Don’t Forget Anything When You Create a Home Office!
Before you begin setting up a new office, plan out what you need first. Evaluate the purpose of your office. It could be the place you meet clients before heading to a different location. It might be a private room that only you enter. Or maybe you just need a small corner desk with a laptop and coffee pot.
Decide how much space you need for work and storage, if you should have a reception area separate from your office, what furniture is appropriate for your business, and other details. Once you have a comprehensive plan, begin construction.
Designate an Area as Your Home Office
When choosing an area, keep in mind that this will be the place you come to focus and work. For some people to be productive, they want open space and bright sun, while other people need quiet and privacy. Make any repairs or upgrades needed to ensure you have a safe, professional workspace.
Once you select an area, section it off from your home life. Clearly delineating personal versus professional space helps you focus on work-related tasks. It also differentiates between which items and utilities are business expenses and which are personal.
Design a Comfortable Work Area
Make sure that your office area is a place where you will be productive. Choose furniture that is comfortable. Decorate with colors and designs that energize you. Ensure the area is well-lit and incorporate natural sunlight if possible.
When choosing a desk, think about what will be in easy reach, how often you will need those items, and if there is enough space for them. Decide if you will need extra drawers, cabinets, or add-ons so you can plan that furniture into your room design. Select a desk chair that encourages good posture and will keep you comfortable throughout the day.
Verify that your climate control options are sufficient for your needs. If you are unsure, locate a professional and schedule a home-evaluation. Large computers and other electronic equipment throw out a lot of heat, and conversely don’t work well when overheated. Make sure your HVAC system was recently serviced and is running properly to avoid uncomfortable heat levels.
Plan Your Storage Space
When laying out your home office, it’s easy to focus on your desk or your meeting area as the only office space. However, well-planned storage space is equally important.
If you have a business in which you keep paper files or folios, be sure that you have adequate filing cabinets and shelving. You may need a fireproof safe to secure documents, system back-ups, and important files on hard drives. Some businesses even require a dedicated server or additional computing power. Office supplies, reference materials, printers, and electronics all take up space and should be taken into account. Plan the layout for the support systems your business needs, and be sure to have an adequate power supply for your equipment.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the work of setting up your home office. Whatever your needs, with careful planning you can smoothly incorporate a professional space into your house. By knowing your budget before investing, you can responsibly provide a motivating work environment for yourself that is comfortable for your guests as well.
Main Image via Flickr by Jeremy Levine Design