According to the Small Business Administration, 52 percent of small businesses are home-based. Anyone who has ever had a work-from-home situation is probably familiar with the jealous looks that acquaintances give when they hear that you work from home.
They’ll say things like, “Oh that sounds like a dream,” or “You are so lucky!” or any other number of phrases that shows they have never worked from home.
The truth is, working from home can be even more challenging than showing up to an office every day. Sometimes the commute from the bed to the desk can be even worse than a cross-town drive to the office. After all, if you take an extra five minutes in bed, no one will be there to give you a hard time about it. And if you take five minutes, why not just take 10. Or 15? Then before you know it, its 3 p.m. and you’ve spent half the day playing Wii bowling in your pajamas.
One way you can combat this mindset and start crushing it from home is to set up a great home office. If you make the office warm and inviting, you will not dread walking into the place each morning.
Here are a few tips for increasing your business efficiency from home:
Make it your own
One of the true upsides of working from home is having the ability to decorate your office how you see fit. An office in a commercial building might not let you put up a Spiderman poster in your office, but if you’re calling the shots, why not? Just remember that if you ever host clients at your home office, they might view some choices as amateurish or sophomoric. In certain creative industries these choices get a little more leeway, but if you’re working in finance, law or another “traditional” field, you might want to keep away from making things too casual.
Get a good desk and chair
The desk and chair in your home office will theoretically be the place where you spend most of your time at work. You will want to invest in getting a comfortable desk and chair. Look for a desk that has plenty of storage space and is at a good height. Look for a chair that is ergonomically designed and is comfortable enough to sit in for long periods.
Desktop or Laptop?
The choice of whether to choose a laptop or a desktop can be a tough one. If you can afford both, it’s great to go that route, but many business owners have to choose one or the other. A laptop’s portability can be a blessing and a curse, especially if you tend to end up taking the laptop into the living room to half work/half channel surf. This usually devolves to 100-percent channel surfing, so if you think you can resist the temptation to mix work with television, go for a laptop. If not, it’s probably best to stick with a desktop computer.
Creating the perfect working environment at home – one that is suited for work more than play – can be one of your biggest assets. Once you have your office situation figured out, you can start working on scale efficiency, pricing strategies, negotiating shipping rates and all that other fun.