Guest post by Gwen Payne of InvisibleMoms.com
When you’re an entrepreneur who works partly or fully from home, you need a dedicated workspace for
privacy and productivity reasons. A good workspace can keep you focused, eliminate distractions, and
generally prevent your home-life from interfering with your work. Furthermore, when set up correctly, it
could even double as a meeting room for clients or other official visitors.
In this mini-guide, we offer suggestions on setting up the perfect home workspace, which may involve
buying a bigger place, making additions to your existing home, or revamping an existing space. We also
offer a checklist of top needs entrepreneurs should think about when designing a workspace.
Buying a new home
Not all homes can accommodate workspaces. The layout of your current home may be inflexible, the
location may be inaccessible, or there may be building-related restrictions in place. In such cases, you
may have to buy a new home to make room for your business. Follow these critical steps when
purchasing a home: Determine how much you can realistically afford, get pre-approved for a loan (if
applicable), work with an experienced real estate agent, and search and scout out homes online to find
a good match.
Buying a new home allows you to prepare your workspace and then move your business there when it’s
ready. You don’t have to stop work, essentially. In comparison, when you’re redesigning or making
renovations to your current home, all the upgrades may interrupt your day-to-day work. Keep in mind
that finding a perfect space – with an existing workspace – may be tough. You may have to purchase a
home and then make changes to it later.
If you have a big enough property, you could build an addition or repurpose an existing room to be your
workspace. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), for example, have become a hit with entrepreneurs
recently. They’re standalone living spaces that can double as high-quality offices and are also a good
investment besides. A garage or a basement-apartment is a good example of an ADU.
You could also, of course, reuse a spare room as your workspace. Dining rooms are affordable to
convert, don’t take away too much from your living area, and are also easy to access. Extra bedrooms or
guest rooms make for good work environments (but they’re not always suitable for entertaining
visitors). If you just need a small workstation, you could also section off an unused corner of any room
–– like your kitchen or living room.
Redesigning Your Current Workspace
Do you have a home office area already and would you like to make it better? There’s always room for
improvement. Here are some suggestions:
- Natural lighting: Allowing more natural light into your workspace can brighten up the space. Furthermore, it’s good for your mood and well-being.
- Plants: Plants are soothing and healing, according to Hoppier.com. They can also make the space feel and
- look more inviting.
- Ergonomic furniture: High-quality furniture that supports your body as your work can help you get more work done, without pain or discomfort.
- A cosmetic facelift: Giving your walls a fresh coat of paint, redoing the floor, adding carpeting, or hanging up a beautiful picture or two can freshen things up.
- A standing desk: Standing desks are raiseable, meaning you can sit half the time and stand the rest of the time. They’re better for your health, says Cleveland Clinic.
Make a checklist of your needs
We recommend making a checklist of your needs before designing a space.
Here are some suggestions:
- Location: Easy access to transportation, a good neighborhood, and proximity to amenities.
- Hardware and infrastructure: Do you need a special workshop and a high-speed internet connection?
- Storage: Do you need space for filing cabinets, servers, or similar?
- Security: A security system to keep your office safe from thieves and vandals.
- Privacy: Can you work without distractions from your family, friends, and neighbors?
- Entrance: A separate entryway may be necessary for visitors (without disturbing your family).
- Seating area: A waiting room (like a seating area for patients if you’re a doctor or dentist).
- Family’s needs: Last, but not least, think about what your family needs – like schools or healthcare nearby.
It’s a good idea to get organized and plan things out in advance when you’re designing a workspace,
especially if you’re planning to move elsewhere. It can take weeks or even months to get everything in
order, especially when you’re hiring a contractor for remodeling. Work with professionals and ask for
help from friends and family for the best results.