If you are self-employed and work from home you know that it can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. You have total freedom, but also a sea of distractions around every corner. Many people have no problem with this, but it’s because they have customized their setup and environment.
If you work from home then there are some features that will provide stunning interior home upgrades, make it easier for you to stay focused, as well as features that will help you get more done. Part of the lure of working from home is being comfortable and avoiding a stressful commute daily. Here are some things to look for.
Dedicated office space.
You don’t want to work from your kitchen table on a laptop. That is never going to be easy. You will have too many distractions and it makes it too easy for people to bother you. You have to treat working at home just like you would if you were in an office.
“It’s important to have a dedicated office at home, one with a locking door and one where you can set up a desk and computer and everything else a ‘real’ office would have. Your family also needs to understand that just because you are home it doesn’t mean they can bother you,” says Oliver James from Perth Web Design. Create an office that has the same functionality of a regular office, just minus the long commute.
Creative outside area.
Having an area outside that you can go to either for a break or to eat your lunch can really have a positive impact on your creativity and productivity. This could be a porch, a garden or even a pool and deck area. You want to make it very relaxing, which can easily be accomplished by adding features like outdoor planters or a little pond or waterfall.
If you do plan to do a lot of working or even relaxing outside, you need to make sure you prepare it properly to protect yourself (and your property) against cockroaches, ants and spiders and other insects and pests
If you are located in a cold climate then a tropical oasis is not likely, but you can have a creative and relaxing garden to spend time at. “Anytime you can step outside and decompress it is helpful. Look for fun outdoor areas that you can see yourself relaxing at for a quick five or ten minute break throughout the day,” suggests Irene McConnell, who is the Managing Director of a company that specializes in job interview coaching.
Room for a home gym.
Working out is a great way to clear your mind and to start your day off. The problem is that most people don’t want to drive to the gym each morning, which is why a lot of people skip daily workouts.
It’s one thing to stop at the gym on the way to the office, as it just requires you leave a little earlier, but if you are working from home the last thing you want to do is drive to the gym every morning. After all, working from home is to avoid the commute.
So, look for a house with an extra room you can convert into a small home gym. A cardio machine and some free weights is all you need to get in a great workout. Doing this every morning can really start your day on the right track and can contribute to significant weight loss.
Internet providers that have business-class speed.
Not many people think about this when looking at homes, but it’s something that is absolutely necessary for those that work from home. Imagine if you find your dream home but it’s out in the middle of nowhere and there isn’t high-speed internet?
“It’s impossible to work from home without top quality internet, so many sure that you are looking at homes that are using the latest and greatest options. It’s also a good idea to look for homes that have several top providers to select from,” says Darryl Howard, who helps people learn how to start a blog. That way, if you experience lagging service you can make a switch. Being stuck with just one sub-par option can really hurt your ability to be productive.
You also need to have a plan in place to back-up your data and all of your tech. There are some great tips provided by answerfirst.com that you can apply to your home office setup. This is something that many don’t even think about until a disaster occurs and it’s too late.
Close proximity to a co-working space.
Working from home is great, but what is you have to have a meeting or simply want to connect and network with other business owners? This is where a co-working membership can come into play.
Look for a home that is close to a co-working space, as this will give you an option that is around the corner in the event you ever have to host a meeting or speak to a client in-person. These are also good places to go if you need to spark some creativity. A change of scenery can be difficult if you are not close to one of these options.
Energy efficient heating and cooling.
You might be thinking why this is important but let me remind you something. When you work from home you are going to be spending a lot more time there than you would if you were working at an office. This means the heat will run all day during cold months and the AC will run all day during the hot months.
This results in more electricity and energy consumption, and higher energy bills. Look for energy efficient cooling and heating, as it can be the difference between a $400 monthly bill and a $1,400 monthly bill.
If the home is new, there is a good chance that they are using energy saving AC and heating units. If they are older and outdated you might want to negotiate new units with the seller. It can save you a tremendous amount of money.
Rest and relaxation room.
If your space allows it, you should consider making a little area for rest, away from your bedroom. A lot of startups now feature nap room, because they like their team to be fully rested at all times.
Sometimes a little 10 minute power nap can make a huge difference. You don’t have to break the bank, either. You could get a small futon or small bed frame along with a low-cost IKEA mattress combined with a weighted blanket and set up a nice little corner section of your office that would allow for a little relaxation when needed.
A little power nap while playing some relaxing music can help recharge your batteries when you need it.