By Kaitlin Krull of Modernize.com
When freelancers and small business owners first get started, the freedom from fixed working schedules, neverending commutes, and the chain of command feels liberating. Once things start moving, however, it’s important to find a headquarters of sorts to keep motivation and production levels high.
(Photo courtesy of Modernize.com)
At Modernize, we know that finding a work space to call your own is essential for small business owners — and what better place to look than your very own home? Here are just a few of the reasons why every small business owner should have their own at-home office (with a few tips and tricks to help you get started).
Avoid The Coffee Shop Crowd
Many small business owners start out by taking their work on the road. From coffee shops and restaurants to shopping malls and even parking lots, these kinds of work environments are not conducive to good business practice. A spare bedroom or study in your house, or even a quiet corner of the dining room or den, can provide a far more reliable work space that limits distractions and temptations.
Working from your very own home office also gives you the space you need to complete everyday business tasks, correspondence, and production without feeling cramped or rushed. Create a space with plenty of room for all aspects of your business, starting with a large desk and storage area and adding additional tables or shelving units for meetings and other production stations to suit your small business’s individual needs.
Eliminate Long Commutes
One of the biggest draws for freelancers and small business owners who make the decision to work from home is convenience. Because your new office is also a part of your home, you waste no time travelling to and from work every morning. But be warned: spending too much time in your office will upset your work/home life balance, and working too little or coming to work unprepared can be just as detrimental to your business.
Although finding an appropriate balance between your work and home life can be difficult with an at-home office, if you get it right you will be more productive than you ever thought possible. Setting work hours and adapting your environment to maximize efficiency goes a long way in any office setting, so be strict with yourself (and your family) and strike the right balance with good office lighting, minimal ambient noise, and an organized and clean work space to set yourself up for success.
Customize Your Office Space
While commercial office spaces and cubicles are often small, cramped, and poorly equipped, there is no reason your at-home office should be the same. Being your own boss means making all the purchasing and spending decisions, so choose your own preferred style of office furniture and supplies as and when you need them. A home office can also be decorated any way you see fit, but we recommend keeping any decor subtle, motivational, and in no way distracting from your work.
Increase Your Credibility
In addition to giving you freedom from commercial constraints, long commutes, and outside distractions, an at-home office means that you really are a business owner. Working from your own office can and should make you feel empowered and justified in your work, so take pride in your work space and keep it clean, organized, and well-stocked. With plenty of elbow grease and just a tiny bit of luck, your small business will soon thrive (with more than a little help from your customized home office).
Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. She enjoys writing for Modernize.com with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on eco-friendly home projects with confidence.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the authors alone and do not represent those of CBS Small Business Pulse or the CBS Corporation. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are verified solely by the authors.