Published On: Fri, Apr 26th, 2013

Designing the Ideal Home Office

untitled copyFor many people working from home provides an opportunity for real comfort and efficiency, but if the office is too casual, or isn’t effectively separated from the home environment, productivity may be hampered. Comfort is necessary in any office, but an office too casual will be counter-effective. The catch is to find a way to separate yourself from the rest of the activity in the home and to convey a sense of a true office.  The most effective way is to design your office in such a way as to differentiate itself from the home atmosphere and yet remain close to all the comforts of the home.
The office space you choose should not be essentially very large, but it should ideally be separate from other areas. Plan the space exhaustively, so that every work more or less remains in the office room itself. The biggest problem that home workers will face is that to distinguish between work life and home life. The ideal home office should help you solve this problem. You have to have set hours for working in the home office, which should translate into a good work life balance.
Once the basic space is ready, look for the other major requirements like light, fresh air etc. Good lighting is a requisite.  If natural light is available try to utilize it as much as possible so that you will save on your electricity bills also. Natural light also has its health benefits so it always good to have as much as of natural light in the office.  If natural light is not available, make sure that you lit up your office well enough to enhance. If no daylight is available, a combination of general and task lighting will be required. A high-quality task light will be essential for late nights or cloudy days. If your home office is in a basement or a room without windows, check out daylight-replicating light sources that will provide energy-efficient, full-spectrum lighting. Many ergonomic task-lighting fixtures have dimmer switches so you can control the amount of light. The most effective lighting brings out the fullest quality of the colours illuminated. If lighting levels are too low, there can be negative psychological effects, including depression. Lighting should be arranged to reduce the effect of glare on your eyes.
When you plan for your home office, make sure that you are away from disruptions, while headphones may serve to isolate certain sounds, no one wants to be forced to wear headphones all the time. Portable screens can be used to shield the work area from nearby activities. Alternatively, divider walls that double as bookcases will not only divide the area but provide superior storage solutions.To assist in creating the quiet needed for real concentration and work, a degree of white noise can be helpful. Air filters and low fans will operate at a quiet speed to muffle other noises.
Solutions are as simple as pencil cups or trays to keep all writing instruments in one place, plus memo and business card holders so, literally, there is a place for everything. Shops such as The Container Store make it easy for you to get organized and stay that way. In this day and age, there are so many options for storage, the challenge is more in finding what works best with your flow of paper and work.
Also plan for all the gadgets and other resources you will need in your office.  A separate telephone line to your office will be better and a Wi-Fi hub so that you stay connected. Avoid buying unwanted equipment.
Health, safety and welfare are critical. Therefore, the items you choose should be ergonomically designed to promote your health and well-being while using them.Your office should be a connection to yourself, your spirit and your productivity. It should afford focus rather than distraction and be a place you want to be and want to spend time in. That will positively influence you in the space and enhance the work you do there. Make sure set up fixed time spend in the office. This will help you develop a plan for productivity.

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Designing the Ideal Home Office