Business owner working from a home office

10 top tips for setting up a home office

04 September 2018     |    By: Kris Littlewood
Working from home comes with a number of benefits. The money you save not renting a space to work from as well as the costs of commuting. But it's important to make sure that your home working environment replicates a professional space to avoid distractions and get the most out of your working day. We've put together some useful hints and tips to help you get started.

1.  Start with a critical needs list

This planning stage will help you determine the essentials of your home working environment. List what you need as a must, what would be nice to have and what to work towards. For instance, computer, chair and a desk are essential for any office, whereas artwork could be more of an aspiration.

2. Find a dedicated space in your house

Setting your work area aside from your personal spaces in your home not only helps you focus on work but also ensures that you don't take work home with you. Having this clear distinction means that you won't be tempted to quickly check your work emails while you're relaxing in the evening. Defining these spaces can help younger children understand boundaries of work and family time.

3. Make sure you separate the personal from the professional

Separating your professional and personal life when working from home can help you appreciate family time and leave work in the office. Define your office hours as if you were employed; fixing your office hours is crucial. Blurring the lines between home and work could either make you feel that you're always at work or that there's not enough time for family. Defining the space is important but making time for both is just as crucial. Maintaining your health and wellbeing are essential to ensure you perform at your best whilst working from home.

4. Create an inviting and comfortable environment

Whether you're working from this space on a full or part time basis, it's yours to do what you want with. You may want to give it a lick of paint to brighten the room, add some artwork or furnishings and a plant or two to create a Zen environment. Try not to clutter your new office and remember that if clients are visiting you at home, then you will need a professional environment to invite them into.

5. Ensure you have proper lighting or embrace natural light

It's essential that your working environment is a pleasant place to be. A small dark and dingy room will not be conducive to your productivity and could negatively impact the quality of work that you produce.

6. Stay organised

Be regimented when it comes to filing, invoicing and maintaining good housekeeping in your office. If you work with paper, get a filing cabinet and set aside time each week to ensure your admin is up to date. Spend five minutes at the end of each day clearing away any paperwork and mugs so you're ready to start fresh the next day.

7. Invest in decent furniture to ensure you are comfortable

The kitchen table might work for a while, but if you're serious about working from home you will need to find furniture that you are happy to sit in for a full day's work. Create a pleasing environment that makes you feel happy and positive but doesn't distract you. Your health should always be a priority and just because you are working from home, doesn't mean you don't need an office chair.

8. Get a dedicated work line

If you're using a landline for your business, its best to get a dedicated line installed. If you're trying to keep your budget to a minimum and giving out your personal mobile number, ensure you answer this professionally at all times, you never know who might call!

9. Your first day in the office

Make sure you are ready for your working day as if you were working for someone else. By defining this from the word 'go', you won't be tempted by household distractions or be tempted to lie in at home. Don't forget to give yourself regular breaks - it's important to balance out your work and be mindful of your health. Even the busiest of people still need a breather to ensure they are working at their best.

10. Realistic targets

While these things are important; don't expect to achieve them all at once. Set yourself some realistic targets and deadlines and try to stay on track, but don't feel guilty if they need to be adjusted or realigned.

As with any business premises, taking out the right insurance can help protect you and your business against the unexpected. Freelancer insurance can offer a range of covers including public liability and employer's liability or you can arrange full office protection including contents cover and business interruption insurance. You can protect your business online in just a few minutes or call us today for expert recommendations and advice on your homeworkers insurance.
Kris Littlewood
Article by
Kris is a marketing professional with over 15 years of experience across both the insurance and hospitality sectors. Specialising in digital marketing communications, he has also been awarded a Certificate in Insurance qualification from the Chartered Insurance Institute. As a digital marketing consultant at Premierline, Kris has an in-depth knowledge of the needs and concerns of small business owners across the UK and enjoys writing about marketing, innovation and business strategy.
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