You plan to be self-employed? Make sure you’ve done all your homework.

Are you thinking about becoming self-employed? Then you're probably aware that it's a major undertaking. Which status do you choose, how do you market yourself, but also: how do you create a personal workspace which motivates and inspires you? With these tips, you will be ready to take the plunge and get off to a flying start.

First things first: how will you use your office?

Setting up your first office demands a lot of time when you want to be self-employed. You want to create a space where you feel at home, but where you can also organise your work as effectively as possible. One crucial question therefore is: how will you use your office? If you start out as a sole trader, your needs may be different compared to when you set up a limited company. The same applies to a graphic designer, accountant or lawyer: different jobs, different approach, different needs. So a lot depends on who you are and what you want to achieve.

Is your work mostly sedentary, or do you intend to have a more dynamic working day? Do you need a lot of equipment or is a laptop enough? Do you expect to have regular visitors and is a large conference table a must? Do you want a completely paper-free office, or will you need filing cabinets? These are all factors that influence the layout and design of the room. A few smart moves are sometimes enough: a practical cupboard that doubles as a partition to create a separate meeting room or coffee corner. Or a multifunctional desk where you can both sit or stand.

Perhaps you're even thinking of setting up your office as a co-working space? As a sole trader or freelancer, this is the best way to connect with like-minded people and grow further. But you then have to look at the office set-up from a completely different angle. With co-working, you bring together different work styles, areas of expertise and preferences. This requires a lot of flexibility. One entrepreneur might need privacy and an enclosed space, another might need a meeting room for brainstorming and customer visits. Think about multi-purpose furniture, smaller meeting rooms, quiet workstations, a large work table and spaces where people can work together in groups. Is it all a little overwhelming? We are happy to give a few tips.

Point you in the right direction as a self-employed person.

Functionality is essential, but it's not everything. The way your office is set up also influences how customers experience you as a self-employed person. If you have an eye-catching logo and an inviting website, a large part of your branding is already done. Now just your interior, which needs to reflect the same vibe and values. Give your business the personal touch that adds to your story and highlights your identity.

For example, do you focus a lot on sustainability? Then invest in recycled materials and circular office furniture. Do you like to bring some nature indoors? Then take a look at biophilic design. Are you fresh, young, positive and creative? Choose bold colours and unusual shapes, like undulating couches and playful side tables, poufs and stools.

A smart layout and the right office furniture help get your message across. Not only to your customers, but also to potential employees. Should you ever think of expanding, it is crucial that your employees also convey your vision and values. An environment that is conducive to this is an important step in the process.

You've hired your first employee, now what?

Entrepreneurship is all about dynamism As such, make sure that your office furniture can evolve along with your entrepreneurial spirit. Growing means taking others into account. All of a sudden, it's not just your own well-being you have to think of, but that of your employees. Safety, working comfort and productivity are suddenly even higher on the agenda. Everything needs to be right, so that your colleagues have a good feeling in the office.

Ergonomics is a crucial aspect in this regard. By choosing ergonomic office furniture, you are not only investing in people, but also in the future of your company. Sitting in the wrong way can lead to back problems and other complaints, resulting in more frequent sick leave. So opt for high-quality office chairs and desks that are comfortable to work on for longer periods. In particular, pay attention to dimensions: the correct height of a desk helps ensure a good working posture. Or, when choosing an office chair, take into account adjustable elements such as the seat height, backrest, arm and lumbar support.

Dare to be creative too and think outside the box. Sitting still for a long time is unhealthy. Look out for furniture that makes your employees vary their posture. For example, choose to integrate standing desks, desks with a treadmill or ball seats. Or bring in lounge sofas, hammocks or extra cushions to enhance the atmosphere and experience of your office. Integrate greenery. Plants have been proven to significantly improve productivity and creativity. The same goes for natural light. Open, light spaces increase motivation and inspiration. In addition, create different corners where people can work on tasks. But here too, think about who you are, what you need yourself, and what your employees and customers need. Find out everything you need to. We are always at your disposal to assist, optimise your plans or work out a complete concept!

Dries Dols
— Dries Dols

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