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Has your dining room table become your work space? Have you accumulated piles of paperwork in the space where you should be having family time? Whether you’re lucky enough to work from home or are simply in need of a space to pay bills and plan your home projects and budgets, designing a home office will allow you to be organized and motivated to get the job done. Here are a few things to consider when planning your home office.
What do you need in a home office?
It’s a good idea to make a list of the items you’ll need in order for your office to be an effective work space. Take into consideration your storage, furniture, and lighting needs. Will you need privacy to buffer any noise that may occur in other areas of the house? Do you need a separate entrance for clients or employees? Once you’ve determined your needs, you’ll be ready to choose your location within your home.
Choose your location
Based on the needs you’ve mapped out, choose a dedicated area in your home to make into your office. It’s best to choose a room that has some level of privacy and is in a quieter area of the house. Natural light is also important, so choose a room with windows and a view, preferably one that is not facing the street as traffic can get noisy and distracting. Make sure the room allows you the space you need potentially meeting comfortably with clients.
Make sure you have enough storage
While decorating your home office is certainly fun and creative, make sure you take into account your need for storage and functionality. You don’t want to waste your precious time looking through stacks of file boxes, so invest in filing cabinets so you can find what you need quickly and easily. Shelving is a great way to store your office supplies, reference materials, or software. Make sure to create enough shelving for necessary supplies as well, as leaving the office to find extra staples lessens your productivity. Lastly, it may be a good idea to have storage for snacks and drinks – a coffee maker or mini-fridge may be a wise investment depending on the amount of time you’ll be spending in the space.
Decorating a home office is a little different than the rest of your house, as there are essential items you’ll need to incorporate into the space to make it functional. Choose a desk that is large enough to accommodate your computer while still allowing you space to work. If you have extra space in your office, it may be a good idea to create an area for relaxation and brainstorming, or a comfortable seating area to chat with clients or take a load off after a meeting. Natural light is great but you may also want to add additional lighting to specific areas so as not to strain your eyes while working late. Lastly, feel free to add some houseplants and personal items – after all, this is your home office and should reflect your style and personality.
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, do you need a fax line, do you need a printer or scanner? Will you be telecommuting and if so, is the backdrop to your computer professional? 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.
Designing the perfect home office will lead to a happier and more productive you. Create a space that you want to spend time in. What items are a must in your home office?