Whether you are just starting your small business or your company is entering maturity, you need a home office space. You need a spot where you can work undisturbed on regular projects such as taxes, retirement planning, freelancing or even finishing your MBA. The easiest solution is to create a home office in that spare room that only serves as a guest room once every couple of years. Follow these three home office tips and you’ll have your ideal workspace in no time.
Work in a Room With a Window
If we’ve learned anything from cubicle culture, it’s that being cut off from sunlight is unnatural and unhealthy. A study by the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne found that workers in windowless environments or “workstations” had poorer sleep quality, slept fewer hours and scored lower on assessments for vitality, mental functioning and social functioning. Lack of natural light disturbs your circadian rhythm, which in turn affects your sleep. Over time, it also can result in health problems that range from diabetes to higher accident rates.
If you can choose your workspace, one of our key home office tips is to pick a room with a window. However, you do want to control the amount of light coming in, particularly if your office faces east or west and will get the brunt of the sun. Invest in adjustable quality blinds that allow you to control the amount of light that comes in. If you live in a climate with extreme temperatures, consider cellular or solar blinds that boost energy efficiency. Once you find a type you like, make sure it matches your decor.
Get Attractive, Comfortable Furniture
You need furniture that supports your work. First, determine what your primary function will be in that office. Is it working on a computer? Making sales calls? Providing counseling services? Make sure to invest in furniture that helps you get your work done.
Entrepreneur Magazine recommend that you choose a chair manufacturer like Keilhauer or Humanscale that designs chairs to properly support your back and spine and balance your pelvis. The article also suggests getting foot rests, an ergonomic mouse shaped to fit your hand and soft keyboard pads to make work less stressful on your limbs.
Of course your most important investment is your work desk. Selecting the desk that work right for you ensures you achieve maximum productivity and organization in your new work space. Best Reviews features five desks that are good for their durability, storage capacity, work surface and price for home offices. Some options even include features like under-the-desk charging stations and built-in filing cabinets and bookshelves. You can also streamline your workspace by going paperless with organizational software like Neat.
Choose Wall Paint That Suits Your Professional Goals
The color of your home office should suit your profession and goals. Sally Augustin, an environmental psychologist and expert on person-centered design, tells Forbes that different colors can be used to gain an advantage at work. For example:
- Greens are thought to boost creativity.
- Pink is calming, which is why many team locker rooms are painted pink.
- White is associated with boredom, or, in some cases like the Apple Store, modernism.
Choose a color that suits your business and inspires you to complete the work you need to do.
Whether you are just creating your home office, or are upgrading your existing workspace, it is important that you have an area designated to running your small business. With our home office tips, you can ensure that your workspace maximizes your business’s organization and productivity.
The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accounting, marketing, technology and more. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted. The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.