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Working remotely from home is on the rise with the technological advances we have today, but it can be a challenge if you don’t have a designated work space where you can focus on the task at hand. So, perhaps it’s time to carve out an area in your house to create your own home office. Here are some tips to help you design the perfect work space for your needs.
Choose a Location
If you’re working from home, be sure to allow yourself some space, as cramming yourself into a corner or a closet space prohibits creativity and functionality. It’s best to convert a guest room or sunroom into your office, or a space with windows and a door that can be closed for privacy. Determine whether or not your work will be compromised by distractions such as in-home traffic flow or outdoor street noise. Will you be on conference calls or video chats? Will you need a quiet space to concentrate? Will exterior distractions take you away from your tasks at hand? These are all things to consider when choosing a workspace.
Focus on Functionality
You can choose to decorate your office to correlate with the design flow of your home, but keep in mind this needs to be a functional workspace, not a hangout space. Determine what you need in order to be fully functional in the space. A good desk chair is a must, and you’ll also need storage space, a space for filing, a large workspace such as a desk or a built in with drawers, and a space to think or have a conversation. Go ahead and add those personal touches such as plants, family photos, pillows, throw rugs after you figure everything else out. This is a space that you’ll be spending a lot of time in, so you want to make it comfortable and enjoyable.
Use the Space Efficiently
Typically, an office space in a Chicago home is not swimming in square footage, so you may need to go vertical to utilize the space that you have. Floating shelves and baskets are a great way to utilize your wall space for items that you don’t need on your desk. Shelves are great for storing your office supplies, printer, books, manuals, as well as adding some decorative touches for inspiration. If you’re a filer, you may need to purchase a file cabinet or a desk with file drawers built in, or if you’re a stacker, invest in some stackable baskets and tag them for organization.
Invest in Office Equipment
Aside from your laptop, what else will you need in order for your home office to be a functional workspace? Do you need a dedicated phone line, a fax line, or a printer or scanner? Will you be telecommuting and if so, is the backdrop for your computer professional? Do you need a coffee maker or a mini fridge to alleviate distracting trips to the kitchen? These are all important questions to ask yourself when determining your budget for a home office. While office equipment may seem pricey, it’s a long term investment that will pay off.
While working from home may have its distractions, it also has many benefits. No commute, no sterile cubicle, and your dog is your coworker. Many companies have embraced working remotely and surely you will too if you create a space that you enjoy working in.