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Here is a list of guidelines to help design an effective home office.
1. Identify the office equipment needed including computers, printers, fax machines, answering machines, telephones and copiers.
2. If you'll be meeting with clients in your home office, add a conference table or sitting area to the list.
3. Lay out your basic office design, taking into consideration the importance of lighting throughout.
4. Remember that when it becomes time to resell the home, the office can be presented as a guest bedroom to potential buyers. If you can, include a full bath in an adjacent location that can be used by clients.
5. If the office is on ground level, a separate client entry can be designed to provide privacy. Conversely, with a second floor location client interaction is deterred.
6. A perimeter location can help insulate the office from noise and also reduce the impact of any visual clutter from inside the home.
7. Adequate lighting is critically important in establishing a healthy if not serious work environment. If using fluorescent fixtures, opt for parabolic grilles to reduce glare.
8. Provide a separate circuit with 15 to 20 amps of service. A separate ground is another precaution that will isolate your office equipment from home appliances.
9. Install adequate telephone and data lines. Include cable into the office area as it might one day serve as your primary conduit to the internet.
10. Design large workspace surfaces and adjacent areas to allow for maximum flexibility and comfort.
11. Allow for ample file storage space. Typically, a four drawer file cabinet per person per year is adequate.
12. Fireproof filing cabinets for storing your important business documents.