To be honest, I spend most of my working hours with my laptop on my lap in a lounge chair in our living room. Of course, there are times when this isn’t practical and I still need and enjoy using my office. Whether you decide to work from home as an employee or become self-employed, there are many practical aspects of the business to consider. One of those considerations is setting up a home office. Thought should be given to how and where this office will be set up and there is no fixed answer as to which way is best as the office environment will be determined. The information provided to you addresses the elements that will impact how you set up a home office environment and will help you determine what is most likely to work best for you.
The first step
When I first meet people to discuss their office design, they often show me around their office or home and announce, “This is where it’s going, but I just need to figure out how”. can you see the mistake Often a director assumes they’ll just take the largest office with the best view, and parents who work at home assume they’ll take a space designed as an office or smaller bedroom. Of course, this isn’t always the wisest decision, which is why the first step is always to open yourself up to the possibilities that exist for you. A home office environment can be in a living room, a kitchen, and even the master bedroom.
Choosing an Office Environment
The first thing to do when setting up an office environment is to determine which areas of the home are eco-friendly to create a healthy and productive work environment. The most obvious consideration is the illumination that immediately follows the ion state. It is important to increase the concentration of negative ions in a work area or you will feel tired and claustrophobic.
Ions are molecules that have gained or lost an electrical charge. They are formed in nature when air molecules are broken apart by sunlight, radiation, and moving air and water. Examples of places I like to experience the power of negative ions are when I’m visiting waterfalls or walking on the beach, or when I’m outside enjoying a thunderstorm from a sheltered spot. While part of the euphoria of this experience is just being close to this wondrous environment and away from the normal pressures of home and work, the air circulating in the mountains and on the beach is believed to contain tens of thousands of negative ions, which is far more than the average residential or office building. Indeed, d, which usually contain hundreds at most, with many registering a flat zero. You can of course counteract this by increasing ventilation and circulation, using more light, only supplying electricity to the most important electrical devices or investing in a particulate filter with an ioniser.
Adequate lighting for all times of the day and night that you are at your desk is critical to being effective and maintaining your visual health. With regard to our impact on the environment, it is first important to consider which spaces receive sufficient natural light to minimize your need for artificial lighting solutions. Some exposure to light is also good for the skin and well-being. Once you’ve thought about natural light, you need to plan your artificial lighting, whether it’s for the dark winter months, working late, having personal time online or, in my case, getting up before dawn to attend virtual meetings with carry out customers. Think of both overhead lighting that allows you to move around the room safely, and task lighting from a desk lamp or spotlight aimed at your workspace.
With those two things in mind, you should also think about what else is happening while you’re trying to work. You must be able to create a productive space that allows you to deal with the distractions you need to deal with and ignore the ones you don’t.
If you have kids at home at the time you work and no one else can look after you, you might want to line up near their playground. An example of this would be Emma Davidson from Brindabella Baby. As a working mom who runs an online baby products store, she has placed a desk in the corner of her living room and pantry closets in the dining room. Having your desk in their primary living space is very convenient, because children often want to be at home with their parents, it’s a space where they can freely play with toys and games, as well as enjoy electronic entertainment. In Emma’s own words:“..it helps keep toys and mess in one room.”
However, if you need a place to focus for an extended period of time without distractions, a separate workspace might be better. Often this can be a separate office or even a place right next to the kettle in the kitchen. You may also want to have your office in or near a larger room or garage, especially if your office setting is combined with a workspace for a craft or trade. Annette Piper is a jeweler who uses a studio in the back of her house. It has many practical shelves as well as a workbench with an adjoining desk. “The room is large and airy with a good feel.” were her own thoughts in her work area.
Choosing office furniture
The office furniture you invest in must always strike a balance between personal taste and practicality. I myself love these large redwood desks with the faux leather insert. I envisioned the large desk with matching storage against an office wall. Just like the library I saw at the South Australian governor’s mansion, I would have a whole wall with two rows of filing cabinets at the bottom and at the top there would be a bookshelf to the ceiling. It would be divine, but totally impractical for my needs as someone who spends eighty percent of their working hours in front of a computer. In the same way, practicality must play a role in your setup.
In practice, your desk should have enough space for you to do the tasks that you need to do on a regular basis. In close proximity to your chair, you should be able to access any files you need constant access to, as well as stationery that you use regularly. I have found that this can usually be reduced to postage stamps, sticky notes, a pen, pencil, a highlighter, scissors and a stapler. Most other items can usually be packed elsewhere.
Of course, you need to choose your office chair, keyboard, mouse, and monitor. I’m sure you will also consider the ergonomics of your selection when making your purchase and be aware that what suits one body shape may not necessarily suit another. However, it is important to keep in mind the available space. Things that increase the footprint of a chair are not only the size of the seat but also its footprint. Chairs with four or more coasters often take up more space than a chair with four fixed legs.
When choosing storage options, look for storage items that will make your office space look tidy. Cabinets and drawers that hide larger items are a good place to start, followed by practical and aesthetically pleasing storage. Make sure you consider the size and shape of your electronic devices you want to store and any storage boxes you have before looking for storage options. You want everything you buy to not result in those items becoming homeless and cluttering a space designed to allow you to work. Also consider storage solutions that are not “designed” for the task. My own closet houses a printer, a scanner, my digital camera connection and a fax. All of these devices have cords attached to them, and with the hundreds of dollars we made from the device, we spent a whopping thirty dollars on a circle cutter that allows our drill to cut a cord hole in the back of the cabinet, as well as on the shelves .
Ten years ago, when I was in my first company, I found that the only electronics and computer I would ever need was a computer with speakers, a scanner, and a printer. However, today we are inundated with dedicated camera printers and many desktop accessories such as cables and stands for iPods, phones, digital keychains, headsets, to more items like USB power supplies, fish bowls, and mug warmers. There are several ways to manage these items and you should pull them out and examine them with a serious eye.
The first task is to gift the items that you will never use. Charity stores may not accept them, but pawn shops, electronics stores, or electronics recycling groups often do. Your second task is to isolate the items that you rarely use. You can put them in a zip bag along with their manuals and keep them in a box or drawer. The third group of items are those that are not needed on the desk. Using a USB hub and USB extender, most devices can be moved off the desk and into a storage closet or shelf that is easily accessible when needed. Finally, there are things that you use at least once a week that need to be on your desk. Choose their placement carefully so they don’t interfere with your normal workspace.
If you’re looking to purchase additional gear, consider your practical needs for both the item you’re considering purchasing and the space it must be placed. Make sure your final purchase meets both requirements and you will never be disappointed.
Once you’ve taken care of your surroundings, furniture, and electronics, administrative supplies should be a breeze. Just keep all the materials that are accessed regularly. Supplier order forms, customer details and their orders at your fingertips. Then place other records a little further out of reach where they can be accessed when needed, but leave space nearby for all the things you really need close at hand. To keep records under control, archive old files every year and destroy those boxes when their day is done. The general rule of thumb is to keep them for a year longer than the law requires – just in case!
If you’ve taken care of all these things, you should have a refreshing and effective workspace in place. Now, with your brand new office space, it’s time to consider your communications systems.