Create a Home Office that Works Part Two

Last week, we shared the first four steps for creating a home office that works which are defining the space, and finding furniture, paint and a rug that both inspire and comfort you.  This week, we reveal the final four steps.

Photo courtesy of Nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of Nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. Lighten up.  It’s common to overlook one of the most important aspects of your home office, its lighting.  Choosing lighting that is both aesthetic and functional is absolutely necessary.  We recommend a desk or standing lamp in addition to overhead lighting so that you have sufficient light whether working during daylight or evening hours.  If your desk lamp is too dim during the evenings, it will be nearly impossible to stay focused, and maybe even awake!  Natural light is deemed best by all health experts, however look for artificial lighting you love for those unfavorable weather days and long, dreary nights.  Sufficient lighting is particularly important during Southeast Michigan winter months when people often feel lethargic and may even suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
  2. Use unofficial office storage.  Don’t feel relegated to traditional filing cabinets to fill with all of your files, documents, photography, etc.  Instead, think outside of the filing cabinet.  For example, floating shelves are a trendy and efficient way to store items you need frequently.  Better yet, they add an element of interest and personalization to the room.  A stylish credenza is perfect for housing your office supplies, documents and other office items.  If you’re in love with a piece of furniture that lacks interior organization elements, there are hundreds of storage containers available to meet your needs.  In fact, the Container Store just opened in Novi.
  3. Envision visitors.  While you may not currently plan to see clients in your home office, is there a chance you may do so in the future?  It’s important to consider this before you build your dream home or when choosing the best space for one.  An outside office entrance, or entrance near your home office, is typically not necessary, however in some cases, it is essential.  Wherever you’ve decided to set up your home office, designate which entrance you want clients and colleagues to use to help keep work and play at home separate.
  4. Get wired for work.  It may make sense to have a separate phone line installed if you use a fax machine or have a home phone that your family uses.  The last thing you need is your child intercepting that all-important business call you’ve been waiting for.  More and more Americans are using their wireless phones for both professional and personal communication, so a separate landline is definitely on the decline.  Electrical power is essential to your productivity as laser printers, computers and modems drain electricity.  You may want to consult with an electrician to ascertain if you need a couple of additional circuits to prevent tripping the circuit breaker every time you print a document.  He or she will ensure you have ample—and safe, power.
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