The pandemic has forced many people to work from home. Following the U.S. government’s push to promote social distancing, most companies have opted to shift to remote working arrangements.
A list by FlexJobs ranks Texas as one of the top states with the highest volume of remote workers, only second to California, with the most popular remote jobs being software engineering, accounting, and project management.
In the wake of COVID-19 and a looming recession, companies and entrepreneurs are scrambling to find solutions. However, the unprecedented crisis also pushes business leaders to find opportunities for growth by providing timely products and services. And successfully steering a business through a recession could prove to be the defining moment for companies as they look to build for the future.
Some of the most impressive companies were born out of recessions. Disney and Hewlett-Packard, two international powerhouses, faced adversity head-on and stuck to robust marketing strategies while their rivals cut back through the Great Depression. If this sounds like a challenge you would like to take on, you can take inspiration from the aforementioned companies and muster up the confidence and resources to start your own business. It also helps that Texas is one of the best states to start a business. The state doesn’t have a corporate and personal income tax, and it’s also a hotspot for startups—thanks to a wealth of new business incentives.
Whether you’re looking to make your remote work arrangement permanent, or you’re planning to launch a new business, you’ll need a dedicated office to work out of. Here are some things you need to keep in mind:
Deciding what features you want
Your home office should be in a private area that allows you the space to think and focus on work. This is especially important when you share a house with family or roommates.
Fixtures and lighting
Every office needs a working surface, and depending on the type of work that you do, this could be a writing desk, a drawing table, or even a laptop stand. Have enough organizers and shelves, too, so that you can work more efficiently with dedicated space for all your gadgets and tools.
Have windows in your workspace. Exposure to daylight improves your physical and mental well-being. Additionally, natural daylight supports your vision and is believed to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder and other mood-related issues.
A great Wi-Fi connection is one of today’s essentials, especially for those working at home. Allocate at least 10 Mbps of download speed and 1 Mbps of upload for each person on the network. This number should go up if there are more people using the home connection.
Finding the right contractor
A contractor possesses effective project management skills, helping you translate your ideas into results; they also have established working relationships with others in the trade, which could land you great deals.
Since you’re fitting out a space for an entirely new purpose, technical know-how could be a valuable asset to you. Creating your home office isn’t a job for just any DIYer. Contractors with experience can also make suggestions and realistic cost estimates for you, and let you know what’s achievable within your budget.
Find a contractor that you feel comfortable working with, and make sure to review their portfolio. If you can get references from people you know or find reviews online, then that would also be helpful.
Securing the right permits
Unless you’re just changing a door here and a window there, you’ll definitely need a permit from the state. You also need to know the differences between each permit so that you can secure the right ones.
For one, an Interior Remodel Permit is needed for renovations that are generally contained indoors. However, cities like Austin may require you to file for a New Addition Permit when you convert previously uninhabitable spaces, such as a garage or outroom, into a living or working space. Each state will have its own regulations, and you can either check them yourself or coordinate with your contractor for a more seamless process.