We cannot underestimate the power of a good office or workstation. Here are the ways our work environment affects our well-being and productivity:
- Air quality, noise conditions, temperature, and lighting can affect our productivity and work concentration. According to multiple studies, our physical office environment or workspace can greatly influence the performance of our employees and even our company culture.
- What we see, hear, smell, and feel can also influence our entire well-being—our mental and physical health. For example, the lack of sunlight can be a contributing factor to the development of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the symptoms of which can be similar to depression.
Not all of us have the privilege of capital or budget to rent a space so early in our businesses or start-ups, which is why setting up a company office at home is the next best thing. But there are so many considerations to remember to ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible.
If you are launching a start-up or small business from the comfort of your home, your work setup can make all the difference. Here are the essential tips for setting up a company office in your house.
Consult with an expert about your rights
Before you tear down some walls or start repainting your door, you have to ensure that you are not violating some rules or laws before you do so. Consider consulting with a tenant law attorney to ask the following questions:
- Do you need to inform your landlord or landlady about what you’re doing? You might need to go over your rental contract again to ensure that you’re not stepping on any toes and that everything you’re doing with the set-up is above board.
- What changes are you allowed to make with the space? If you live in a condominium type or a subdivision, you might have to keep certain colors, and you might also need to comply with the rules set up by the Homeowners Association in your building.
You don’t want to run into any trouble before you set up your home office, so make sure that you’re not breaking any rules with your plans before you even execute them.
Apply principles of ergonomics and Feng Shui
Ergonomics is simply the discipline of setting up your living and working space in a way that is most comfortable and optimal for your health. This means that the positioning of your desk, screen, keyboard, mouse, and everything else you reach for every day has to be set up in a way that won’t cause you to strain and won’t give you backaches.
Feng Shui, on the other hand, is all about laying out the pieces in your working space to create harmony with the natural world. If that sounds pseudoscientific to you, it’s because it is—but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the physical benefits of the practice. For one, Feng Shui practices help you set up your working space in ways that can mitigate stress. For another, there is also some scientific evidence of Feng Shui providing a placebo effect, which can help improve your sense of well-being anyway.
Put first things first
If you’re only dedicating one room or area in your house as a workspace, here are some tips for ensuring you can milk every single square inch of that space and that you at least have the basics:
- Choose the perfect room or area. If you have a guest bedroom, finished basement, or a den, then maximize this space. Make sure it’s at least a space that has a door so you can be free from distractions.
- Find a space or an area that provides plenty of natural light. It helps boost your morale, and it can also improve your coworkers’ or employees’ productivity and mood.
- Don’t skimp on chairs. Quality seating will help protect your health from back pain, shoulder strain, and a cramped neck.
- Get the basics first—a laptop, printer, Wi-Fi booster if necessary, and a scanner. For supplies, you only need pens, stationery, paper, pencils, notepads, stapler, sticky notes, file folders, scissors, and printer ink cartridges. Everything else can follow as your company grows.
Now is not the time to add unnecessary items. Believe that as your business grows, so will your space and the items in it.
Your work setup can make or break the success of your business in its first year. Don’t skimp on your first office, even if you are working from the basement. Steve Jobs and Tim Cook started in the basement, after all.