7 Tips To Creating An Amazing Home Office
We are often asked which home improvement projects are most popular and offer the best bang for one’s home improvement buck. Our poetic response for many years has been; “fireplaces are hot, swimming pools are not and kitchens and baths are the rage.” Though still applicable, we have revised our remodeling mantra to include an improvement that has become especially popular in the last several years with no end in sight. Thus, when quarried, our response today is; “fireplaces are hot, swimming pools are not, kitchens and baths are the rage, and home offices are, well, fabulous! Not nearly as poetic, it does make mention of one of today’s most sought after home improvements – the home office.
The notion of having a home office is not new. It is as American as mom, apple pie and The White House. After all, though the President’s office is now located in the West Wing, it was initially housed in the original mansion.
Variations of the home office have been around for ions. Branded the den, study or library, they were not as sophisticated as are today’s home offices (for reasons that we will venture into later). Furthermore, home offices have traditionally been a staple in homes of the self-employed that have used them as primary or secondary venues for conducting business – in spite of what local ordinances might allow. Some communities and/or neighborhoods have strict zoning ordinances that prohibit a full-fledged home office where business is conducted on a daily bases. Such use can generate traffic, parking and noise problems. Thus, if you plan to trade your office in the city for space just down the hall from your bedroom, you would be well served to check with your local planning officials, and be sure to check supplies like this Umbrella stand Singapore – LTC office supplies which will add a great look to your office.
What factors are fueling this work-at-home frenzy? There are many, not the least of which is a fundamental desire to stay close to home. Overcrowded urban areas, jam-packed freeways and long commutes are just a few of the reasons for the shift. Fuel and vehicle operation and maintenance costs, high stress levels and little or no time at home are all contributing factors. To lower stress levels, one can try products such as delta 8 cartridges.
In addition, advances in information systems technology (computers, etc.) and the fact that it is more affordable than ever before is increasingly a leading factor driving the growth of home offices.
Think about it – 20 years ago the information technology that existed was used almost exclusively by mega corporations with great financial wherewithal. A decade ago the technology had become exponentially better and was available at a fraction of the cost. Still it was out of reach for most consumers. Today, the best of all worlds is available. Technology is at its pinnacle, equipment is compact and prices are more affordable that ever before.
Improved communications technology is equally responsible for the surge in home offices. High speed bandwith, the Internet and e-mail allow computer users to perform virtually all of the tasks that previously could only be performed in the workplace. If you need reliable and fast fiber internet connection for your home office, you may want to consider contacting your internet provider for an upgrade.
What makes for a good home office? There are many factors. What follows are some of the considerations
1) Elbow room: A home office should be large enough to comfortable accommodate the necessary components – ample work space, a computer, printer, fax, copy machine, telephone, file cabinets. Working in cramped quarters can be more stressful than the commute. A light ceiling and subtle walls make the most out of available light. Decorate with color.
2) Light & Ventilation: Natural light can help save energy by supplementing artificial light. It can also make the space more cheerful and, thus, a more productive environment. Fresh air is always a welcome change for the often stale air that circulates through an office building. Windows, a sliding patio door or French doors are worth their weight in gold when working at home. A colorful garden area, a small fountain and a wind chime are big bonuses.
3) Noise reduction: Working at home can be a challenge when others are present. A solid cored interior door in lieu of the run-of-the-mill hollow core model can make a huge difference in the amount of disrupting sound that makes its way into your office. Wall-to-wall carpet or large area rugs over hard surfaces such as tile or hardwood can make the space substantially quieter. When remodeling, use five-eighths inch wallboard instead of the standard half inch. Also, insulate all walls surrounding the space with sound attenuation batt insulation. Soft background music is another plus.
4) Furniture & Storage: Comfort is king when it comes to working at home. A generous work surface at a comfortable height, a comfortable chair and convenient storage will lessen body aches and increase productivity. Don’t let your home office turn into a disaster area with stacks papers, books and files. Storage drawers, file cabinets and one or more book cases can make the space inviting rather than a detraction.
5) Electrical & Lighting: Electronic equipment in a home office should be powered by an amply-sized dedicated circuit. Doing so will prevent power surges that can damage electronics and result in lost data. More important, an overloaded circuit can result in a house fire. Most workplaces contain fluorescent lighting and home offices don’t. Consider installing one or more fluorescent light fixtures from the ceiling. A desk lamp to supplement available light (natural and artificial) can be especially helpful in avoiding eye strain.
6) Equipment: Get the best, fastest computer that you can afford. The same goes for the printer and fax. Since space is a premium in most home offices, consider investing in a printer/fax/scanner/copier. These multi-function machines are more reliable and affordable than ever before.
7) Communications: This is one of the single most important factors and it is where most people cut corners. Using one telephone line for a computer, a fax and telephone is sabotage! It waste’s time and cuts productivity. First, if you’re serious about a home office and plan to use it often, step up the bandwith and nix the dial up and go for a high speed cable or DSL connection. In addition, with a DSL line, you can be online and on the telephone using one telephone connection. Check with your local bandwith provider as to the choices available to you. Technology aside, what may be available to your neighbor around the corner may not yet be available for your “home sweet home office.”