Home offices are becoming more and more common, yet when faced with planning one, most people are completely overwhelmed. You do not have to suffer this fate, however, just as long as you focus on the basics...
If you are working from home on a full-time basis, you might have other expectations for a home office than someone who uses one to balance a checkbook. In the latter case, a large working area will not be one of your highest priorities. In fact, a carefully designed corner will probably suffice. Working from home on a full-time basis, however, will require more space and careful planning.
Regardless of either situation, certain essential requirements are needed:
The most basic office equipment comprises a computer, telephone and printer. In addition, fax machines, copiers, internet connections, and more could be included depending on your needs.
A suitable work-surface is vital in order to work comfortably and efficiently. While current trends for desks and work surfaces show a preference for large Minimalist tables, multifunctional tables that can double as dining tables or offer hidden storage space are also quite popular, especially for small spaces. Another small space solution is the use of a sideboard, wherein your office equipment can be stowed when not in use.
Ergonomic office furniture can save your back! Find a chair or seating element that is comfortable and supports your back. While resent research suggests that nothing can replace taking small breaks to stretch and move around, the right ergonomic seating elements will ensure you do not stress your back more than necessary.
Storage is a vital element of any office, as the right storage system will help you stay organized and keep clutter at bay. Shelves are always an attractive possibility, but you might find smaller storage elements more useful. Regardless of your choice, once you eliminate clutter from your life, you will work faster and more efficiently.
Adequate lighting can prevent eyestrain and headaches. Indirect lighting is not as ideal for home offices as direct lighting, so opt for overhead lighting in addition to a direct light source for reading and working. Your eyes (and work) will thank you for it.
You will be spending a considerable amount of time in your home office, which makes your personal touch even more important. Photographs, graphic prints or paintings are ideal reminders that there is more to life than just work. Little office accessories can add style to an all-too-functional working environment. After all, one of the advantages of a home office is that it is in your favorite surroundings - your home.