There are many elements that must come together in a typical home office setup, ranging from desk, chair, and lighting selections to equipment decisions and layout.
By considering each element separately, as well as how it relates to the overall performance of your home office operations, you can maximize the output of the hours you spend working there.
Paying attention to the design and setup of your home office is a smart business move, since it translates into greater comfort, increased productivity and ultimately more profits for your company.
When designed well, your home office becomes a ‘silent partner,’ supporting your efforts and increasing your effectiveness.
In order to work with any seriousness from home, putting thought into where you are going to work, what you need and where the best space is to fill your requirements is a must. If you do not put it together in a way that will help you succeed at working at home, you may fail at working at home.
That may translate as a failed business or job loss. Working at home is not just as easy as sitting at the kitchen table and flipping open your laptop. If you want to be successful and productive working at home, you need to organize.
Prior to setting up your home office, take time to assess how you will use it and what requirements it must fulfill. Will this be your primary workspace or will it fill a secondary role? Is it a permanent location or a temporary setup?
Next, determine what your main activities will be in the office. Will you be working primarily at a computer or performing other tasks? Do you work on your own or are there others who will share the office with you? Will you meet with the clients in this office? Each small business is unique and the best home offices are designed with specific business needs in mind.
How to Set up Your Home Office
Determine Your Home Office Design and Layout
The most efficient home offices employ an L-shaped or U-shaped design; a layout that keeps entrepreneurs within arm’s reach of the equipment and tools they need.
Think of this space as a cockpit that enables you to move from task to task with a minimal amount of effort. The primary space in your “cockpit” should be devoted to the work tasks you do most often and those that require the most mental energy and focus.
If that is computer-based work, then the location of your keyboard and monitor will be most important. In contrast, if you review paper-based documents or attend to other non-keyboard tasks, then an open expanse of empty desktop will be your central workspace.
Be sensitive to ergonomic factors when you design your home office layout because you do not want to risk hurting your back or developing a repetitive strain injury.
Most desks are between 27 and 30 inches high and minor adjustments to the height of your desk can often make a significant difference in your posture and overall energy output.
Position Your Home Office Computer Properly
The major decision here is whether you have a dedicated desktop computer or you use a laptop as your primary device. In both cases, screen height is important since you want to avoid hunching over a keyboard.
Several companies sell laptop stands that elevate a laptop to eye-level, which are often used in conjunction with an external keyboard. A growing number of computer users use larger and even second computer monitors which provide expanded virtual desktop space.
If you have two monitors, for instance, you can use one for document creation and the other to host toolbars and supplemental applications. Be sure to adjust the viewing distance to the monitors carefully so that you retain a comfortable posture and can read the screens easily.
Select Your Home Office Desk Chair With Care
Most home-based entrepreneurs spend more time in their office chairs than they do in their beds. Unfortunately, many often skimp on this important piece of furniture, unaware of how much a chair can contribute to one’s energy and health.
Select a chair that swivels easily and offers multiple settings for seat height, tilt, arm height, and lumbar support. Do not be hesitant to bring one home for evaluation to determine how it performs in your home office environment.
After a computer, a quality desk chair may be the largest expense in your home office setup, and it’s worth the investment. At Equinox Furniture, we have the perfect desk and chair just for you.
Provide Abundant Home Office Lighting
Poor lighting can create eyestrain and detract from your enjoyment and productivity in your home office. Your aim should be to create multiple sources of light so that no glare is created on your computer screen(s) or other work surfaces.
Indirect and natural light is often softer and less demanding on the eyes. If your work requires accurate color, consider investing in color-balanced lighting fixtures.
Position Your Peripherals Carefully
Give careful thought to the placement of your computer peripherals; printer, scanner, label maker, etc. as well as equipment such as phone and fax machines.
Some home-based business owners like to have all required machines within easy reach. Others prefer a less cluttered workspace and enjoy the momentary exercise that comes from retrieving a computer printout on the other side of the room.
Establish Optimum Space For Home Office Storage and Files
Since the paperless office is still a dream for most home-based business owners, it is important to plan for adequate storage in your home office. Files used most frequently should be within easy access; others can be stored in more remote locations or even off-site.
Establish regular sessions to purge outdated files and contain clutter to maintain an effective home office work environment.
As your business grows and changes, your home office needs will likely evolve too. Remain sensitive to issues of layout and access in your home office and do not be hesitant to experiment and modify the location of furniture or equipment.
A simple shift can bring increased ease and productivity. You can also rearrange your office to create a fresh perspective on your work environment.
With a little planning, you can create a home office that invisibly supports your entrepreneurial efforts every working day.
Visit our showroom today and we will give you a hand putting that home office together.
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