Creating the Perfect Home Office Space
If you own a home-based business or you are a work-at-home professional, chances are you will put a lot of care into ensuring the home office in your new home is just what you need and want it to be. Though there is plenty of freedom with a work-at-home career, many find it tough to transition from loading the dishwasher and folding the laundry to the company’s top sales associate, especially when you step in your office only to find the kids were finger painting at your desk last night and there are toys scattered on the floor.
So how can you create the perfect workspace that allows you to instantly shift from Super Mom or Dad to a creative and constructive entrepreneur? How do you design a space that keeps you organized and on task? One that inspires you? One that boosts your productivity? One that clearly reflects how much you love your job? One that shows off your personality?
Begin by flipping through magazines. Cut out pictures of office arrangements you like. Clip pictures of furniture that will work well for you. Tear out pictures of décor you like and organizational supplies that suit your working style. Start shopping around for office equipment and electronics you will need. Educate yourself on what is available and what features you absolutely need and which ones would be handy. Price shop and compare on line or in sale papers and flyers. Then take some times to consider the following factors and their relevance to your type of work. Answering all of the questions honestly will help you plan a home office space that best meets your needs.
Space: Imagine your dream space. Where is it, and what items do you have in it? Consider how much room you will require to accommodate your needs. What equipment will you need and how much room does it require? Do you need a meeting space? Will you need room for storage of brochures or files? Will a closet or built-in shelves satisfy your needs? How much additional space will you need to store work or business related materials?
Location: If your house plan already incorporates and home office space in the floor plan that works for you, then you are all set. However, if you are adding an office to the floor plan it is time to consider the location. Think about your needs and choose a space in your new home that best supports your needs specifically whether it means finishing a room in the basement, designing the bonus room to be business friendly, or converting an extra bedroom or the hobby room into your private study. Maybe privacy isn’t a must but rather you need to be near the kids while you work. Consider setting up your office in the corner of a larger room like the family room or adjacent to the playroom. Will you be meeting with customers and clients at home? Do you want easy access to an entry without having clients and associates parade through your house? In this case, it is good to position the office near an outside door. Consider converting the formal living or dining room just off the foyer into your work space.
Furniture and Equipment: Think about the furniture and equipment you will need in your office. This means everything from a desk and bookshelves to a printer stand and the trash can. What other equipment will you need? Computer? Paper shredder? Phone system? Is there a need for a separate printer, fax machine and scanner or can will a three-in-on model work? The three-in-one model may be the best choice saving money and desktop space and it only requires one outlet. Think about the style of furniture you prefer. Do you like solid wood? Metal and glass? Office furniture comes in a wide range of sizes and styles with bookcases and file cabinets to match the desk. What type of furniture arrangement to you need? From a simple desk to an L-shaped or U-shaped unit, office furniture is designed to keep all the basics at your finger tips and then some. Make sure the furniture you choose is sturdy and durable and don’t forget to include a comfortable office chair, a meeting table if necessary and organizational essentials like file cabinets and storage bins.
Lighting: Most business professionals work best with good lighting. It is important to have a primary light fixture overhead or recessed lighting to illuminate your office. But, don’t forget about task lighting. From lamps to track lighting, there is a wide variety of lighting fixtures and available for home offices. Decide what you like and what you need. Be sure to position all lighting correctly.
Placement and Efficiency: You will be the one working in the office so consider your workflow and the arrangement of office furniture. What layout works best for you? What needs to be at an arm’s reach and what can you store on a shelf? Where do you plan to have your main workspace? Is it a desk top clear of paperwork, paperclips and the stapler or is it a table by the window? Your office should be set up in such a way that you are able to work efficiently and flow from one task to the other easily. This also means your keyboard, computer monitor and desk lamp should be placed at the correct distances for you to work without straining your eyes or your body tiring. Ideal positioning of these necessities as well as other basics will allow you to work at peak performance without sacrificing productivity.
Character and Personality: Add the final touches to your new home office by personalizing it to make it comfortable and inspiring. Think about what you like. What makes you smile? What helps you think? What gets your imagination going? What inspires you? Incorporating a few items that reflect your personality will make your office a powerful place. Place a framed picture of your family on the desk that reminds you of a time you all had fun together. Set a potted plant in the corner to add color and life to the room. Incorporate your favorite color with candles or a piece of artwork on the wall. Include visual reminders of your goals and achievements such as a dream map or a framed achievement certificate. All of these things will give you a happy mind and keep you motivated and on track for success.
No matter what your specific needs are for a home office, these tips will get you headed down the right path to planning your dream office in your new home. So, get started now. Flip through catalogs or surf the net and start collecting some home office ideas that will truly satisfy your needs.
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