Telecommuters and self-employed business owners comprise more than one-third of the U.S. workforce*. Because most of these people must do some, if not all, of their work out of a home office, their work space must be designed to ensure maximum productivity. In many cases, the space must also allow for meetings with clients and employees as well as the ability to make and receive business-related phone calls without interruption. No longer do the kitchen desk, carved-out nook, or dark loft serve as appropriate work spaces. For these people, a separate home office is a must-have – but care and attention to detail is required if the office space is to be practical, comfortable, and conducive to getting work done. Below are steps you can take to maximize and enhance whatever space or room you designate in your home as your home office.
Office location – Select an office space in your home that is compatible with your needs. Do you need a private space away from the normal traffic flow in the rest of your home? Do you receive regular deliveries so that an office close to the front door means you’ll hear the doorbell every time? Does a view out a window matter to you?
Furniture – A simple tabletop where you place your laptop computer is probably more minimalist than most people need for their work. Though many strive to produce as little paper as possible, the fact is, you will need shelves and drawers for holding work-related files and office supplies. Another consideration is ergonomics. To keep physical aches and muscle strains at bay, your desk and chair should be ergonomically correct so that you can work throughout the day with proper posture and positioning. Make sure your chair moves with you, is adjustable, and provides lumbar support.
Desks that adjust height and let you stand periodically while you work are gaining in popularity. Modular furniture components come in a variety of stylish pieces that can be configured to provide the most comfortable and convenient arrangement for your workflow needs. Lastly, an additional chair or love seat will come in handy when you have visitors.
Lighting – Proper placement of your workstation and/or configuration of lighting in your home office is critical if you want to avoid squinting and eye strain from glare on your computer screen. Whether lighting is natural (from windows) or from overhead lights, make sure the source of the lighting is not directly behind or in front of the screen but rather runs alongside the workstation. Desk lamps are helpful when task lighting is needed.
Equipment – Computer, printer, and phone and charging equipment all come with cords that must be plugged into an electrical source. Some office furniture comes with built-in outlets and charging stations for added convenience and/or a hole through which cords can be guided for plugging equipment into a wall outlet. In any case, keep cords tied and tucked away so they are out of sight and less likely to attract dust.
Aesthetics – Just as you might decorate a cubicle or other office space, your home office can – and should – be no less attractive. The idea is that you actually like going to work or like the space you work in. Choose wall color that matches your personality, add plants for beauty and fresher air, avoid distracting clutter, and hang pictures or photos that inspire.
To learn more, call us at (810) 407-1771.
* According to statistics and reporting from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Pew Research Center, respectively.