Home offices are no longer relegated to a corner of the basement or inside a small closet. With more and more people working from home, the home office has become an important space in the largest home or the smallest apartment. Technology has given us a certain amount of freedom when it comes to where we choose to work. Why not get some fresh air or sit on the verandah to get your emails under control?
If you do operate a business, there are other considerations such as designated space and storage. After all, you need to be ultra organised to operate a healthy business.
The true test of being organised is to have things grouped so that they are easy to find and in related 'categories'. If you can't find a certain item within 20 seconds (that is any item), then you probably need to do some filing, or arrange your office more carefully.
Bad organisation slows you down and reduces productivity substantially. The key to being well organised is having enough shelving or storage. You should also have a regular clean out and declutter to maximise the space that you have.
Most disorganised people won't admit it but everyone knows in the back of their head if they are really organised or not.
Anyway, let's get down to the nitty gritty....Here's what you need in your home office to work comfortably and efficiently:
For all season comfort.
To maker the space feel fresh and enviting. Never underestimate the importance of good lighting no matter what you do.
Plan these purchases carefully as it's so easy to blow the budget. Make a list and stick to it. Do you need a second phone line? Voice mail, of course a computer, surge protectors, back up for your data and even a risk management plan.
I like timber floors but your floor needs to be chosen to suit the space and the work that you do. I like low maintenance and find that cleaning a hard surface is easier.
For privacy and possibly for heat retention
Personal Touches & Atmospherics
Paint and colour needs to be carefully considered....plan a decorating style, add accessories and art work or photos, awards or certificates. By decorating your space, you'll enjoy it more, work better, reduce stress and be more productive. All of these things will improve your profits!
Plan the space
Scale drawings are the best way to plan effectively. For best results, plan carefully befoe you start.
Noise & Privacy
Be careful that outside noise insn't affecting your work. Soundproofing may be a requirment if you are a massage therapist for example. Worth considering in the planning stage. Window coverings that provide good light control or privacy...make sure you take all of these elements into consideration.
Natural elements like plants or garden outlooks are always good....don't underestimate their power and their effect on the human psychie for you and your clients.
Comfort and functionality especially in your chair.
Establish if your cleints ever come to the home office, if so then consider access. Keeping your personal space seperate and inaccessible to your clients is the best possible outcome.
Do you have a waiting area? If so, is it comfortable for your clients? Single chairs are always my preference for a waiting area rather than lounges because strangers dont usually like to share a seat. If you have elderly clients, you need to consider that the chairs have a high seat so that they can easily get up. A low chair or lounge can be embarassing for them if they have trouble standing up. Consider your target client and any special needs that they might have. Also think about subliminal elemnents in your waiting area like music, Interesting and engaging art work or magazines that are relevant to your industry perhaps?
I hope this is helpful for your new office or your renovation of a home office. We all spend alot of time at work so make it special! You only get one life.