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Planning a Home Office

Planning a Home Office

In the past 4 months, we have been catapulted into a whole new dimension for working at home.  Data isn’t in yet for 2020 but the numbers will certainly be higher for those who telecommuted in comparison to any of the years before.  What does that mean for a large percentage of the working class?  Many have found that their homes were not conducive to becoming a workplace 40+ hours a week.  Though you were taken by surprise with COVID 19 have you been able to adjust to staying at home including working from home?  Perhaps its time to think about your home office environment and make definitive choices for what plan is best to continue working at home.

Home Office Styles

From an opulent to minimalist style your home office should be comfortable, functional, and create the best atmosphere for you to be creative and productive.  One thing all can agree upon is the benefits of natural light.  Windows that allow light and nature into your work environment are known to boost productivity and improve well-being.  Daylight also improves alertness and can help prevent eye-strain which often leads to headaches.

If natural light isn’t possible in your home office plan than investment in the right type of task lighting is a must.  Many commercial offices have overhead fluorescent lighting. That type of light can cause a glare on your desk and computer screen creating difficulty seeing.  Desk lamps with solid shades can direct light right where you need it.  Diffused lamp light can create less glare making it easier on your eyes.  Just make sure it isn’t to dim or you will be straining to see.

Location, Location, Location

home office nook in attic master suitePlanning the location of your home office is dependent on your individual environment.  Having an extra room sitting empty in your home is ideal.  The ability to have a closed-door and four walls can create the quiet and privacy needed for working but isn’t always possible.  If you find yourself lacking a separate room than don’t be alarmed. With a little creativity, you can still plan a workable office area.  Perhaps you have a large empty walk-in closet that could be transformed into a home office.  Or maybe an unused corner in a large room or under a stairway.   There are many spaces that can be created into a cozy office area and if privacy is a must consider privacy dividers that rest on the floor or a curtain that hangs from a pole to partition off space.

Storage is usually needed for files, supplies, printers, fax machines, and such.  A clean and neat work environment also promotes productivity and clear thinking.  Consider the entire space you have for storage from ceiling to floor.  Tall bookcases or cabinets can keep things hidden or easily accessible.  Maybe cubbies will be the perfect solution with baskets holding your office needs or a good ole fashion file cabinet.  File cabinets come in a variety of styles and sizes and can look similar to the furniture you choose in the space.  Consider custom closet systems that can create exactly what you need for your particular office and utilize the space to its optimum.  Check out Closets & Storage by Owings for more information.

 

Working From Home

When planning your home office remember that you are investing in yourself and you are worth it!  We don’t recommend skimping on the office furniture.  The area you create needs to be professional, functional, and also comfortable.  The old adage you get what you pay for certainly applies when choosing your desk and chair.  If you plan to sit at the desk for 40 hours a week than your physical health is of the utmost importance.

The chair you choose affects your neck and back and should be ergonomic in design.  Having an adjustable backrest, armrests, and seat depth will assure you sit properly.  Built-in lumbar support is an added bonus and will truly make a difference in your back health.  Deciding on the desk that best suits your office needs can include one that allows you to stand or sit by having it automatically raise and lower.  The placement of the monitor on your desk will aid in keeping your neck and eyes healthy.  Research has found that standing desks can be better for staying fit.  Standing in lieu of sitting takes you from a sedentary position to one that strengthens the body and can result in losing 5 lbs of body fat a year.

Home Office Detail List

Lastly, when planning your home office consider what you need.  The type of work you do will be the primary factor when choosing the space, lighting, furniture, and privacy factors.  If you work for an employer they may have certain requirements for your home office.   These may include locked file cabinets, certain electronics, dedicated phone lines, and perhaps a place to meet with clients.  Taking time to create a detailed list of your needs will ensure you have the best possible home office.   This can also minimize expenses if you are planning to remodel the space.

Working from home offers flexibility for setting your own schedule, saves time and money by eliminating the commute and if starting your own business minimizes overhead.  The key to a productive and functional home office is to keep work and home life as separate as possible.  This will allow for a smoother transition from the work part of the day to the play part and keeps the main thing the main thing depending on the time of day.