How to build the perfect home office

Across Canada there are over 1.8 million self-employed people who work from home. Are you thinking of becoming one of them?

Having a place at home where you can work without disturbance is essential to running a successful business operation. If you’re a small business owner, a home office to you might be an additional benefit that allows you to stay in touch with your team whilst working from home; if you’re a freelancer or contractor, a home office is likely where you’ll be spending the majority of your working week. With this in mind, it’s imperative that a home office is set up correctly.

Assess the lay of the land

Think carefully about where in your home is the best place to have a home office. Right next door to a teenagers bedroom or the kitchen could present potential noise hazards. Basements, spare-rooms, or even a cordoned off area of your lounge are all ideal spots for getting your head down and cracking on with some work.

Before you rush off and buy any office equipment, assess what you already have that could be repurposed. That horrible lamp in a box in the basement? Your new desk light! That box of pens lying on a shelf in the lounge? Your new stationery supplies! It’s always worth investing in a decent desk and chair, especially if your job means many hours of sitting down. If you’re feeling modern, you could even invest in a standing desk. However you choose to set up your workstation, you simply can’t put a price on your health – the benefits of having an ergonomic desk hugely outweighs any cost.

Get your tech set up

Now that you have your room ergonomically organized, it’s time to get serious about the technology that you’ll need in order to run a smooth operation. Internet connection with WiFi is a given, and beyond that it simply depends on your business needs.

Some people find background music makes them more productive, in which case it would make sense to invest in a proper set of speakers – there’s nothing worse than grooving along to the latest hot record through the tinny sound of in-built speakers.

If you’re a creative – photographer, designer, or illustrator for example – it’s worth buying a multifunctional office printer. This will save you tedious trips to the local print shop and enable you to focus more energy on your creative process.

Work with your own tastes

Some people find the tranquillity and calmness of a neat and tidy desk more productive than a messy one (if you’re the latter, lucky you – messiness is also a sign of a secret genius at work).

Everyone works differently and what’s most important is finding what works best for you. If having streams of paper and pens scattered across the room is your jam – own it! Alternatively, if you find that painting all the walls white and only having a desk, chair, and computer (shout out to the minimalists) gets the juices flowing, own that too.

If you’re using a shared space – for example, a lounge or dining room – as your home office, this might be trickier than those of you that have a dedicated room. Don’t let sharing space put you off; empower yourself to create a space that works for you. Are the kitchen lights annoying you? Turn them off. Too many cushions on the sofa? Remove them.

Create a working environment that you feel comfortable and productive in – your business will thank you in the long-term.