Home Office Considerations

Congratulations, You've Joined The Masses

Well, you've decided to extricate yourself from the wild and woolly life of commuting to an office downtown and from now on, you'll be working from home. Today more and more people are making that choice and many businesses are finding it very worthwhile to have employees who work from home rather than in a company office. It cuts costs and keeps overhead lower. Then, too, there are people who have been downsized or made redundant who are now trying their entrepreneurial hand at something different, so they work from home as well.

There is, as a result, the need to know how to put together an office at home that is functional and organized, fitted with the right equipment and furnishings. We offer some guidelines in this article to help you create your office space at home. We know that most houses are not built with business offices in mind, so there are some things to think about when deciding where and how to put in your own home office.

First Question:  Where Are You Going To Put Your Office?

The most obvious starting point answers the question "where." The place you choose to put your office is really a critical matter and can greatly influence the success of your business. Architects recommend that the minimum space necessary for a well-functioning home office is 10x10, which means the closet is out of the question and that little space along the wall in the kitchen probably won't work either. You will require enough room to have everything you need in your space. That includes a work surface, file storage and phone and computer lines as well. You will be conducting all of your business from this space so make sure it is adequate.

Are You Going To Do This By Yourself?

Will you work on your own or do you need one or two staff? This is a very important question because you will not only need space for yourself (including room for a desk, file cabinet, chair, computer, storage and shelves) but if there is additional staff, they'll need a work surface, chair, computer space and phone as well. If your work includes assembly of any kind, then your space must be big enough to accommodate the necessary surfaces to get the job done. If you will have clients or meetings at your office, then you must allocate enough space for that as well. A separate entrance and bathroom are needed for all of these extra people. Your family will appreciate not having their personal space invaded by your work associates and clients, and you really do want to keep peace in the family.

Building A New House? Here Are Some Things To Think About

If you are currently designing your house and have planned for an office space, determine what kinds of surfaces and storage facilities you will need. Some furnishings can be built into the walls, but if you don't plan on anything that long-term, then modular furniture is a good choice. Remember that the quality of lighting is equally important. Regardless whether you are building the office or already have a space allocated, natural and artificial lighting should be well thought out. Poor lighting causes eyestrain.

Please Remember, This Is Your Family's Home First

Finally, remember that as your business grows, so will your space needs. Allow room for expansion and allow for the family's needs as well. You may find yourself in conflict if you don't have a designated area that is separate from the family living space.