Read these 9 Home Offices Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Office Supply tips and hundreds of other topics.
There are many ways to create a great space for working at home without spending a fortune. You may end up feeling a great sense of accomplishment after turning some wasted space into an efficient home office.
Here are some ideas:
There are rolling computer carts that are easy to move when necessary and a few carts feature locks to protect your equipment and files. If you are going to move your furniture often, test each piece to make sure that it can be moved without falling apart. If your home office is accessed by your family members for personal use or homework, you may want to consider separating your business work from their files. Windows XP allows you to set up multiple logins on your computer with various access levels so your teenagers can't access your files or other settings on your computer. Another way to make your office convertible is to make it portable with a laptop computer. A laptop allows you functionality and portability.
You don't have to be Bob Villa to assemble office furniture. Make sure that any furniture you buy has clear instructions. Look at the directions before you leave the store and don't be afraid to ask the salesperson for help if you don't understand the instructions. You may consider paying someone to put the furniture together. Sometimes, discount office furniture is missing certain items or hardware for installation. Be sure when buying items on clearance that you're aware of whether or not there are missing pieces as well as the warranty and return policy on the item.
When deciding to set up a home office, take a close look at the furniture you already own and determine what's missing. Do you have enough filing space, drawer space, writing surface or room for your computer, printer, modem, fax, and other necessary items? It's perfectly fine to improve the look of your office in order to help improve your productivity.
Is your existing computer suitable for business use or is it time to upgrade? If your budget doesn't currently allow it, work with what you have and plan to slowly add on to your office in a way that will most benefit the business. For example, if your having a faster computer will earn you more business, make that your first investment. If your computer chair is really hurting your back and inhibiting your productivity, make getting a new chair your priority.
Whether you use your home office for paying bills or running a company, there are some basic things that are needed. Plan your home office for maximum efficiency. If your space is limited, you won't have as many choices. If you need to share space with another room, identify space that is infrequently used, such as a guest room or dining area. Decide on storage for papers, a computer and printer.
Several home and garden TV shows offer homeowners with ideas for organizing home offices and tips for home office planning. Doing the planning and organization of your home office can be a fun project.
There are many shows and articles out there to give you ideas of ways you can set up your home office without going to the expense of hiring a professional decorator or designer.
Home and garden magazines as well as television shows can give you many ideas for various budget levels and styles.
The amount of organization in your home office is going to directly impact the amount of productivity you have working at home. Here are some tips to organizing your home office furniture:
You may not have the time or budget for an office design makeover, but a few simple ideas can go far in boosting your business productivity.
Match Your Brand: An important element of business marketing is the branding and image of your company. Whether you entertain clients or not, your office design should match your brand. Successful branding requires you to look and "feel" the brand. Having glossy business cards and a high-tech image but out-of-date office furniture and equipment,doesn't project consistency .
Turn Down the Volume: Noise in your office environment can have a greater impact on productivity than you may think.
Take the necessary steps to pinpoint office noises. The gentle hum of the furnace next to your office can be dampened by a door or barrier. Move any noisy office equipment away from the walls and add carpeting, office dividers, or curtains to reduce noise.
Bring in Nature: Spending long hours in an unnatural environment can hinder productivity. We are biological creatures and need to experience nature for the best in psychological and physiological functioning. Use as much of nature as you can such as:
Locating your office in a space with windows if possible. Consider nature photos to make your home office a more pleasurable place. Add real plants to have fresh oxygen in your workspace.
Create a Barrier: Home office business owners will understand the difficulty of separating the company from the family. It is vital to build a home office design supportive of your own personal productivity. The temptation of a quick television break or snack can result in lost productivity. It is best to designate a separate room with a door or closed space in the house for your business. If you can not do this, do try to stick to a schedule much as you would in a regular office environment.
Check Ergonomics: The study of ergonomics or human factors looks at the interface between humans and machines, or in our case, small business owners and the office. Improper office ergonomic design can have a huge impact on productivity, injury, stress levels and health. Consider these quick ergonomic checks:
Unlike a corporate office, when you design a home office you're designing a room that family and friends may have access to. Home office furniture should not only reflect your style and character, but should also be accessible to guests and safe for kids. When choosing home office furniture, consider all the types of people who my eventually have access to this area.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|