Whether you need a home-based office for your own business or office work, designing the right home office can help your productivity and sanity at work. Things like choosing the most suitable space, determining technology compatibility and many other aspects play vital role.
Here is a guide to designing your home office setup and getting the most out of it.
Keep your preferences in mind before designing your space
As Cecelia Jernegan puts it in his “Working From a Home Office Successfully: Best Practice Tips”, an optimal home-office setup largely depends on your occupational and personal needs. Jernegan recommends having a room that is free from routine household commotions. A private and closed area will help your productivity. She further suggests that the setup should be done with an “office frame of mind” and the work environment should reflect your business commitment.
Office-setup ideas of a bachelor largely differ from that of a man with three kids. Similarly if you have an office setup in or near your bedroom and you have clients visiting you often, it may not be the best idea. Leigh Buchanan, a popular editor, adds that office furniture like quality lighting and storage spaces add more value to your work. Dedicate a closet, basement or a suitable place for your archives. If things are arranged properly, you will be able to locate them faster next time. Buchanan also emphasises the importance of placing your computer properly. Monitors have to be placed properly keeping the direction of sunlight in mind.
Buying the right tools and equipment
Plan your tools and equipment depending on the nature of your business. Some businesses can work with basic essentials like a chair, a desk and a computer with Internet connection. Other businesses may need printers, fax machines, multiple phone lines, space for several computers and many other things.
Buying computers and accessories with the best services and warranties will help you in the long run. Get access to vendors that work 24/7. Like Jeff Zbar (operator of ChiefHomeOfficer.com) points out, it is important to buy products and hire services locally. This can help you in fixing your computer quickly or other issues surrounding it.
Choosing the right Internet connection is another challenge. Remember, even the best of connections do not have the same speeds everywhere. So choose a connection that has the best speed in your area and has a reliable service too. Even if your Internet connection is down for few hours, it could affect your business.
In spite of all these, you do not have to purchase expensive items or make a plush home office. A functional office can be built at affordable costs.
Determine if you qualify for tax deductions
Tax laws usually differ from one country to another. Tax deductions imply depending on many IRS stipulations. If you have to qualify for deductions, it is important to use your office space frequently and use them only for your business. If you are a virtual employee and your employer covers some of your office expenses, you don’t qualify for deductions.
There are other important things to note for tax deductions. Your business must show profits if you have to qualify for tax deductions. Your annual business income must be more than your annual tax write-off.
The essence of having a backup
Regardless of how efficient your hardware and software is, it is always smart to have a backup. The thumb rule to safeguard your office equipment is to avoid food and drinks inside the office space. It is always a great idea to learn to fix basic bugs and clean your computer regularly. Often, a simple antivirus software could save the day for you. If you can afford, you can think of a second computer or another source of Internet connection as a backup.
There is nothing more comfortable than having your own business or working at home. By doing the basics right, you are all set to put on a CEO hat or a CHO (Chief Home Officer) hat.
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