The Business of the Home Office: Some Tips on Design
Between the high price of gas, the commuter traffic, and workplace politics, home offices are becoming more and more popular. If these conditions have brought you into the world of telecommuting, or if your workload requires a few late nights, but you need to do them at home, you’ll need to design a workspace that’s going to meet your needs. Here are a few suggestions to make sure it does what it needs to do:
The Bare Necessities
There are a few things that every home office has to have now that we're firmly rooted in the computer age. You’ll need electrical outlets, a high-speed Internet connection, and a telephone. Other essentials include a good computer, functional desk, and a quality office chair.
Add Some Luxuries
Once you've got the basics covered, you’ll also want to include some extras to make your home office feel like “home.” After all, it’s more of a “home” than the cubicle was, right? So go wild! Fill it with color. If you love sports, jam your office with sports posters and bobblehead dolls of famous athletes. You want to make your home office a place where you can get your work done and have some fun in the process. Just make sure the posters and knick-knacks don’t become too much of a distraction. You still have to get your work done!
Don’t Get Carried Away
A common problem many people have when putting together home offices is that they often aren’t realistic about the costs. This is their opportunity to work away from the restrictive environment of the office, so they feel obligated to include more luxuries than they really need. Hire a budget specialist or an accountant to help you keep your project within budget. Remember: you’re doing this to save money and time
Minimize the Potential Hazards of Working at Home
Remember: your new home office needs to be a place where your work gets done. This is often easier said than done, particularly when you have kids and errands (and daytime television) competing for your attention. Here are a few tips to make sure you can do what you need to do with minimal distractions or interruptions:
- Consider Your Location - If you want to be able to work in your home office and still be able to keep an eye on your kids, by all means choose a location that's close to everything. But if you’re easily distracted, On the other hand, you may want a more remote location that offers you privacy
- Doors & Window Shades—If you have kids constantly running around the house, this is an excellent idea. Imagine: you’re on the phone discussing next quarter’s predictions with your boss, and your six-year-old comes running in screaming about how she can’t get the top of the apple juice bottle. You’d rather have a door to shield you from this. While windows will give your office some light and air, neighborhood distractions can progress from annoying to extremely aggravating if you have an important deadline approaching.