Setting up your home office

Working from home can make good business sense, but it's important to take the time to ensure that your workspace meets your needs. Whether you're setting up a home-based business or are already working from home, there are steps you can take to make the most of your space.

To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where are you most productive — for example, do you prefer a space with lots of natural light or does a basement office work for you?
  • Will you be meeting with clients or partners at your home office?
  • Do you need privacy away from noise and distraction?
  • Do you need extra space for filing cabinets or special equipment?
  • How much are you willing to spend to set up your office?

Create your space

You may be tempted to start moving furniture and equipment into your new office right away. However, it might be easier to plan out your space efficiently when it is still empty.

  • Before connecting any equipment, sit at your desk to make sure the lighting and the layout will allow you to function effectively.
  • Decide where to put items like filing cabinets or tables.
  • Connect and test all your equipment to make sure everything is working properly.
  • Clear out any clutter that is not part of your business operations.

Furniture and equipment

The type of work you do will dictate what you need in your space. You may want a desk and computer, a workspace for creating, or a table and chairs for small meetings. Being comfortable is important, but you don't have to spend a fortune to equip your office. Consider buying used furniture, or looking for sales on equipment.

  • Buy a computer or other device with the software and accessories you will need for your daily operations.
  • Have a dedicated business telephone line that won't get tied up with other activities.
  • Consider going wireless or organizing your cords and cables to de-clutter your space.
  • Buy an ergonomic chair that gives you proper support.

Organize your supplies

You may want to position the files and supplies that you use on a daily basis within reach.

  • Buy inexpensive materials to create shelving or in-and-out trays.
  • If space allows, stack extra supplies in a cabinet or cupboard.
  • Free up desk space by keeping small items on shelves, or using a hands-free headset for your telephone.

Taking the time to determine your needs and plan the best home office for your business can help you remain organized and productive.

  • Home-based business
    Working from home involves careful consideration and planning. Find out if this arrangement is for you.
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