Whether you're a virtual worker, an owner of an online business or want your own space for business tasks. Setting up a home office is needed to work from home successfully.
We look at the underlying mechanics of setting up a home office.
What exactly is a home office?
A home office is a space in your home where business tasks are conducted. This serves as the main area of choice for business matters such as speaking to customers, filing taxes and auditing expenses.
Benefits of having a home office
Home offices are now accessible to a vast majority of small business owners. Nowadays, many business owners and freelancers can easily work from home if they have an internet connection and desktop computer.
There are many benefits to having an office at home.
Setting up a home office gives business owners more flexibility compared to owners who commute to an office. It allows you to create your own space and routine unique to you in contrast to fixed co-working spaces.
Setting up a home office also lowers operating costs for your business. For example, the biggest expense for small businesses is the renting office space. In fact, the average annual rent in London for prime office space was more than £500 per square foot annually. Most owners who run their business from home can also claim back expenses on equipment purchased.
Here are the necessities needed to set up a home office.
Think of your office desk as the one place where you’ll get most of your work done. This space needs to be a usable workstation. For example, if you are doing creative work or writing as part of your job this needs to be flat surface. Ideally, you would need to buy a stable desk which can fit your work laptop and notepad for note-taking.
Furthermore, for interacting with colleagues it's recommend your office desk be put in a space without any distractions.
Working from home is mostly done via a desktop PC or a laptop. It is important to make sure that you have a device that is capable of being used for business purposes. For example, if you have an out-dated device it's best to replace this.
Furthermore, install security and backup software to make sure that business data is secure and to prevent data breaches. MacAfee and Norton are good places to start and come with free trials if needed.
When running your business from home, you need to be able to send files to colleagues and attend video meetings. A fast and reliable internet connection is necessary for your home office.
Make sure that your WiFi works in any area of your house. This frees you from being confined to just one working space and can boost morale.
Moving on, if you're going to be conducting your main business in your home office a reliable phone system is essential. Traditional landlines are not equipped to handle the remote capabilities that a home office needs.
A switch to VoIP can allow you to keep your original business phone number and also benefit from a mobile app and features. Features such as call forwarding and call transferring can help in contacting colleagues and customers.
In terms of printers it's best to get a multi functional printer. This allows numerous tasks such as scanning, faxing and printing to be completed. While most offices try for a paperless option, printing is essential to conduct administrative tasks such as filing and photocopying.
Don't disregard lighting for your home office. Natural lighting is a great way to boost productivity and morale while working at home. This can be done by positioning your home office in a room with a visible window.
Having a bright area to work in can lighten your mood and also help with mental health while being isolated. Sunlight allows you to maintain your energy and mood through your work.
Having a backup system is important for a home office. It's recommended that you opt for cloud-based system (Google Drive or OneDrive) rather than physical hard-drives. Google Drive is an ideal cloud system that can host large files and videos. This is important in case of an unexpected power cut or needing to get a new PC computer or laptop.
Furthermore a cloud-based storage system makes it easy to collaborate with other colleagues who are also working remotely.
Finally, just because you are working out of your home office doesn't mean you have to remain anti-social. Apps such as iMessage, Skype and Google Hangouts are great with connecting with colleagues. This can uplift your mood and provide an ideal break from your work.
Create the perfect office space and provide your business with an increase in productivity, reliability and flexibility. Use these guidelines to secure the right equipment and don't be afraid to use Pinterest etc to visualise your space!
If you need help or advice on connectivity solutions for your home office don't hesitate to give us a call on the numbers above.