Written by: Katie Conroy
Designing the ultimate dream office isn’t just for looks. Having a functional space to work in your home makes it easier to stay productive, focused, and excited about your job. If you are self-employed and running a business, having a great home office is even more essential. You need to have a suitable space for client meetings — both in-person and over Zoom — and for other business-related tasks.
Before running out and purchasing whatever your heart desires, having a plan is the key to success. With COVID-19 safety concerns still lingering, and other considerations to make for your home’s overall value, explore these six recommendations from Small Small Business.
Decide whether to redecorate or renovate
Assess your budget and space to decide whether you’ll need to redecorate or renovate. Doing this as your first step will save you both time and money.
How do you know whether you should renovate or redecorate? There are a few questions you can ask to make this determination. If you are mostly happy with the space you’ve chosen for your home office, but it needs a bit of work, you likely only need to freshen the space up with simple changes. However, if you live in a fixer-upper or are using a room that isn’t suitable for the office you envision, it’s wise to look into a minor or major renovation. Cost is also a significant determining factor in which route you choose. Also, if you’re thinking about selling your house in the near future, a fully functional office space can drastically increase the appraisal value of your home. For this reason alone, it may be worth the time and investment to complete renovations.
Choose a location close to your home’s entry
As you decide which room in your home is best suited for your office, consider selecting a location that is closest to your front door. Alternatively, it could be near a back door or another entryway. Entrepreneurs who host in-person client or vendor meetings will want to make it effortless to welcome people into their office. Rather than having individuals walk through your entire home, having an easily accessible way to enter your office is ideal.
Design the perfect video chat background
Even though most in-person meetings have resumed, people still enjoy the convenience of hosting Zoom meetings. Remote teams especially benefit from this technology, which makes it easier to communicate with one another.
As you make all considerations for your office, explore lighting and backgrounds that will enhance all of your virtual meetings. Choose neutral colors and background elements that do not distract. Also, set up lighting from in front of your face rather than from behind you. Consider purchasing a ring light for the most flattering look. Additionally, make sure that the back of your desk does not face windows, which can bring in lighting that darkens the video feed.
Use digital payment platforms to reduce contact
With COVID still being a nationwide concern, taking steps to have safe interactions is a wise move. Whether at home or at an event, reducing contact — especially when it comes to taking payments — is an effective move.
Begin offering 100% contact-free payment solutions. This goes for you making and accepting payments. There are plenty of platforms available to assist you in this shift. Most are commonly used by the vast majority of people. Fully digital payments also provide the benefit of helping you run an eco-friendly operation.
Make additional COVID safety modifications
Do you plan on having people visit you in your office? If so, making additional COVID safety modifications will keep you, your customers, and your vendors safe.
What are some of the best modifications that you can make to your new home office? If possible, select a room with windows. Routinely opening windows allows for better air circulation, which can help push out viruses. You can also provide disposable masks as a courtesy, and have standardized cleaning procedures.
Finally, make the space your own
Although your home office redesign or renovation is about achieving functionality, you should also make the space your own. Having an office in which you feel comfortable and happy is also super important. Decorate with your favorite artwork, essential oil diffuser, knick-knacks, and anything else that brings you joy during your workday. Paint your room a color that you love, find a rug that suits your overall theme, and add unique, personalized touches wherever you can. It is your home — make your space reflect your personality!
Another solid recommendation for creating the ultimate home office is to set a budget from the start. Prevent excess spending by knowing your budget for renovation work, furniture, decor, and other expenses.
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About the author:
Katie Conroy is the creator of Advice Mine. She enjoys writing about lifestyle topics and created the website to share advice she has learned through experience, education, and research.