According to a recent Gallup poll, 37% of workers in the America telecommute, at least part of the time. A US Telecommuting Forecast report from Forrester Research predicts that by 2016, 43% of the workforce will telecommute—approximately 66 million people. Maybe this is you?
Perhaps you a ready to launch that entrepreneurial idea that has been floating around in your head for a while. But, you need to work from home until the profits start to flow.
Whatever the situation, you need a home office. You need a quiet space where the dog will not knock your coffee all over your spreadsheets, or customers will hear the kids screaming in the background. But, a home office was not exactly in your budget. How do you set-up a totally cool office with limited funds?
Here are 9 tip to help you get started:
1. Assess your needs. How much space to you need? Make a practical list of your basic requirements: computer and accessories, furniture, telephones, etc.
2. Consider dividing a room or creating a separate area from an existing space for your office, at least until your finances improve. Take a tour of your home and find all those long-forgotten places, such as nooks in the kitchen or laundry room, alcoves under the stairs, the attic, and so forth. Do not ignore your personal requirements though. Stay true to the kind of environment that you need for inspiration and happiness. If you will have clients coming to your home office, consider also the impression you want to give. And, by the way, once you have created your home office, make a barrier between it and the rest of the house. Resist the urge to merge home activities with work activities in your new home office.
3. Design the space yourself. Office design consultants are great, but they cost a lot of money. Skip the professionals and let your creative juices flow. Go online and look at the hundreds of office design websites for ideas. Draw out the space on paper and determine how you will lay out all the components in your new office. This will avoid surprises later.
4. Take advantage of the low prices at bargain stores such as Walmart, Target and Dollar Store. Buy second-hand furniture. Go to yard sales and flea markets. If you have the skill, make your desk and shelves yourself.
5. Your chair is important, especially if you are going to be spending hours before a computer. You also have less wiggle room with your computer and printer/scanner. However, there are still ways to save. Shop online, read the reviews, catch the sales and take advantage of all cash-back and coupon offers.
6. A home office requires lots of small supplies and furnishings. Collect what you can from what you already have in the house. Search around, you might be surprised to discover that everything you need to get started, such as pens, staples, writing pads, etc. is already hiding in the house.
7. Make sure you have good lighting. If at all possible, try to locate your home office near to windows so you can access natural sunlight. If this is not an option, then be sure to install adequate artificial light. You can find an excellent selection of floor lamps, desk lamps and ambient lighting at stores such as Walmart, Home Depot or Target.
8. Find shelving and cabinet units that maximize the use of space, such as modular units that can be moved around, adjusted and added to as time goes by.
9. Paying for it all. If you do not have any extra money in your cash-flow to cover the expenses of a home office, then consider an easy, installment loan that you can obtain online from a peer to peer lender. The application is easy, the response is fast, you have your money right away, and the loan is automatically repaid through withdrawals from your bank account, leaving you free to focus on designing your home office.