How to Set Up the Ultimate Home Office

by on January 25th, 2011 2 comments

With more and more people working from home setting up the ultimate home office is what could make all the difference between a productive day and hours of wasted time. A home office should be well organized, well lit, and well ventilated in order to provide a safe and efficient working environment. This can be achieved by taking the following simple steps:

Choose the best premises for your home office

You need a room where the natural light is abundant and you can easily open a window or door and let fresh air in. Many medical professionals recommend that you ventilate the room for five minutes every hour, even in the coldest winter days. If possible choose a room that does not face a busy and noisy street and yet has adequate space.

Choose the layout of your home office

The most commonly used layouts are the strip, U, L, V, and T-shaped, the one you choose largely depends on the available space and your needs. If all you require is space for your computer and keyboard, then the strip layout will be perfect, but if you want a larger surface, where you can draw or write, or share the workspace with another person, then you might consider any of the other four layouts.

Buy the equipment and furniture that you need

In most instances you will need a computer with all the common peripheries, including a printer, at least one phone line, fax machine, answering machine, filing and storage cabinets, desk, chairs, and desk lamps. You will also need the standard office supplies. If you spend most of your time behind the computer then follow all the safety rules that will help you maintain the right posture and keep your eyes healthy: position the monitor at least 18 to 24 inches away from your chair in such a way that you look slightly down on it.

Make sure that your office is safe

If you have the habit of piling up books, notes, drawings, printouts and other stuff on the floor, you should surround yourself with enough shelves. Going vertical will give you all the storage space that you might need. Keeping most of your stuff on the floor is a safety hazard that you could easily avoid; the same applies to messy cabling. If you cannot find an easy way to tuck all the cables neatly away consider buying a wireless keyboard, mouse, and routers in order to have fewer cables in your new home office.

Keep everything organized

Even if your home office is neat and tidy on day one, a month or two down the road it could easily turn into a mess and make finding things challenging. If you take the time to label your shelves and put all the items in the same place every single time, you will largely increase your productivity – statistics reveal that at least three to four work weeks are lost in a single year due to unorganized office space.

Decorating your office should be done in a way that enforces productivity – keep radio and TV sets away from the home office, but add a few plants and a number of small personal items that will make it cozier for you.

Once you have the ultimate home office set up you need to keep it clean and organized day in and day out. Make a habit of tidying the office after you finish working, maintain your equipment properly, remember to stock necessary office supplies, and once in a while, remove all items that you no longer need or use. Working from your own home can be extremely rewarding, but you need to keep the distractions to a minimum, set and stick to fixed work hours, take regular breaks, and stay focused on your objectives!