There are many things to consider when you are designing a home office. Since more and more people are working from home or telecommute, the home office should not be just another place to “make it through a day’s work.” It should rather be a space that promotes productivity in an environment that is functional, organized, and spiritually uplifting.
One of the crucial elements for your home-based office is its location. Before you head out to buy the necessary equipment, you need to find out if there are any zoning regulations for home-based offices in your residential area.
Designate a space that allows for uninterrupted work and is away from family life. Basically, any unused spacious closet, empty guest room, or even the dining room could be converted provided there are electrical outlets, phone jacks, and lighting available. It helps if your home office has a separate entrance, away from the rest of the house, if you need to see clients at home.
Floor plans are helpful in designing your workspace. Mark the window, door, and closet. Notice the direction of the window for possible light interference on the work area. Look for electric outlets, heat vents/air condition, and phone jacks for your office equipment and phone. Carpeted rooms reduce noise, however, have an anti-static mat under your desk chair to prevent static and wear on the carpet. Ideal are hardwood floors.
The trend in office furniture is to give a neat and organized appearance while promoting functionality. Depending on your taste and budget, you have a choice between custom built-ins or modular furniture.
Your worktable or desk should give you sufficient room for a computer and desktop space. Keyboards stored in pullout drawers increase available space. Place the phone within easy reach. Filing cabinets can serve as a place for your multi-functional printer and should be easily accessible. Store supplies in above the desk shelves or cabinets; they will help reduce clutter. Bookcases provide room for printer paper, mailing supplies, and computer/software manuals; or, convert a closet for that purpose if space is limited.
Proper lighting is very important in a home office. Have light fixtures installed over reading areas and the computer so that there is no reflection off your computer screen. This will reduce strain on your eyes.
Office equipment in today’s home office comprises a desktop computer or laptop as well as a multifunctional printer/fax/copier/scanner machine that cut down on precious space. A cell phone and fast internet connection in addition to a phone landline provide accessibility to clients and online work environment.
In addition to selecting functional furniture, chairs, filing cabinets, shelves, and office equipment, you may want to add some personal touches to the room, such as window treatments, wall color, pictures, and plants that complement the rest of the home office. A professional can answer your questions and help you optimize your space. Sometimes, a little help can create the space you desire and inspiration will come naturally in a balanced work environment.
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