Are you trying to run your own business out of your home or are you a government or company employee who has the option to work from home? Working at home has many benefits, including more time spent with family and no money spent on office rental. Maybe you’re one of the many people who have embraced the idea of becoming an Internet entrepreneur. Yes, it’s time to set up a home office — in a manner that is conducive and productive for you to work in, with a minimum of noise and distraction.
Finding a space for your home office will depend on the type of work you want to accomplish. If you need to be on the phone during the day (in your time zone), you can set up a computer desk with file storage in the living or dining room, which are usually quiet during the day. If you need more work surfaces — like getting those items you sold on EBay wrapped for shipment — you’ll be more comfortable in the den or basement. Working in the evenings while the family watches TV in the living room? Set up a desk in your bedroom so you can work quietly.
Once you have chosen the best area, consider putting up wall shelves to save space on your flat desk surface. Also think about using a laptop or one of the new “miniature” computers with a thin flat screen monitor. More space can be created by attaching the house phone to the wall or using your computer to make phone calls, eliminating the need for a phone on your desk.
Plan your home office carefully. The right equipment and office furniture will save you time, effort, and money, not to mention back or wrist pain. According to a recent survey, nearly 75% of home business owners didn’t have a designated room for their home office with the right office furniture.
The most important choices concern the computer desk, an office chair, storage and lighting.
A computer desk is the keystone of your home office. Nowadays, new computer desks come with many space-saving features and enough built-in storage to transform a small space in your apartment or house into a convenient and productive office space. A corner computer desk can be easily accommodated in almost any room. The style of desk you choose depends on the type of work you do. If you have to work with papers, the right computer desk will give you enough room for your computer and keyboard as well as sufficient flat surface for paperwork. For additional flat surfaces, consider adding an extra wing or curve to your desk. If you often use books, binders or thick heavy manuals, you may choose a computer desk with a hutch for shelving or closed cabinet space for easy access to printed materials and office supplies without losing any of the valuable flat surfaces.
The right office chair does more than give you a way to sit at the computer. It can also save your back, neck, and shoulders, and prevent carpal tunnel syndrome by putting you at the right height relative to your keyboard and monitor. If clients will be coming to your home, make sure you have comfortable seating for them as well.
Where are you going to keep your files, office supplies and/or product inventory? Storage space is vital if you want to keep your work surfaces neat and clean. From a file drawer in your desk to file cabinets, shelving units, bookcases, and storage cabinets and lockers, the available configurations mean there’s something that will work for you. And it’s so much easier to think when you don’t have to take boxes off your computer before sitting down to work. (You might also think about going ‘paperless’ on your bills and paying them over the computer.)
Also, remember to have proper lighting, both in daytime and at night. Don’t place a desk so that direct sunlight hits your computer monitor — you won’t be able to see! And have a good bright lamp on or near the desk to avoid eye strain.
To give your home office a professional appearance, get creative. Paint the wall a peaceful color, decorate with artwork or framed photos, and add a touch of green with potted plants or a sunny touch with bright flowers. A small effort will reward you with an enhanced image when a client steps into your home office. The Right Stuff for your home office means you’ll be happier and more productive there, too.