Put Your House to Work with a Virtual Office!
Virtual offices and working from home often go hand-in-hand. But how do you transform your home into a productive working environment? officebroker.com investigates...
Work from home with a virtual office
Here at officebroker.com we recently suggested 5 top benefits of a virtual office. Now we're going one step further, by bringing you ways to improve your home workspace as part of your virtual office!
For businesses that choose to go virtual, some will find that they don't require an executive suite or physical office for their day-to-day duties. Often, working from home is an effective solution - as it allows start-up and small businesses to save money and cut down on travelling costs. Some larger corporations are also switching onto the cost-saving benefits of virtual offices - by encouraging workers to stay at home or hot-desk when they need to come into the office.
If you're one of the growing number of businesses in the US and around the world who are choosing to set up a virtual office, and you're considering using an office at home, take a look at our top tips to help you get the most out of your virtual office solution.
Separate your working life
Working from home has many advantages - but it is also a potential hazard. There are many distractions such as household chores, kids, and attention-seeking pets, so it's vital that you are able to separate your home and working life as much as possible.
The best way of doing this is to find an area that you can shut the door on at the end of the day. This will prevent curious children or pets from wreaking havoc in your workplace, and allows you to switch off when your working day is over.
The home office
Finding a designated area to use as your home office isn't always easy. Some benefit from having a spare room which can accommodate a desk and chair. But if you're living in a small apartment or you don't have a room to give up, don't panic - there are other options available to you.
Attics, conservatories and even garden sheds have all been successfully transformed into offices by creative and determined entrepreneurs. If you have a particularly large or spacious room, consider transforming one corner into your office. You can use a curtain or simple divider to section off part of the room, and invest in effective storage facilities to help keep your space tidy.
And how about converting the shoe cupboard under the stairs? Unconventional ideas often work the best, and what's more, you won't be taking up any extra room in the house.
What's in your closet?
On the subject of unconventional ideas, have you ever thought about using your closet as a home office? Rita Konig did - and now she has a functional, tidy space where she can work without cluttering other areas of her house.
Rita, a decorator based in New York, recently wrote a blog post for the New York Times about her space-saving idea. In her own words, "Working at home has its benefits, but living in your office is really no good at all," - which is when she decided to make the most out of her closet by transforming it into an office. See the result on her blog.
Clear the clutter
Try to keep your workplace tidy. It will make the most of your space, which is essential if you only have a small area at home to work in. Capitalize on storage solutions such as wall-mounted in-trays or - even better - try to store your documents online or electronically in a safe, backed-up environment.
You should also try not to over-decorate your home office space. If you're working in a small environment, keep things simple - don't overdo the cuddly toys and framed photographs as these will take up valuable space. Instead, opt for minimum decoration, and save the photos for other rooms in the house!
Sitting down on the job
A comfortable office chair is essential. Just because you're at home doesn't mean you should cut corners on office furniture - without the proper equipment, you could end up with serious health problems, starting with back and neck trouble.
Choose a chair that is comfortable, but one that can also be adjusted to the right height and angle. Arm rests are a bonus too. Chairs that slope, wobble or fail to correct your sitting position can be detrimental to your physical health, so take your time and make sure you invest in proper equipment.
We hope you've found our top tips useful! We love to hear your feedback, so if you wish to share your own home-working ideas, please leave a comment below. You may also like to see our working from home blog post for some more ideas on how to set up your own in-house working environment.