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So you have finally decided to work from home and set up your home office? Setting up your home office is one of best parts of working from home. For first time in your life, YOU get to choose your desk and where it goes. YOU get to choose equipment and supplies. YOU get to choose chairs and lamps. This is going to be fun for you. This article will explore essentials of designing your home office . everything from finding space to buying right supplies. You will be spending a lot of time in your office, lets make sure that you design it right.
FINDING THE ROOM
Sometimes it is hard to find right room to place your home office. After all, when you bought your house you probably didn't know that you would be working from home. Look for a room in your house that has following elements:
1. Separate from household members and distractions 2. Enough room for a desk, chair, equipment, office supplies, and space to think and move around. 3. Enough electrical outlets and power for all of your equipment 4. Phone line (s) available 5. Enough heating and cooling 6. (opt) Windows for sunlight and fresh air 7. (opt) An air vent for good ventilation
In an ideal situation, all of above elements will be present.
If you choose a room completely separate from other rooms, "defined work space used exclusively for your business" (IRS Tax Code), you can deduct your home office. So it would be better for your pockets to choose an enclosed space of your house that isn't used for family life.
Can't find an open space for your house? Try to use your imagination before you call an architect to renovate or add on to your house. Are there any walk-in closets in your house? How about your basement? You can clean up your garage and park cars on street. Maybe separating another room with bookshelves might do trick. If you still can't figure out a way to make space for your home office, maybe you should consider hiring an architect or general contractor to add on to your house or to build an office in your basement or other room. This might be an easy job . just adding a wall to make one room into two. Or you might land up spending quite a bit of money. I recommend not getting carried away until your business is running smoothly for at least 6 months.
It isn't time to go shopping yet; rather it is time to get out graph paper, rulers, and pencils. Before we buy furniture and equipment we will need to map out our office, in other words make a layout plans. Have a family member help you measure length and width of room and height and width of doorway. On your piece of graph paper draw room in right proportion. Then consider all of equipment and supplies that you will need to run your business. Here are my suggestions:
1. Chair 2. Desk 3. Filing Cabinet 4. Bookshelves 5. Telephone(s) 6. Computer 7. Fax Machine / Copier / Scanner 8. Storage Bins 9. Pens / Pencils 10. Paper 11. Binders 12. Folders 13. Staples, Binder Clips, Paper Clips 14. Envelopes 15. Media Storage Devices (Zip Disks, Floppy Discs, CDs, etc)
Think ahead, is there anything else that you might need? Now, map out on graph paper where you want to place each of these items . design away! Remember, you will be spending much of your time in your office, try to make it a place that you will enjoy visiting or you might dread working. For this reason, way that you design your home office can make or break your freelance business. Keep following in mind when designing your home office.
1. Only paint with neutral colors, or paint will overpower your furniture and you will become distracted 2. Don't jam tons of furniture and equipment into your office unless totally necessary. Having too much clutter is one reason you might not want to visit your office. 3. If you are easily distracted, don't put your desk in front of a window. 4. Place your bookshelf, filing cabinet, and telephone at arms reach 5. Place your desk near electrical supply and phone lines 6. Get personal and add your personal touch to everything. This will create a more inviting atmosphere for you. 7. If there is enough room, add a love seat or reading chair for you when you need a change of scene.
Now fun part . shopping! Whether you decide to shop online or in a conventional store, don't forget your items list and layout plan. As you shop for items, take their measurements and draw them on your plan to make sure that they fit. A few online stores that you can look at are:
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN EACH ITEM
1. Desk / Workstation - Since invent of computer, one small desk is no longer enough. A workstation is a more appropriate term now. Depending on what your profession is, you will need desk space for your computer, and then more desk space for administrative work. Think about what type of equipment you will need are where it will go. How much room do you have for a desk? Usually your best option is to get an "L" desk. What I mean by this is choose your favorite desk, and then choose a smaller desk that can be placed perpendicular to main desk. The big desk is perfect for your computer equipment, and smaller desk can be kept clear for your writing surface.