce fatigue and headache triggers is to have proper lighting in the home office. Consult an interior designer to ensure that the lighting setup you have is suitable for a workspace as the type of lighting you need for a home will differ.
Turn Your Office Into a Client Communication Hub
After you have successfully chosen a workspace and turned it into a comfortable and professional space, your next step is to radically upgrade your client communication ability.
The right communication hub design can project a competent image that adds weight to your customers’ positive impression of your business. Start by getting a dedicated business line and adding the number to all your promotional material and correspondence.
Purchase a smartphone for your business and link it to your business line. Arrange it so that all calls reach you no matter where you might be. Having a smartphone allows you to receive inquiries, send quotes, check email, and update tasks even outside of the office. Your clients will see you giving them speedy and efficient service.
As you will need to observe office hours for your family’s sake, get an office-level answering machine installed but always make sure to log all messages and return calls within a day or two of receipt.
Clients expect quick replies and fast service, and not being able to reach you easily could drive many potential customers into your competitors’ hands. As a home business operator, you need every edge you can get. Hopefully, these tips and ideas will help you to upgrade your home business to the next level.