How to Create the Best Home Office
After Hurricane Sandy, a lot of people in the Northeast are finding themselves working from home. With transportation down and many offices still without power, working at home has become not a luxury, but a necessity, for many.
And, that’s not about to change as things get back to normal after the hurricane. In fact, Fortune Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For in 2011" showed 82 percent of companies in the top 100 offered telecommuting options.
The following tips from Ada Vassilovski, of the moving and relocation deal site MyMove.com, outline helpful ways to create an office that ensures your days working at home are comfortable, productive and frustration-free.
Invest in the best basics - Creating a home office doesn't need to break the bank, but you'll want to invest in a few things to make sure it's functional and comfortable. While it's tempting to pick up an office chair at one of the big club stores, put some money into a quality supportive chair instead. Go for one that has an ergonomic design and seat, arm and height adjustments. You also need good work lighting. While you may think the dining room chandelier can cut it, try to use specific task lighting in low lamps to avoid straining your eyesight. And before you purchase a desk, really think about your needs. Sure, those beautiful antique desks look great in magazines, but consider your work style as well as your technology equipment and file storage needs.
Select a suitable location- When deciding where in your home to set up shop, some things to consider are whether you have tasks that require a lot of concentration and quiet. If so, one ofthose cute desk "nooks" positioned in the living room or kitchen won't cut it. There will be too many distractions and noise. If you live in a small city apartment, chances are your office will have to do double duty as a guest bedroom or serve another function. This will change the arrangement of your office as well. And, if you’ll be taking a home-office deduction on your taxes, you will need a separately designed space, ideally with a door to close.
Balance substance with style- Home office design doesn't have to be cold to be functional. You can get great home office ideas from pictures of bedrooms, kitchens or even beautiful beaches. Focus on what a piece of furniture needs to do, such as store paperwork, and look for something pretty that can do the job just as well as a bland filing cabinet.
Choose a mood for the office- Do you enjoy a space where you want energy to get things done, or a relaxing oasis for creating and decompressing? When picking out the elements of your home office design and furniture pieces, think about the mood you would like to create. In general, bold colors are good for active spaces and subtle hues are best for passive spaces.
Stock up on supplies - The work world is divided into two groups: people who are addicted to office supplies and those who don't really care. But, everything needs to be functional if you're working from home to avoid any unnecessary clutter. Popsicle-colored folder labels might be fun for the family's home office, but get the real deal if this is where you make your living. MyMove.com also offers shopping deals from partners like Staples if you want to save a few dollars when stocking up on office provisions for your home.