Home Office Planning Tips

home offices need lots of light & surface work area

Home offices are something that lots of people dream about and for numerous reasons, it doesn’t happen. The perfect opportunity to create the home office you’ve been dreaming about is when you build a new house or change jobs and start working at home full-time.

Don’t panic about where your home office should go. It’s best not to place your home office in the center of your home. Great locations are a room off the front entry way, especially if you’re going to have business visitors. Maybe you’ve got nice space in the basement with an exterior door, a spare bedroom or when necessity dictates, you can create a home office in the dining room. The most important thing is setting aside enough space for your home office and organizing the multiple items you need to work comfortably. 

Creating a List of Your Home Office Needs

Our checklist includes what most home offices need today, and you might have to add a few items. Remember things are changing rapidly so allow flexibility to update your office as tools change. Your family’s lifestyle will also change, e.g. children grow up and move out freeing up space you might want to repurpose.  

  • All offices need more power today. Power strips and extension cords are meant to be temporary solutions. If you’re setting up a new home office, consider having an electrician add circuits for your home office.
  • Equally important is the need to protect all your electronic devices with surge protection and uninterruptible power supplies.

home-office-collage3

Figure out how many devices you’re plugging in today and double it to cover future power requirements.

  • Desktop and laptop computers plus extra monitors that take power.
  • Printers, scanners and productivity devices like business card scanners.
  • More portable devices like tablets and smart phones that need recharging. Don’t forget traditional phones which are critical for many home offices if you can’t rely on Internet based calling like Skype.
  • Consider where to install your Internet router and how you’ll run wiring from the router to devices that need to be plugged in. You once needed Cat5 (now Cat6) cable to connect your computers to the Internet but today,  most devices are wireless. If you’re building a house, for maximum flexibility you probably still want to install this wiring.
  • Decide if you want to invest in cabinets and cable raceways to keep wiring accessible but organized. There are many different approaches so check out CableOrganizer.com.

Home Offices Include More than Electronics

  • Furniture can be specific for home offices or you can save money by using things you already own. You want to focus on your desk and other surfaces to hold electronics, plus enough storage space to meet your needs. Modular furniture that you can mix and match as your space and needs change, works great. Don’t forget your chair, which is critical for comfort and if you have carpeting, a hard plastic mat for rolling over to a file cabinet or printer.  
  • Complimenting your furniture, you should consider how to use your walls for white boards and bulletin boards.
  • Lighting is also a critical requirement to work comfortably in your office. Try to use space that has good natural lighting plus ceiling lights and task lighting as needed, e.g. an extra light near your computer.
  • Storage is key to making home offices work efficiently. Here’s an article that will give you more insight into the different storage needs in a home office, Making a Home Office Work for You.
  • Don’t forget that a home office needs a personal touch. This might include family photos, sports trophies, indoor plants and other items that have a special meaning in your life.

When planning your home office, remember how much time you’ll be spending there. If working or running a home based business, it’s likely the room where you’ll spend more time than any other room when you’re awake.

 

 

About Tina Gleisner

Tina Gleisner learned marketing to build her handyman business. She was so successful branding herself that other home pros started asking for help and Tina started 4 Walls 1 Roof to get everyone online via a shared website. From this start came HomeTipsforWomen.com, HomeDirectoryforYou.com and MarketingForHomePros.com. We invite you to join our community building successful businesses and empowering women homeowners to create their dream homes.

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