A home office is a great time saver for those who often need to catch up on a bit of extra work at home, or those who just plain work at home. But if you fail to plan your personal home office properly, you may be setting yourself up for failure: distractions, time-wasters and disorganization can seriously hamper your productivity.
Choosing a Home Office Location
Location is key when setting up a home office. The most important part of a home office location is that you can call it "my space". A spare bedroom or study will provide plenty of natural lighting and a quiet space for your work, but devoting an extra room to a home office isn't always possible.
Home offices can be set up pretty much anywhere, including a living room, finished basement, large closet or even your own bedroom. The best location for a personal home office is a comfortable low-traffic area, so if you're finished basement is cold and damp or your living room also doubles as a television-watching area or kids' play room, it will be too distracting.
Another location to consider is your own bedroom. You already call it "my space" and it's not normally in use unless you're asleep. A decorative partition can be a great way to separate your home office from your bed.
Kitchens are another option for setting up a home office, but they are often busy and distracting - dishes to be done, the oven needs cleaning and the windows are a bit smudgy. You might not notice these chores now, but when there�s work to do these tasks seem to call your name. Choose a location where there isn�t as much to do, and keep it neat and tidy to allow yourself to stay focused on the work at hand.
Home Office Equipment Needs
A home office will need electrical outlets to hold necessary equipment like a computer, telephone, printer, fax or scanner and appropriate lighting. Unless you get creative with hiding an extension cord - large potted plants are a great way to hide large power bars and coiled up extension cords - your office furniture will have to be laid out around these outlets and that is one more thing to consider when choosing your furniture.
Home Office Furniture
Finding space for office furniture like a chair and a desk can seem tricky at first, but the sky is the limit when it comes to choosing office furniture that fits in your space. Desks are available with storage options underneath, shelves or attached cabinets to save space in your home office. These built-in storage options can keep your desk organized and tidy, and also help hide unsightly cords and wires.
After choosing furniture, picking up pastel-coloured curtains, cushions, file boxes and a few plants can keep "my space" looking beautiful, clean and also limit distractions.
A home office isn't only necessary for those who work at home or need to catch up on school or work after hours - it can be a nice, quiet spot for homeowners to pay their bills, work on interior design ideas, draw up landscaping plans or put together your next dinner party menu.