10 Tips for Creating a Home Office That Works for You

More and more people are telecommuting, as the benefits of remote work are being seen by companies and employees alike. If your home is where your office is, you need to create an environment that will be productive, inspiring, and comfortable. The perfect home office marries together design ideas carried through rest of the home with those from the corporate workplace to create the ultimate work environment—a place you enjoy being and where you can get things done.

When planning and designing your home office, focus on the few key design concepts that make any space work: functionality, environment, and aesthetics. In the functional category are your work spaces and storage. Decisions you make about desks, chairs, and filing systems will depend on your personal work needs. Most importantly, they should be sufficient and comfortable. Make sure your desk is big enough to accommodate the tasks you need to accomplish and that your chair is properly adjusted for optimal ergonomics. And as clutter is productivity’s enemy, choose storage solutions that will keep your tools and papers both tucked and away and tidy for you.

Environmental factors are things like light, sound, heating, and cooling. For best concentration, make sure you set up shop in a quiet space with sufficient lighting, especially if you work in the darker hours of the evening. A window that provides natural light during the day will help you stay alert and productive. Going back to the important idea of comfort, ensure that your home office has adequate ventilation for both you and your equipment and that the temperature can be controlled for your preferences. Finally, while aesthetics may seem like a luxury or final touch, know that the right colors and decor can help to inspire new ideas and keep you motivated on the job. Pull in rugs and artwork that make you happy and energized, and you’ll look forward to going to work in the morning.

Making the right decisions about your home office design can make the difference between working hard... and hardly working. So, check through these ideas home office expert Lisa Kanarek has to offer, and transform your home office into the perfect working oasis.

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  1. Expert Tips

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    On her popular blog WorkingNaked.com, author and home office expert Lisa Kanarek shares advice on all aspects of working from home. Click through to read her top tips on designing the perfect home office space, one that not only meets your specific needs, but also inspires your work.

    Foley Fiore Architecture

  2. Planning

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    Even if you already have a home office, consider whether there may be a better place for it. Two important questions to ask are: Will you actually work in this space? (Steer clear of bedrooms which our minds associate with rest.) And will there be few distractions? (Laundry hampers, kitchen sinks, and anything else that might compete for your attention should be out of sight.)

    sfgirlbybay.com

  3. Electricity

    Power-strip

    Assess your electrical needs. Are there enough electrical outlets? Is it possible to run a phone line and/or internet connection into the room? Of course, if you rely on a cell phone and already have wireless internet, no room is off limits!

    aarp.org

  4. Comfort

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    Choose a place that is comfortable year-round. A sunroom might be lovely in the spring and summer, but having to pack everything up and move inside when the seasons change will not be efficient.

    musebuilding.com

  5. Make Room for Essentials

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    Be sure you have room for everything that is essential to the work that you do. If your work area is small, take advantage of vertical space by installing shelves above your desk or putting tall bookcases adjacent. Opt for furniture that can serve double duty (e.g., an ottoman that opens for extra storage). An all-in-one machine—with printer, copier, scanner, fax—can also be a great space-saver.

    Zillow Digs home in New York, NY

  6. Lighting

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    By no means is a window a must, but a nice view and some natural light can help you work better. For overcast days and work in the evening, a bright desk lamp is essential.

    amoroso-design.com

  7. Colors

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    Surround yourself with colors that inspire and motivate you. Pressed for ideas? Identify a favorite hue from a rug, throw pillow, or piece of art, match that shade to a paint color, and put it up on your walls.

    ikeafamilylive.com

  8. Clear the Clutter

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    Limit what you keep on your desk to the items you use most often. Decorative or sentimental objects are fine in a home office, but it's usually best to place them on a shelf that's out of the way.

    japanesetrash.com

  9. Support

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    Never underestimate the importance of a good chair: Proper seating can mean the difference between productive work and an unproductive trip to your chiropractor! Ergonomic design doesn't have to be expensive; shop around for a quality chair that suits your budget.

    lifehacker.com

  10. Backup

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    Invest in an external hard drive or some other effective means of backing up your data. You can always replace hardware, but not data.

    wisegeek.com

  11. All You

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    Make sure the home office space is your own. For instance, the computer used here should be for your personal use only. If the kids download a game with a virus, you could be out of business for several days.

    convoy.tumb lr.com

  12. For More...

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