A home-based business can usually be bootstrapped and run on a tight budget. But after a while, you might want to break free of the kitchen table and create a space in your home that can be dedicated to your work.
Working in an office or in a dedicated space has a lot of benefits.
What are the benefits of having a dedicated home office?
In the early days, when you are firming up your idea and starting to build the base for your business, you might be happy to work from the kitchen table or the sofa. But working in that way has some adverse effects on your productivity and concentration.
A dedicated workspace is not just about sitting comfortably, but there are mental benefits too.
When you work at the kitchen table, you are likely surrounded by TV, radio, the kitchen, and other distractions. Those distractions can become a little bit too tempting and can pull you away from getting your work done.
In an office space, you can reduce those distractions so that you can focus on the task at hand.
If you work a regular 9-5, you will switch into work mode when you step into the workspace. When working from home, you might not have the same thing. When you have an office space, the exact trigger happens. When you sit at your desk, in the office space, you are at work.
We measure productivity in different ways, but if you have a constant workspace, you can access all of your tools and technology and be in a routine which streamlines how and what you do.
One of the most enjoyable things about being freelance is that you can do what you need to when you need to do it. However, some discipline is still required to make sure you meet your deadlines and commitments. An office will enable you to have that discipline.
When you have a space where you can close the door, it is a physical separation between your daily life and your work life—offering a mental disconnection between your personal and professional life.
Photo by ergonofis on Unsplash
Saving Money On Your Home Office
So when it comes to making your office a space that you love, that doesn’t break the bank, here are some tips that can help you get your office ship shape.
You might be inspired by one of the many beautiful offices that are shared on social media. Typically well lit, unboxing and all new. There are no rules when it comes to your furniture, lighting and even your plants and textiles.
Where possible, opt to buy as much of your furniture second hand. Check out Facebook Market, your local newspaper ads, and second-hand stores.
You don’t need to go from zero to an entire office in the space of one or two days, so take your time and buy pieces that make sense for what you need.
Another great thing about buying second-hand furniture is that you can usually haggle to get the price a little lower. Always ask what the best price is.
Vouchers, coupons and discounts can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to things like your electricals and furniture too. If you want to get yourself a printer, some printer ink, lighting or furntiure, NetVoucherCodes.co.uk is a great starting point.
Make a list of the things that you need or want that are new and how much your budget is. With the proper vouchers, you can save a significant amount and get free delivery or extra goods added on.
It’s not just the immediate savings you need to think about when you are getting your office in good order. You can make sure that you save money in the long run too by choosing energy-efficient electrics and light bulbs.
Often energy-efficient electricals can be a little bit more expensive, so if your budget can’t stretch to having new energy efficient electricals – make a list of what you will use most often, and put the most budget towards an energy-efficient version.
When it comes to ergonomic, plush office seating, they can easily come at a premium price, but it is possible to liquidate sales where these types of office chairs (and other furniture) are heavily discounted. Search for local liquidation offices, and see if they have anything available that you can look at – or if there are any sales coming up that might be of interest.
One of the most money-saving and healthy things that you can do is try to position your desk or chair in the natural daylight. Sitting under artificial lights for hours causes havoc with your natural body clock, can cause eyestrain, and of course, costs more money.
Keep your privacy and let light in with a material like a voile. If your office is on the upper levels of your home, or you live on a higher level within apartment blocks, then you might want to forgo the window dressing completely.
If you have a habit of leaving most of the electricals in your home plugged in and on standby, you might be surprised just how much energy that wastes. Instead, use a timer block that will automatically cut the power to the electrics at a set time each day.
Often choosing for it to go off an hour after you finish work usually will give you some flexibility to work later if you want to. The added bonus is that it can help ensure that you finish at a reasonable time and have that routine to keep you on track with your working day.
One of the best things about having a home office is that you can decorate it however it makes you happy. But you don’t need to break the bank to do it. If there are some artists that you want to own some artwork from, instead of wishing you had the cash for the real deal – buy a print.
It is also possible to find artwork that you like and print your own. Find frames from second-hand stores, and create an eclectic and completely personalised gallery.
Many people have much more furniture than they need in other rooms in the home. If this sounds like you, then why not repurpose some of that furniture until you can afford to replace it.
Things like rugs, cushions, floor lamps, chairs and other decorative items.
Perhaps you have friends and family that would be willing to help you out and borrow you (or give you) some furniture while you get your small business up and running.
As you carefully start adding things into your new office area, it can be easy to feel like everything is in flux. Trying to find a working timetable that suits your lifestyle and keeps you on track can be tricky.
There are a lot of printables available online for free that can help you to keep everything as organised as possible.
If you don’t have a printer, you can use these as your desktop background or copy them out and hang them where you need to.
Printables are a great alternative for spending a lot of cash on organisational tips and tool books.
And, you might find some motivational quotes or artwork as a printable that is something you want to be able to see every day.
Your budget can quickly creep away from you if you aren’t careful. One of the key aspects of making sure that you don’t spend too much is making sure that you keep track of what you are spending and when you are spending.
A great tip is that everything that you buy for the office can be used in your deductibles. It is worth checking which items can and cannot be used and put the receipts to one side. This can be a huge saving on your taxes.
From time to time, there will be things that you need to print, but for the most part, you should be able to conduct most of your business in a digital way. When you do need to print, it is beneficial to use a printer that is recommended for low ink usage and low power usage.
Want or Need
As you get more invested in creating a space for your new business, you might find that some things aren’t necessary – or you don’t need the top of the range item. There is a big difference between want and need. An item that you need should be able to drive your business forward or be something you can’t function without.
Anything that goes on the need list can be a goal for you to buy in the future when your business starts to make a profit and you want to upgrade the office.
A home office can be one of the things that make the most significant impact on how you conduct your business and can aid towards its success too.
If you have had an office for a while and you are ready to upgrade, here is the post for you; Time for Renovations? Breathe New Life to Your Home Office – Innov8tiv.