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Home Office Design

Mar 07, 2007 | by Wendy Weinert

Working out of our homes is a trend that we will continue to see increase as technologies advance and make it easier for workers to communicate and contribute to projects from virtually anywhere on the globe. Approximately 50 million people are now doing just that, with the help of the internet, cell phones and PDA's, to name just a few of today's technologies that help to keep us connected. But home offices need to be designed and organized to enhance not only our productivity but also our work experience as a whole. Here are some things to consider when creating a home office.

The first consideration should be the office location. This is extremely important and should not be taken lightly. A home office should be in a location that can provide privacy from other family members and daily distractions. Sound levels should be kept to a minimum in order to maintain a professional façade for business visitors and phone calls. Overall though, and perhaps most important, a sufficient amount of space is needed for at least five feet of work space, filing, and other office equipment.

Secondly, make sure the office power source can support all necessary equipment and lighting. Add up the wattage of all your equipment and make sure your power supply is sufficient. Try a dry run, plug in all your equipment and use it as you would in a normal work day, watch for any warning signs that you may need an electrician.

Next, chances are that the existing light fixtures in the space will be inadequate to provide the task lighting you will need. Decide where more illumination is needed and whether over-head or task lighting, such as a lamp, would be appropriate. Choose more energy efficient fixtures to not only ease the electrical load needed for your office but to help lower your electrical bill as well.

Then, ventilation of the office space needs to be adequate to keep your office equipment cool. This can be easily overlooked, but proper air circulation is mandatory for both you and your office equipment to work optimally. If air movement is an issue, consider a small air-conditioning unit or fans to keep the air circulating.

One very important factor for the functioning of your work environment is space. Having enough storage space can make the difference between an organized, efficient work space and one that's impossible to work in. Make a list a of all the files you will need to keep on hand such as tax records, clients information, projects and reference materials and decide how much file space will be needed and locate them in an easily accessible area.

Lastly, take advantage of being able to answer only to your own sense of style and personalize this room accordingly. Whether this home office is for yourself or a client, add some color and flair. After all, style should be one of the benefits to not being in a corporate environment. Go for a look that portrays some personality while maintaining a professional appeal.

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