Some say you can never run a successful business in your pajamas and slippers from a spare room in your home. This, of course, fails to acknowledge the fact that not only do many people already work from home, the number is actually growing. Almost 14% of UK workers work from home. Forbes reported 1 in 5 Americans working from home.
That still leaves plenty of jobs that can’t be done from home. No one is manufacturing mass-market automobiles from a spare bedroom. There are plenty of office jobs that should never be done from home. You don’t want to turn your living room into a client waiting area. And you don’t want to provide such easy access to your family to everyone with a professional axe to grind.
But many office jobs are perfectly suited for the home. They will have the following characteristics:
- They don’t require large pieces of specialized equipment.
- They don’t require you to see clients in-office
- They don’t require employees to check in at the office
- They can be performed amid some small measure of noise and distraction
This still likely describes most of the jobs still done in offices. Whether working for yourself or others, it starts with a great workspace. Here’s how to turn a space in your home into that perfect space for work:
Give It More Power
For the perfect home office, your home is going to need more power. It is not just your computer and monitor you have plugged in all the time. If you have a server to run your website, you might need up to six outlets to plug in that single device. If you have a photography or art studio, you will quickly discover why it is sometimes called a light bill. Certain pieces of professional equipment require excessive power draw.
Whether it is Rockwall electric rates, or something closer to your neck of the woods, you can at least find relief from the higher prices a home/office can incur. You can’t skimp on electricity. Everything in the modern office needs to be plugged in to work. Even when you are not using items, they have to be charged. You need more outlets that are constantly drawing power. But if you shop providers, you will find that you don’t have to pay as much.
Some people try to get away with a folding chair and a TV tray. But that is not office furniture. You need a proper office chair for ergonomic reasons at the very least. And you need a proper desk even if you are only using a laptop.
First, your laptop is expensive, and needs to be on something stable and permanent. It needs to have a proper place to be, not just be thrown wherever you can find a spot. Second, office furniture provides you with the necessary space to carry out all of your work duties. When you need to take down a number fast, you don’t want to have to scramble to find a space to write, and something to write with. Third, if your office doesn’t look like an office, neither you nor your family will treat it like an office.
If you were in a corporate office, your family would never barge in on you and demand that you fix the DVD player. You don’t have an office until you have that level of privacy. It is not just your time and attention that should be deemed sacred. It is everything to do with your clients.
If you are a tax preparer, all information is sensitive and confidential. It should be in a locked file drawer. That information should never touch a shared computer, or a family account, and should have business-class security protection.
At the end of the day, it is less about the details, and more about the principle: An office has to be a real office no matter the location. Whatever it is that constitutes an office has to be a part of your home office. Power, furniture, and privacy are just the beginning.