5 Things Every Good Home Office Needs – Brad Wayland

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Working from home is great: No commute, the ability to have a home-cooked lunch every day, and the relaxation that comes with being able to work in a space that’s truly yours. At the same time, if you don’t do the necessary legwork to personalize that space, telework can end up doing more harm than good.

What does your home office look like?

That question matters more than you might expect. A good home office is a relaxing space that helps you focus and excel. It’s clean, it’s organized, and it’s personalized.

But beyond that, it’s also got the right look, feel, and equipment. Here are the most important components of every successful home office.

Separation of Work and Personal Space

Key to your home office is keeping it distinctive and separate from the rest of your life. If you’re not careful, working from home can wreak havoc on your well-being. Rather than establishing a proper work-life balance, it’s easy to trip up and fall into an “always-on” mentality with work constantly buzzing at the back of your head.

I don’t recommend it.

By establishing your home office as a separate physical space you make that balance significantly easier to maintain. You can train your mind to switch to work mode when you’re in your office and turn off when you aren’t. Ideally, you want a separate room.  If that’s not feasible, your office can take the shape of a particular arrangement of furniture, or even some portable separation walls.

A Comfortable Chair

Without a doubt, your chair is the most important piece of furniture in your home office. After all, it is where you’re likely to be spending the majority of your time. If it isn’t comfortable, ergonomic, and well-designed, you’re looking at some serious back problems down the line.

But they are expensive. So with that in mind, you’re better off dropping a bit of cash on a high-end chair now than spending even more to fix the inevitable health issues. The Herman Miller collection is great if you’re looking for a starting point, but your best bet is to do a bit of research and read some reviews.

Alternatively, you could just invest in a standing desk.

Greenery & Artwork

You probably know already that green spaces promote happiness, health, and wellness. People like being around plants. By maintaining green space in your office, you can boost your mood, increase focus, and cut down on stress.

You don’t need to go overboard A few office plants here and there is all you’ll need in that regard. The important thing, at the end of the day, is personalization.

With that in mind, I also recommend gathering art and decor that fits your personality. A painting or two, some desk decorations, and so on. Whatever you need to make your workspace feel like it’s truly yours.

Redundancy

Disaster can strike anywhere, and at any time. If you aren’t careful, you could end up losing hours, maybe even days, of work to anything from an electrical storm to hardware failure. The good news is that protecting yourself from that kind of thing is pretty easy. All you need to do is invest in a decent uninterruptible power supply (with battery backup) and an external hard drive.

Make sure to run a daily, automated backup process too.

A Dress Code

Maybe this last one seems a bit confusing. After all, isn’t one of the biggest perks of working from home that you can do so in your underwear? Yes and no.

There’s been quite a bit of research carried out on how clothing influences our state of mind. And by all accounts, it has a direct influence on how we perform. Stumbling to your desk in nothing but your skivvies might seem pretty awesome, but taking the time to shower, shave, and put on decent clothes can actually have a huge positive impact on your productivity.

You Are Where You Work

Your home office is more than just a workspace. It’s where you set the stage for your job, and where you establish your mood and approach to your work.

Do things right and you’re set for success.

About the Author: Brad Wayland is the Chief Strategy Officer at BlueCotton, a site with high-quality, easy-to-design custom t-shirts.

How to Prepare Your Business for Growth

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There are opportunities that you can take that will help to prepare your business for growth, and help operations to run smoothly even at unexpected levels. By thinking ahead, you will be able to ensure that your business strategy is scaleable,

Make Your Finances Foolproof

  • You should ensure that you have the correct software needed to keep track of your financial situation and allow you to peruse your finances at a glance. This can be done by downloading accounting software such as Quickbooks which allow you to store your invoices, prepare for your tax returns, and analyze your cash flow.
  • You should also make sure that you are getting the right deal on your utility bills. .Utility bills can be draining on your finances, but with the proper knowledge, you will be able to combat this. Click here to find commercial utility suppliers that can suit your business through the unbiased advice of an expert comparison service. This will allow you to garner instant quotes rather than seek them individually as well as see at a glance what each policy has to offer.
  • You should alsocreate a tight budget which reflects your new situation. You may also want to consider altering your business plan so that your goals and expectations reflect this large influx of sales and additions to your customer base. To create a budget, you can either download budgeting software or balance your outgoings and revenue through a spreadsheet.

Hire a Talented Team

  • It is important that you have the right skill sets within your business to support the massive influx of customers and to keep your business relevant and able to expand into new channels.
  • To do this, you should look at industry-specific job listings which attract the right type of employee. You should also ensure that you request cover letters for every application to give you a more in-depth look at the individuals who you are seeking to employ and what they have achieved in the past. You may also want to request a portfolio of their previous work if your business is design based.
  • You should also train your existing workforce by investing in training days, courses and even education based learning that could advance your team’s knowledge and skills. This revenue will come back to you in the form of a more efficient workforce.

Keep Growth Going For Longer

  • You can keep growth going by investing in the right marketing tools. For instance, by keeping up with current online trends and ensuring that you connect with potential customers on social media, you can ensure that you constantly attract a stream of potential customers.
  • You should also constantly update your business and its products to ensure that you are continually improving. You should aim to find ways to deliver new improvements to your products in an attempt to stay relevant and top-quality. For instance, you can expand the number of products that you deliver, to interest new potential customers.