These days so many people work from home, the number of people who choose to freelance is growing rapidly. This leaves us in a pickle when it comes to setting up office space and home business, more difficult still when you decide to invite more people into your home workspace. If your little operation has grown or you merely work better with a company, a home office is a different beast when you throw more people in the mix. It’s definitely worth the effort if you can find the space though. A home business is a solution to many of the issues we may face working alone.
Whether it’s an extra pair of hands or a friendly face and a laugh over lunch, many of us do need the company of others. We are social beings, working in solitude for long periods can affect our mental health and make our days dull. The good news is you don’t necessarily need to rent an office space or hot desk in an impersonal environment to enjoy the company of others during your workday. Just set up a home business. You’ll just need a little bit of creativity and some great home office furniture to make your new office perfect. We’ve put together a step by step guide to help you get started.
Build a Team
You may be thinking, ‘I don’t need an assistant’, but that’s not the only reason to grow your office space. Many people simply invite like-minded professionals to share their space. We know that large open plan office spaces are often loud and impersonal, but sharing smaller spaces with the right people helps us learn, foster creativity, and support each other. Even the quietest people benefit from the routine of getting out of the house, greeting others, and discussing professional matters. The point is this, if you don’t have a team or an assistant, you can rent a desk to a friend or merely go halves on your monthly internet bill.
Why Build a Home Business?
There is so much to be said for the comfort of a home. We feel warmer, at ease, there is more privacy and we are less likely to be overstimulated. Better still; sharing your home office. Sharing the space can ease the financial burden because you aren’t renting a separate office space and your assistant or work buddy can help share the cost of running an office and setting up space. The costs of your electricity, water, and Wi-Fi will be spilled either by the additional income an assistant will help you draw or by the rental fee you would charge a friend. That way you can also put some spare change in your pocket at the end of the month.
Where to Start?
Your home business will require a few things, the first and most importantly is the right space. You will need a more organized, formal space than what you may have been using. Your laptop on the dining room table will not suffice if it’s productivity and comfort you and your co-workers are after. Think more along the lines of a garden cottage, spare room, or even the garage. Of course, a garage will require a bigger transformation to make it look legitimately professional, but done right it, it could do the trick. You have to remember that enough space, airflow, natural light, comfort, and convenience are essential. Without those essential elements, your space may not make the cut, leaving you to work alone in a big old’ home office fitted for a team.
Some Pre-project Considerations
For the sake of your co-workers and potential clients, it’s a good idea to have some kind of breakaway space. Away from the main work area, just a little spot to welcome clients and or eat lunch will provide a soft spot to land when the rest of the office isn’t quite right for the activity at hand.
For your own sanity, you will want to be able to keep your home business separate from the rest of your living area. More than closing the door at the end of the day, you don’t want your family distracting you or your co-workers.
Set a Budget
You might be able to convince your assistant that working next to you at a dining room table is awesome, but it will become less awesome as time goes by. You also won’t be able to charge a likeminded co-worker to use your dining room table. You need to set up a clutter-free space that looks professional with home office furniture, equipment, and the necessary amenities. Factor into your budget the cost of lighting, furniture, any necessary equipment for employees as well as any kitchen equipment you may need. Your ongoing costs will include additional water and electricity you may use as well as the cost of your internet and other household products. Before you plunge yourself headfirst into this new venture, consider how much additional income you may be able to draw against the cost of setting up. Your set up costs shouldn’t decimate your potential profit for the next decade.
Another way to approach your budget is to consider the cost of renting an office space or hot-desking somewhere. Rented office space would also require furniture and equipment, which will incur more costs. Hot-desking will likely leave you feeling like you’ve constantly forgotten something – where is your laptop stand? Where is your spare screen and keyboard? Is this chair even ergonomic? The cost of your workspace is important, and so is your comfort. Consider your needs carefully.
Make it Pretty
Designing the space for your home office is easily the most exciting part of setting up your home business. Your wall paint, art, flooring, lighting, furniture, and accessories will all work together to make this a comfortable and productive space. Here are a few tips to get your creative juices flowing:
- Consider painting one wall an accent colour to match your overall colour scheme. If you can’t change your flooring, consider putting down a colourful rug.
- Artwork and accessories such as pot plants should only fill the space enough to give it a personal touch.
- Too many bright colours and jarring patterns will overstimulate you and make the space difficult to work in.
- For the best outcome, you want to strike a balance between function and comfort. Keep the items without a function to a minimum; you can always add more as you go.
- You have to avoid cluttering the place up. Too much clutter will put limitations on your furniture plan – this may change as time passes.
- New people will come and go and different seating arrangements may be required to suit different people’s needs.
The right furniture is essential. It will make or break the space visually, it will also make your break your productivity. For your home business, you want to choose furniture which looks professional but not too clinical – it’s a home business after all. Ukhuni’s Home Habitat range strikes the perfect balance in this regard. You can choose from a variety of beautifully designed pieces that are not only sturdy and hardwearing but they are also ergonomically sound to prevent muscular strain.
Rules and Regulations
Now that your home business is a work of art, there’s one last thing to ponder. Working with others has many benefits but those benefits are more likely to be fully realized when fair rules are put into place. Rules such as strict office hours, (after all it is your home) a wash-your-own-dishes policy and perhaps some fair noise restrictions will come in handy. We all have quirks, but don’t let them get in the way of a happy and productive work environment.
In a world that is increasingly impersonal, build your own world, one which lends itself to ease of use, comfort, and productivity. It is possible to strike the right balance and once you have, your business will reap the benefits and so will your colleagues and co-workers. If you think it through and carefully plans it, designs the space, and fill the space with beautiful furniture, your home business will become a productive little haven. It starts with the search for something better and it will be spurred by the spoils.
Choose from a range of training solutions, soft furniture, screens, collaborative and agile workspaces, reception areas, seeking, and storage solutions to suit a flexible and productive environment. For more information, visit https://www.ukhuni.co.za