There are many pros of working from home, such as reduced travel time, saving on meals and gas, and freedom of working in pajamas to name a few. But it also has its fair share of challenges, a major one being lack of productivity. No matter how a home office looks like, it has to be conducive for productivity.
Unfortunately, many people aren’t blessed with a home that has ample unused space that can be designated for working only. However, anyone looking to develop a home-based business must have some kind of workspace.
So how can people make do with the little space they have, become as productive as possible, and significantly grow their home-based business? These tips will help get things done.
Find a Space and Stick to It
The first step to take is to find a suitable spot that can allow for productivity. That can be tough if you have limited space. Every wall or room can feel like it has a special purpose to serve. Our West Hartford, Connecticut, interior decorator would be able to give you assistance, ideas and just may see your home in a different light than you do. On your own, you’ll really need to flex your creative muscle here.
Don’t overlook any nook and cranny of your home. Even that unused corner or a small patch of the wall may be enough for a home office. Here are some excellent ideas on how to utilize limited space:
Get a wall desk:
Wall mounted desks don’t take up much room. Some can even fold up, making them easy to get out of the way when not being used. By getting a stool or chair that can be easily put away and pairing it with a mounted wall desk, an at-home worker will have an instant office that will consume minimal space.
Make a desk do double duty:
While a home-based entrepreneur may lack an extra room that can be turned into a home office, he or she is likely to have a space that can fit a small desk. This desk can be used for work and other purposes too like vanity. Alternatively, he or she could choose to work on an existing table-space, such as the kitchen island or dining table.
The key to happiness and productivity as an at-home worker is having a go-to spot that can be set up quickly for use as an office. Don’t shift the home office time after time.
Home-based work is still work. Unfortunately, the kids, significant other, or chatty neighbors may not get that. As a result, at-home workers may face countless interruptions. If they don’t set up boundaries for themselves, nobody’s going to do that for them.
Due to space constraints, home-based workers may not have an office door that they can simply lock to shut out the rest of the world. Fortunately, there are many brilliant ideas that they could utilize to tell people when they’re “on” and working, and when they’re “off” and not working. Here are some of them:
- Signage: Putting a free/busy sign at the edge of a home office desk can go a long way to reminding family or friends when a home-based entrepreneur is available or working.
- Construction paper: Hanging colored construction paper in a visible place can serve as a stoplight for potential distracters. Red can indicate the worker is busy and shouldn’t be disturbed whereas green can show it’s okay to engage their attention.
- Portable privacy screen: A privacy screen can be set up to show that one is unavailable.
- Headphones: They can be worn to indicate busyness and taken off as a sign of being free.
Make the Space Work-Friendly
Non-work related items such as books and games can be just as distracting as family members and roommates. So it’s important to keep the home office organized and clutter-free. If the home office table does double duty, then a work-at-home entrepreneur will have to move any magazines, mail, and other items somewhere else during working hours.
There are several storage solutions that can be used to reduce clutter and don’t take up much square footage. They include:
- wall shelves — besides offering abundant storage space, they visually set the home office desk apart from the rest of the room
- rolling office furniture like rolling filing cabinets, printer stands with wheels, and ottomans on wheels — these can be easily hidden away when not in use
Designing a home office when space is scarce can be a large task for anyone who isn’t trained in the field. However, the challenge ahead may be nearly impossible for a busy businessperson. He or she could consider seeking the help of an interior designer that’s experienced in designing home work-spaces. The designer can create an ideal work-space to suit the entrepreneur’s business needs. A designer can be especially helpful for a home-based business that will be getting in-person client visits or one that will be employing a number of workers.
Get Useful Technology
Every work-at-home entrepreneur needs to equip their business with the necessary technology to enhance their productivity. One such form of technology is an internet connection. It may seem economical to get an affordable internet package. Unfortunately, these packages are usually slow and unreliable. Spending more on faster and reliable internet connection will be worthwhile.
It may be necessary for a home business to employ people, especially as it grows. The space can get crowded quickly. What’s more, zoning laws may forbid such a business from having more than one employee. Technology can come to the aid of the business. A mobile app helps entrepreneurs manage their home businesses better. Through the solid mobile presence that an app provides, entrepreneurs can connect better with clients and build a stronger brand.
Mobile apps can also help entrepreneurs with multiple functions of running a business from home, such as schedule management, invoicing, and running promotional activities. Therefore, you can hire a mobile app developer to design an app that will competently perform the job of the secretary, marketing assistant, and other employees, thus saving on the cost of new hires while increasing productivity.
Even if you lack square footage, the above-mentioned tips will help make your home office an inspiring and productive space.
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