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If you have worked in an office before becoming self-employed, you probably never had to think about the design or setup of your office space. However, as a home-based business owner, this is a project that you have to take on yourself, and it’s one that deserves careful planning to make sure space fits your needs. Whether you’re house hunting with a home office in mind, or you’re wanting to create this space in your current home, these are a few ideas to get your wheels turning, along with some essential considerations for the planning stage.

How much space do you need?
The first question to ask yourself is whether you need a space that’s separate from other areas of the home. If you don’t have an entirely separate room, one option is to carve out a nook somewhere. A small home office space could be a landing at the top of the stairs, a converted closet, or a kitchen niche. In order to make this type of office work, it’s crucial that you plan on maximizing storage and your work area.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to buy or build a home, you have the opportunity to be absolutely sure you end up with an office that’s large enough. For some business owners, the importance of having space for a home office may even make you realize that a larger home would be better for your family’s needs overall. Making a move can give you the office space you need without the rest of your family having to sacrifice storage. In this case, it never hurts to research house prices in your area to see whether a larger home would be in your budget. Average home sale prices in Columbus are currently $183,000.

What are your options for the location and layout?
Along with considering the amount of space you need, another factor to keep in mind is the location of your office space within your home’s floor plan. Here are just a few things to think about when it comes to location:

  • Do you need a space that’s separate from the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Or are there times you need to work while being accessible to the rest of the family?
  • Is there a door you can close to keep noise and distractions out?
  • Do you need an office that’s convenient for clients who may visit?

Besides matters of convenience and practicality, don’t overlook the importance of inspiration. According to Apartment Therapy, natural lighting and a view are two of the top features that make a perfect home office. These are also two features that are hard to add after you’ve chosen a spot (or chosen a new home’s floor plan), so they should go at the top of your list of must-haves from the beginning.

What’s the best way to set up your space?
Once you have the perfect location, the next step is to plan how you’ll set up your office. Start by writing out exactly what your office needs, including the workspace, storage, and possibly an extra seating area. Make sure the room will have what you need for electrical requirements, too. Then you can pick furniture and choose a layout that will help you be most productive.

When the time comes to pull it all together, be sure the office is completely organized. The last thing you want is to waste precious meeting minutes finding an important document to present to the team. Invest in more storage if you run out of space in the desk’s cabinets and drawers. Target sells a convenient, space-saving tower of drawers for only $15.99.

To run a home-based business effectively, you need a space that’s up to the task. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a designer to create the office space your business needs. You just need a solid plan, plenty of storage, and the right spot to make it happen.

Photo credit: Unsplash

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