How to Set Up a Home Office in an Apartment
While the concept of working from home might’ve seemed positively futuristic not too long ago, today it has become a widespread phenomenon across many industries. What’s more, as comprehensive studies show that this type of arrangement actually leads to a boost in productivity, the trend of allowing employees to work from home is only expected to grow in popularity over the coming years.
But while staying at home during work hours may indeed sound like a sweet deal, most people don’t realize that abiding by a certain level of professionalism is paramount to one’s success as a home-based employee. For starters, knowing how to turn your rental space into a fully functional office is the first step towards creating a productive working environment. To that end, here are five time-honored strategies that will help you pull this off:
Be Aware of the Rules
When it comes to working from home, no two offices are ever alike. Away from the confines of a soul-crushing cubicle, you are now free to experiment and see what works best for you in a work setting. Keep in mind, however, that putting together a home office in a rental place implies seeking approval from your landlord before undertaking any major redecoration efforts, since things like drilling holes into walls or repainting can cause you to forfeit your deposit unless previously approved by the owner of the place. Of course, there are advantages to this arrangement as well, such as being able to deduct part of your rent as a home office business expense.
Select the Perfect Location
It can be quite challenging to find the proper place to conduct business from if you live in some fairly cramped quarters. Nevertheless, you should never fall prey to the idea that just about any spot will do. Instead, try to identify a quiet place with a window nearby where you feel like you’d be most productive. Make sure you have all the electrical outlets you need close by, or at least invest in some extension cords. If pressed for space, try setting up your workplace against a wall that you can then use to mount shelves on for storage purposes.
Invest in Quality Furniture
The next step after you’ve picked out the perfect spot is to furnish it with everything a modern home office needs. That means a good, sturdy desk, an ergonomic office chair that’s easy on your back, and perhaps some simple wall-mounted shelves. Luckily, nowadays you can find plenty of online guides outlining specific trends in furnishing, should you decide that you want to align your home office to any particular style or era. Whatever you do, though, always remember to invest in quality furnishings and materials that you can depend on during those long working hours.
Consider Your Storage Needs
Speaking of which, any office, no matter how neat and organized, has to have a place to store documentation, something that usually goes above and beyond the typical small library found in most homes. That’s why it’s always a good idea to take your storage needs into account when renting a certain location. A larger company using a rental place as its main headquarters will likely need an entire room dedicated to files and archives, while a smaller operation or an individual may only require a few sizable bookcases to get the job done.
Identify the Role Your Home Office is Going to Play
No two home offices are exactly alike. Due to the nature of setting up a working environment in a rental place, there are unique challenges that you’ll undoubtedly have to face. For instance, if your home office will also be destined for customer interaction, you’ll need to place a greater focus on making things presentable. This includes hiding eyesores such as tangled wires and connecting cables, keeping food at bay and investing in a professional cleaning service. On the other hand, if your home office fulfills more of a back-office kind of role, then there will likely be an ample need for storage space.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to go about setting up a top-notch home office environment. By following the aforementioned steps, however, you’ll imbue your regular living space with an air of professionalism, one that breeds competence and dedication over the long run. Because, when it comes to your stay-at-home job, creating the proper work conditions is undoubtedly the key to your ultimate success.
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By Mackenzie Fox