entrepreneur home officeHome is where the heart is. It is the space where you do everything from hosting holiday parties, to sleeping, and relaxing. However, if you are an entrepreneur or small business owner working from home, the space is so much more—it needs to allow you to relax while inspiring you to focus, it must allow family time but also quiet moments, or be inviting to family while also being professionally appealing to clients.

Though the requirements for such a space could go on and on, a custom built home office can be highly advantageous for many business owners. With a great home office comes a great sense of personal freedom. There are no wasted hours spent in traffic, no bosses, no set schedule, or complicated office politics. You can also take advantage of additional tax deductions, allocate your time better, and your success does not depend on promotions.

Nonetheless, many people find it difficult to work from home and do not take full advantage of the perks they have at their disposal. Some feel overwhelmed, or cannot focus, or are unmotivated to accomplish their goals. Luckily, this is not difficult to fix if you set yourself up for success by tailoring your home to your business goals. When you are in charge of your own future, why not be in charge of how you want your home office set up? Here’s how to do it.

Separate Your Spaces

Create a dedicated space with a desk and a chair as opposed to moving around the house carrying your laptop and all your paperwork. This can be as simple as claiming a separate room as your “office” or, if you do not have the space, putting up a dividing screen in a quiet section of your home. This is crucial to having productive days, as it allows you to have a dedicated space where you can be focused during the day and turn your work off at the end of your workday. Many successful entrepreneurs custom build a home and create a personalized office space that suits what they do for a living, whether it focuses on video conferencing, seeing clients through a separate entrance or working in silence on projects.

Choose a Quiet Space

When you are choosing a space to call your “office,” choose a quiet spot where neighbors’ voices or mail deliveries are as muted as possible. Whatever your space, if you are on a conference call and the person on the other line can hear what is going on in the background, the space is too noisy.

Having a custom built space might be essential if you need to completely control the sound, like for a recording studio or a Video recording space.  In today’s environment, sound control can be beautiful and can be integrated into the design of a room.

In most cases however, there are some noises you will not be able to control—your neighbor’s dog barking for instance, or kids getting dropped off at a bus stop near you. If there are noises beyond your control, learn when those noises are likely to be triggered and simply work around them by blocking those times as unavailable to say, speak on the phone. Having a quiet home office space will not only help you to focus on your tasks better, but it will project professionalism to the clients that come into contact with you.

Keep the Space Simple

However many colored folders or pens you think you need in your home office, rethink it and cut it in half (or more, if you can). Depending on your trade, chances are most of the things you will need to do can be accomplished with your monitor, keyboard, and mouse. You can always add more tools as you need them, but try to keep the space as minimalist as possible. The less things around you, the easier it will be to organize and find things, which will in turn lead to a more uncluttered space that is conducive to productivity.

If you meet clients in your home office, do multimedia conferencing or even talk on the phone, they will appreciate a clean and neat space, without piles of rustling papers and things everywhere.

Create Your Own Thinking Space

home office ideasIf you have the space, make a ‘thinking space’ that is separate from your desk. Designate your desk as a space for ‘doing’ and have a separate desk, section, seating area or surface dedicated to brainstorming or ‘thinking.’ In a custom built home, this can be integrated into a great view of a property or at least and area with light.

While you can have all your electronics on your desk, use the ‘thinking’ space as a low-tech space where electronics cannot distract you. If you do not have a separate room for this low-tech space, divide your current office, or use another section of your home or even your patio. The possibilities are endless and many entrepreneurs, especially those in creative industries such as the arts, notice a huge difference in their moods and productivity rhythms when they divide their spaces this way.

Many custom spaces feature a definitive area that is physically divided by a railing or small wall.  A comfortable couch can be a focal point for thought.

Get Wired

Whether you are a consultant, advisor, or another type Internet-based worker, chances are you will need to be connected to your clients. This means you should have your office wired and should aim to be conference connected.

It will pay off to invest in a wireless hub for your office so you can flexibly work on your laptop from your desk, chair, or table, and at either standing or sitting heights. This simple feature can enhance everything from your problem solving to your thinking ability. Many high-end home builders feature a specific communication center and hard wired cables for easy access and upgrade ability. This allows entrepreneurs to have the latest and fastest communications without sacrificing style or luxury.

Entrepreneurs can also benefit from having a separate phone line to their office so no business associate or client gets a busy signal. The “office” phone should also be equipped with messaging, conferencing and speaker functions. A VOIP system can integrate your cell number and your office phone for a seamless way to stay in contact yet have the highest call quality. You should invest in the highest quality equipment available for your budget, so you do not spend your time waiting for things to work. And you should be sure you have a local and responsive technology support service that takes service calls straightaway. Having reliable equipment is crucial to your professionalism and piece of mind when you are working.

When Hiding Makes Sense

In order to keep your space neat and organized so as to encourage creativity, you should hide items away whenever you are not using them through a well-planned storage system.

Filing cabinets, don’t have to be the ugly metal pieces of furniture of yesterday, and can now be designed right into a space with style.  They remain useful as a place to put papers you use frequently. Ending up with paper everywhere is one of the biggest mistakes of people who work from home make and file cabinets can avoid that. And, if you are the type of person who needs to see something to remember it exists, wall storage might be a great option. Examples range from magazine racks to library-style display shelves to pin boards. If you build a custom home space, an interior designer from the building company usually comes with the price and can help you complete your home office to get the most out of your space.

Storage devices can also double up as furniture. For instance, if you need bookcases and get nice ones, they can be used as a professional backdrop in your video conferences. Or if you are using a guest bedroom for your office space, make use of the closet by building a shelving system in it; thereby minimizing the need for storage in other office areas.

For some entrepreneurs working in certain field like the arts, storage can matter more than for just keeping things organized. Custom storage can also be extremely helpful according to the needs of entrepreneurs. Examples range from special packaging, to low light options, or low humidity storage for things like artwork.

Put Your Home To Work For Your Office

office meeting spaceIf your business calls for meeting with clients face-to-face, setting up meeting areas can allow for seeing clients at home.

Many entrepreneurs set up their home offices with separate entrances so that clients or collaborators can come in and go without disrupting other parts of the home. Even having an office right off the from door can be both welcoming and remain business-like.  Separate meeting areas for face to face or even group video conferences can be a welcome addition to a home office space.

When it comes to meeting your clients in your home office, the rule of thumb regarding personal items is: the less, the better. Personal items divulge personal information that might be distracting to clients. You do not want your client to be thinking about your personal life when they should really be there talking business. Think first about what you want clients to know about your personal life (generally the less, the better.) If you do not want to divulge your age, marital status, or family information, then keep things out of your office that would show them that.

Instead, add business-related décor. This actually can give an advantage to your home office over the barren atmosphere of a traditional office space. Let a decorator personalize your space so as to reflect your business industry and style. Also, make sure to provide comfortable seating that is appropriate for clients who are there to brainstorm informally or conduct business meetings.

Separate Work from Pets

You probably love your pets but that doesn’t mean all your clients do too. Some clients might be afraid of them or have allergies. Others simply will not like them. So if you have pets in your home, you should make sure they are contained when you are expecting clients – that means no dog dashing for the door when the client knocks!

Note that, because of potential allergies, you also need to try to eliminate pet hair in the spaces where your clients will be. All in all, you may want to keep your pets out of your client space at all times as a courtesy to them and sign that you are serious about your business.

You can Have it All

As a small business owner or entrepreneur who works from home, your productivity levels and professional success do not have to suffer because you find it hard to focus. You can find motivation and success by following simple principles to achieve a well set up office space that inspires you and wows your clients.

For more information about creating a custom office space contact a local contractor near you. Click Here for custom home information.  In many cases, a custom-built home might actually be the right fit for you as you grow your business.

Remember, put your business and your happiness as a priority and success will follow.

Source: main arh blog