by Shirley Martin

With remote working normalized, many of us have built our own home offices and this should be no less true for entrepreneurs. If you’re a budding new business owner and want to host clients/customers in-person or over video chat, there’s plenty you can do to make your meeting room a comfortable (and safe) place to visit.

Safety

In the wake of the pandemic, safety should be a high-priority concern for anyone looking to host guests. As an entrepreneur, good relations with clients are vitally important and can often affect the success of your business – you don’t want to jeopardize this by getting anyone sick. Some of the most common strategies to ensure that everyone remains healthy include open windows, masks (worn and available), and HVAC systems fitted with UV lighting – this can shrink your energy consumption and help reduce disease transmission by disrupting the DNA of airborne contaminants.

It’s also possible to set up a payment system that minimizes physical contact. Contactless card readers is one option that allows you to accept remittance on the spot without the need to touch or transfer cards and cash. You could even opt to provide home delivery, working with a courier service to provide for those who order from home. In addition to all the above, be sure to wipe down and disinfect surfaces, test regularly, and follow all of the CDC’s Business and Employers guidelines.

Comfort

One of the key issues when hosting meetings from home is the potential awkwardness of the domestic/business cross-over. You want clients/customers to feel comfortable entering your home and negotiating. To help with this, it’s important that you create a divide between the area you conduct business and the rest of the household – children can prove disruptive, as can vacuum cleaners, TVs, the smell of cooked food, or the sound of running water. Try to situate your meeting room/work at the front of the property and, if possible, clearly divided by walls. It can also be worth using soundproofing strategies, like acoustic panels.

Physical comfort is another important consideration when building a home-based meeting area/office. Invest in comfortable couches for if you have a waiting area and solid, business- ready chairs that help your visitors acclimatize to the work environment. The optimum office temperature is believed to be between 68 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity in the 20- 60% range. Try to adjust to these numbers as best you can.

Appearances

When so much of our business is conducted online via video calls, it’s important to construct a backdrop that implies professionalism. This means taking some time to invest in the requisite decorations – for example, plants and bookcases. There are plenty of green options for your office space that improve air quality and aesthetics. Mirrors are good for providing the illusion of extra space and can make a small office appear much larger. Books suggest knowledge and can be useful on coffee table rotation or to help you learn during lunch breaks and downtime. If you have an established brand design, you may even want to look into label design – an eye- catching label is easy to make using a free online label maker and can be placed on products/furniture in your home office.

Lighting is another consideration that can affect your appearance in videos but also your productivity, mood, and perception of color (which is important if you’re working with physical goods). Ideally, you want maximum daylight but the right bulbs will help to compensate for this. Make sure you distribute light around the room using lamps and try to diffuse it for a soft ambiance that will help guests feel more at ease.

For years, the considerations that were on the shoulders of office managers have now been passed to those working from home. If you want to achieve peak working & meeting conditions, you’ll have to think tactically about the way your home looks and feels.

With expertise in marketing, communications, and social media, Sally Sells the Shore utilizes limitless tools to communicate your message and quickly sell your home. Learn more, at: www.sandrasellstheshore.com

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