Running a small business out of your home has its perks. You just can't beat that morning commute, and think about all the money you'll save from avoiding facility costs.
However, that kind of work environment may prove daunting for some, in more ways than one. Not only can productivity nosedive, but a person's family life can suffer too. With the office just a few steps away, does the work day ever really end?
What strategies can small business owners implement to keep efficiency up without compromising on the benefits of working from home?
A home office is still an office
For a home office to operate effectively, small business owners need to differentiate between the two realms vying for attention: work and play. This must be done both physically and figuratively.
First, a workstation must be completely separated from the rest of the house. A door between the two will suffice. But non-home offices have doors, don't they? What's stopping someone from standing up and walking to a comfy living room couch and daytime television? Willpower, that's what.
Imagine all the amenities that come with a standard office, like bathrooms, coffee makers or refrigerators. Allow opportunities to use this equipment during standard office hours and restrict use to all distractions. This means keeping anything that will divide your attention out of the home office to begin with. Small Business Trends recommends setting a series of alarms to keep a schedule on track. Nothing's wrong with playing video games on a 30-minute lunch break, so long as you respect the alarm when time's up.
"Ingenuity can be contagious."
Open your door to others
Small businesses may be small, but they usually aren't single-person operations. Though a traditional office setting might restrict a person's drive to work, interacting with others could actually be a catalyst for success.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the 111 percent rise in co-working stations from 2013 to 2014 could signal a new way of perceiving the office setting. Co-working inhabitants might not be working on the same project, the same goal or even for the same company, but they are working together. Small business owners with employees or even those who're friendly with other small business owners should consider opening their home office to other hard-working individuals. Ingenuity can be contagious. Witnessing someone else's follow-through might inspire your own.
Equipment and business industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.