The problem with an office at home is that it is an office at home. Yes, there are advantages. You can go to work in your pajamas if you prefer. However, if you ever greet clients in your home office, you might want to dress a little more formal than pajamas. That is, unless you sell pajamas! The point is that anything your customer sees or hears is attributed to your quality as a business. With one out of every five homes having a home office, yours should reflect professionalism to the degree you would expect when seeking a business that provides your product or service. It really is all about those first impressions, so make it work for you.
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Dedicate a Separate Space
It does not matter if it is a converted bedroom or a corner of a game room. There should be a clear demarcation line of where your home ends and the office space begins. Inside this space should only be items concerning your business. No laundry baskets, children’s toys or other household items should invade your office space. This is especially true if you are claiming a home office deduction.
Choose an Appropriate Color Scheme
Consumers have perceptions of what an office should look like. This is why main bank offices use plenty of granite and marble. It conveys an attitude of strength and longevity. You would expect a lawyer to have a big wooden desk and dark paneling. However, if you are a children’s book author, you would be expected to have an office with more cheery colors and lots of light. Consider color schemes to match your business.
Adapt the Lighting
If you are going to spend a lot of time in your office, the simple overhead fixture in most home spaces that are converted to an office will be inadequate. Choose a bright LED fixture for room lighting that is bright enough to keep you awake and alert when the sun goes down. Choose bulb types that present a color spectrum that is comfortable for your eyes. Soft white is less harsh than daylight style bulbs. Also, it is important to place supplemental lighting at your desk and close to where any clients will be seated as the overhead light fixture may not be appropriate for all occasions.
Install Laminate Flooring
The first thing that should go in a room or space at home that is converted into an office is the carpeting. If you turn an unused bedroom into an office, it should no longer look like a bedroom at all. The goal is to completely obscure the original purpose of the space or room. Laminate flooring is easy to install and can be obtained in multiple shades of colors and grain styles to match any design theme you are going for with your home office renovation project. There are tons of stores like Georgia Carpet Industries all over the country that can help you choose the right style. All you have to do is ask for samples and see whether or not those would work for you.
Get a Real Desk and Chair
The comfort of proper ergonomics aside, your clients are looking at everything they see in your office as well as what you are telling them. What they see can sometimes outweigh your words. You should not adapt other pieces of home furnishings to be your office desk and chair. Get a real desk and office chair in the style of impression you wish to present to your clients. For example, glass and steel convey modern design, and oak and leather convey tradition, strength and integrity.
As you choose things for your office space at home, ask friends and family to give your designs a critical look. The goal is for the office to be your sanctuary to work as well as an area to speak with any customers or clients. Remember, a large part of business is making the right impressions.