Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most if not all of us had no choice but to confine ourselves in our homes and turn our personal spaces into our workspaces. Now, more than a year into the global health crisis, many people continue to work from home, and with the line between our personal lives and our work lives beginning to blur, having your own dedicated space to focus and stay productive is as important as ever, especially when you’re running a business.
Unfortunately, not everyone has extra room or space at home to convert into an office space. However, there are different areas in your home that you can use as your new workspace without having it intrude on your personal space. One of these spaces is your garage. While it may seem unconventional at first, you’ll find that it’s one of the most ideal places to set up your home office. Maximize your space and get your business running by taking these steps.
Do Some Spring Cleaning
The first step to converting any room into an office space is by cleaning it out. This is especially important since households tend to use garages as storage spaces. Try storing your bikes, garden tools, old toys, holiday decorations, and the like in a different area, or consider packing them in boxes that you can place elsewhere. If you can’t move them to another room, consider alternative ways to maximize your garage space without letting your stored items disturb your work area. This way, you’ll be able to stay productive while keeping your office free from clutter and distraction.
Once you have everything cleared out, you can start decorating your space to officially make it your new home office. Keeping your office clean at all times is important not only for your productivity but also when for having clients visit your business.
Insulate Your New Space
Like most garage spaces, yours may not have climate control. While you might be fine with this on days with fair weather, you won’t be saying the same thing once the summer and winter months hit. If you’re on a budget, you can insulate your walls with fiberglass batts that help reduce or even prevent excessive heat and cold from coming into your garage. Otherwise, you can try linking your home’s HVAC system to the space. You also might want to look into a well-insulated garage door that can help make your office space more energy efficient. While some of these options may be more expensive, you’ll have made a good investment, especially if you tend to spend most of your time in your office.
If you have long work hours and spend almost the entire day running your business, you want to be comfortable while you’re working. Besides investing in an ergonomic chair and desk, make your home office a space that you like to work in by adding framed photos, rugs, furniture, and other items that inspire you to work harder.
Converting your garage into a home office means outfitting it with the right technology that allows your business to run smoothly and more efficiently. Having fast and smooth internet speeds is the backbone of running a business in the digital era, especially when most people do their shopping online.
Make sure to check whether the Wi-Fi signal at home reaches the garage, as garage walls are usually built with fire safety in mind. If it does, consider checking how it fares when you’re just browsing the web versus when you’re making video calls.
To ensure a better and smoother connection, you may want to try using ethernet cables that connect your router to your computer or laptop, Wi-Fi extenders, or even a portable hotspot.
Add a Light or Two
Light is one of the most important factors that encourage productivity. Moreover, proper lighting helps you avoid migraines caused by eye strain. Since most garages don’t receive natural light, people don’t usually consider their garage as their first choice when creating their own office space. Depending on your budget, you can choose to add windows to your garage walls or doors. Either way, you will need to outfit your office with lamps and other lights that can help keep your office well lit and allow you to focus on your work properly.
Make sure to use different kinds of lighting, such as desk lamps, to help you with focus-intensive work and ambient lighting that helps you light up the whole space.
It can be difficult to imagine turning your garage into your new office space, and you may find it hard to imagine what the finished product might look like. A little cleaning, organizing, and decorating can turn your unassuming space into the perfect home office you can run your business from.