Over half of businesses located in the great states of America can be found in the home. For some – whether it’s attributed to having toddlers not in school or because social interaction is key to their personalities – a home office would be considered a nightmare. For others – roughly around 52% – working from home is part of the American dream. To that we say, to each his own. However, we do have an opinion on how it should be handled and if you’re getting ready to work from home full-time or just building a home office for the occasional overflow of jobs, make sure to keep this list handy.
First and foremost, check and see if you’re able to do this legally
We don’t think the President of the United States cares if you work from home, but we’re pretty sure the President of your Homeowners Association might. You might also be in violation of residentially-zoned areas. So before you dig a hole for a sign touting your services, read the fine print.
Find the ideal location within your home for optimal results
This spot depends on your personality and your needs. For example, a work-from-home architect is going to require more space for tools, 3D renderings, and blueprints. An at-home accountant won’t need as much. It’s also important to be self-aware about what type of stimulation drives you and what type drives you to distraction. If scenery inspires you, find a spot in your home with great window space, maybe even considering building a window seat. If a TV or kids distract you, find a quiet place where they are least likely to be, like an outside shed, a basement, or garage where you can create your own working environment.
Note: If you use this spot for business purposes only, you can deduct related costs from your taxes. Check the IRS home office deduction rules before choosing a location. While you’re at it, also check homeowners insurance to find if your home office is covered for liability for client visits and property coverage for equipment.
Organize and decorate accordingly
When you combine your home and business, things can get a little hectic. This is still your home, but you need to be in a professional headspace. So no laundry hanging off a recliner. No coffee cup rings on your laptop. Choose a chair with lumbar support and won’t recline and massage your neck. Find crates, cabinets, and file folders and keep them tucked away or locked so no kids or pets can destroy your hard work with saliva and crayons. Choose a look that for your “office” that complements the look of your home but is still a space that is all your own and provides the vibe you need to be productive.