Reprinted with permission from NAHB
Home offices are becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity with more people telecommuting or running their own businesses from their homes. The number of Americans who work from home is in the millions, and with the rising cost of gas and increased traffic causing longer commutes, that number is likely to grow even more every year.
Work space is no longer relegated just to the kitchen table or a corner of the guest bedroom; it has been promoted to a room of its own in the home. If you are looking to create a home office or revamp an existing one, keep the following points in mind:
Separate Your Space
Although you are physically working in the house, it is important to set up your home office so that the lines between your home and work life do not get blurred. You will be less tempted to take a television break in the middle of your work day or work on spreadsheets when you are supposed to be “home from the office.”
Design Your Office to Match Your Work Style
When choosing the furniture and layout of your office, make sure if fits the way you choose to work. For example, if you believe in “a place for everything and everything in its place,” be sure to allot enough space for adequate storage and file cabinets. If you work on several different projects, set up separate, smaller work stations dedicated to each task.
Show Off Your Style
There is no such thing as “one design fits all.” One person may prefer the look of dark woods and rich colors. Another may favor a more whimsical look with bright colors and clean lines. This is your chance to bring in designs and items that best reflect your personality and interests. Don’t be restricted by what you think a home office should look like. Make it your own: You will be the one spending the most time there.
Make It Comfortable
When choosing furniture and amenities for your office, make sure that you are physically comfortable and that your work space is conducive to productivity. Your chair should be adjustable with adequate seat cushioning. Add a couch or armchair to allow for guest seating or provide a place to read away from your desk. Install recessed lighting which is less harsh, and buy smaller desktop lights focused on task areas that are used for reading and writing to reduce eye strain.