At some point, your home business may grow into an out-of-home business. When that day comes, consider these three tips for setting up your new office.
I recently moved my home office to a new room, completely redid the setup, and got a new desk. I love my new situation. However, it also got me thinking. Many home business owners eventually get to the point where they outgrow their business space.
When you move out of your home office and into the “real” world, there are a lot of decisions you need to make. And some of the most important decisions revolve around setting up your new office. Your office setup can affect your employees' productivity levels and determine whether clients have a good or bad first impression. Before finalizing your plans, check out these tips:
1. Create an Employee Break Room
It's important for your employees to have a place dedicated to relaxation. If they have somewhere to go to get away from their desks and refresh, it helps clear their heads and improves their overall productivity.
This doesn't mean you have to create an elaborate lounge area. But you should include some basic break room features that people have come to expect. For example, water dispensers for the office encourage your employees to drink more water and stay hydrated. You can also include different types of vending machines for employees who enjoy an afternoon snack. In addition to the traditional vending machines that sell candy bars and soda, you should consider adding a vending machine with healthier options such as sandwiches and fruit. Your employees will appreciate having a variety of things to choose from when they're hungry.
Your break room should be a happy place. So consider painting the walls a cheerful yellow or turquoise. Also, it's a good idea to provide a coffee maker, coffee cups, and coffee, as well as a refrigerator for employees who prefer to bring their own lunch to work. Lastly, don't forget to include a few dining sets to give your employees a place to sit and eat during their break.
2. Purchase Necessary Office Equipment
When you start a new business or move your home business out of your house and into an office, there are specific types of office equipment you should consider purchasing.
When determining the office equipment needed, you should consider your company's normal workflow processes. For example, if you run a paper-free business, you might not need to purchase a copy machine or fax machine, but you would need this type of equipment if your employees keep paper records.
Realize, too, that running a paper-free business doesn't mean that you'll never receive a hard copy of a document. So you should consider purchasing a scanner and paper shredder. That way if you do receive things, such as paper bills from vendors, you can simply scan them into your system. Then, shred the original document.
Some other types of equipment to consider include:
- Desktop and/laptop computers
- Mobile devices
- Point-of-sale systems
- Cloud-hosted software
- Desks and office chairs
- Large tables and chairs for open meeting spaces
You should also think about the type of office space you want to design before purchasing any furniture. When setting up your new office, you need to think about the type of space you have, and your plans for it.
If you want to create an open floor plan, you'll need desks that fit into cubicles with mid-height walls or sets of long tables and chairs. But you can be a bit more creative with the furniture you choose if you plan to create individual office spaces. For example, you might choose a stand-alone desk instead of one that attaches to a cubicle wall.
3. Design a Waiting Area For Guests
It's important for every office to have a welcoming waiting area for guests. This is typically where your receptionist works, and it's usually located right inside the front door of the office.
However, if you have an office design with a more open floor plan, you might consider using full-height cubicle walls to divide your employees' workspace from a more informal waiting area. In the waiting area, you should have comfy chairs for guests. You should also consider setting out some reading materials and maybe including a small coffee bar.
Ultimately, setting up your new office is entirely your choice. Just make sure you choose equipment, design aspects, and furniture that complements your company's overall vibe and ensures maximum productivity levels.