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Creating a Home Office

By: Corinna Underwood - Updated: 20 Aug 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Home Office Space Storage Space Desk

Give Yourself Enough Space

Many people, who are planning their home office, fall into the trap of thinking that all they need is a small corner of a room, but when they try to squeeze into this small a workspace, they end up being spread out all over the room. So remember to allow yourself enough space. Architects generally recommend that a home office should be at least 10 feet by 10 feet. You may not have the luxury of this much space, but at least make sure that you have enough room for all the necessary equipment you may need around you.

Sharing Space

Make sure to consider the space of your future home office. Is it part of a room that has other functions, like a guest bedroom, a den, or a playroom? How much of your work will you want to "hide" when you're done for the day/evening? You also want too be sure that your office space has enough electrical outlets and phone sockets. You will need to know if they are conveniently located. If you are using power strips, try to make them as accessible as possible (at waist height, for example) so you don't have to go through an obstacle course to get to them.

Storage Space

Consider what kind of storage space you will need. In addition to paper files, computer disks and compact discs, remember that you'll likely be storing office supplies and possibly photos. When you design your workplace, assess the types of equipment you will need - filing cabinets, printer, fax machine, letter-writing supplies, pens, staples, etc. You should be able to perform multiple tasks within reasonable reach. If you purchase furniture, be sure it offers flexible spaces and cubbyholes for various items and equipment. For instance, if you want to keep file cabinets underneath your desk, make sure they will fit before purchasing them. If you're short on space, store the majority of your office supplies elsewhere, keeping only what you need at the moment close at hand. Sort through your files at least once a year. Get rid of anything that you no longer need. Make sure to shred any financial or sensitive material. If you don't have a lot of floor space, consider stacking shelves as far up as the ceiling.

Lighting

Poor lighting causes eye strain, so good quality lighting is essential. Your desk should be situated in a position where it received good, natural light. If you're working with a monitor most of the time, avoid putting it in areas that produce glare, such as the back of a window or a skylight. Overhead fluorescent lighting or recessed lights are ideal for lighting the room, or you can use good table lamp for smaller areas.

Useful Tips

  • Make plans to back up your computers at least weekly (preferably daily).
  • Plan well ahead when ordering phone lines. You may be surprised at how long this can take to set up.
  • Keep temperature in mind if you expect to be using a server for your computer network. You need a cool place for the server to live. Believe me, it's not a pretty sight when the switches or servers fail because of overheating.
  • Look into a high-speed Internet connection. It is essential for almost any business. You don't want to waste time waiting for pages to load.
  • Buy business insurance. It's easy to overlook the financial requirements that come with owning a business, but they are critical.

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