November 19, 2015

Separating Work and Play: Creating Your Home Office Space



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So, you’ve decided to start your own business. First off, congratulations are in order. Leaving your stable (but boring) corporate job is no small feat, and you’re one of the few that’s willing to take the plunge.

But getting off the ground is hard. It’s not easy to start from scratch. And when you think about the small tasks you have to attend to (and how much money you’ll need to spend), it can be stressful. But we’re here to help: while getting acclimated to your new responsibilities can sound daunting, my team at AcceleratingCFO offers CFO support services to help navigate the financial obstacles you may encounter as a small business. We want to help you save as much money as you can. And when you’re just getting your feet wet, a home office is a great way to keep costs down.

However, working from home is a challenge. If you have a family (and even if you don’t), interruptions and constant distractions can get in the way, hindering your productivity. And that’ll only make growing your business harder. But my team has compiled a few ways to keep you on track when working from home…

Find a space

Like we’ve said before, working from home is a great option if you want to save money on rent and office utility expenses. And, commuting costs are a non-issue. But working from home can also bring workday stress into your safe space. Probably the most important thing you can do is to designate a room or an area of the house that is for work-related purposes only (and don’t take your work outside of that space). Your home office needs to be separate from where you go in your home to relax. So find a place that doesn’t interfere with the spaces that your family frequents. Remember, you need to minimize your distractions.

Repurpose what you already own

If you don’t have a room that you can convert to an office, try transforming part of your dining room or living room. The great thing about a home office is that it doesn’t have to look like a corporate cubicle. For example, if you need a filling cabinet, you can repurpose an old armoire, bookshelf or closet. Or if you need a desk, use the dining room table. Make the most out of the things you already own, so you can spend money on the things that are important for growing the business.

Separate work and play

Once you’ve found a space, make sure to mark it and let your family (or roommates) know. Those around you need to understand that when you’re in this area, your time is devoted to your business. Just because you work from home, doesn’t mean you aren’t working. If your space is a room, close the door. Or create a “Do Not Disturb” sign so those around you understand that you’re busy.

That being said, working from home offers you the ability to take time into your own hands. Say your child has a soccer game at 4:30pm or you’re going to step out for a lunch – a home office gives you the opportunity to plan around those moments and step right back in when need be.

While a home office provides many benefits (saves money, time, and gives you freedom from the typical 9 to 5), it also comes with many distractions. We all know there are upsides and downsides to everything. But with these tips, you can create an office environment where you can tune out the noise and get down to business.

Are you prepared to handle the biggest challenges faced by business owners?

Don’t get blindsided by problems that other talented leaders have already solved.

We’ve teamed up with Dr. Hector Lozada, Professor of Economics at Seton Hall to survey business owners ranging from start-up founders to seasoned CEOs. What came out of it is a cheat sheet for sidestepping the roadblocks, bottlenecks, and challenges that plague your colleagues and competitors.

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