Important interior design considerations for organizing a home office.
The ideal home office should be both comfortable and effective; a place where you can focus on the work at hand and be your creative best. To these ends, there are several elements to be considered: furnishings, technological equipment, supplies, and organization.
The first priority in setting up your home office is adequate work space in the form of a flat, level surface at a comfortable height for you. Depending on the kind of work you do, this might be accomplished using a desk with a few drawers, a table or countertop with shelves and storage space underneath, or an adjustable drafting table.
You must also invest in a comfortable chair or stool, again one that’s best suited for the type of work being completed. The more time you spend seated while working, the more important it is to have an ergonomic, adjustable chair. You will also need several file drawers or file boxes and minimal shelf space in your office to file necessary documentation and to keep manuals, resources, and supplies organized.
Next, consider necessary technology for your job. A computer, printer, and phone are generally basic necessities. In some cases a fax machine and a copier are also needed. There are many multi-task machines that will print, copy and fax all with one unit. Often this is the most cost-effective space-saver to consider. An added bonus is that this compact machine will fit in a closet or cupboard, keeping your fax communication confidential and leaving more room in your office for other necessities or additional workspace. When considering technology, be sensitive to the growing needs of your business and purchase equipment that can expand with you, but keep unnecessary gadgets to a minimum. Clutter is a distraction and extra time spent learning new software that you don’t need is time taken away from your business goals.
The list of supplies that you will need to set up your office, again, will vary according to your job. Some basic items include notepads, pens, pencils, paper for the printer and fax machine, and ink cartridges for all equipment. One way to complete your list for maximum effectiveness is to visit an established corporate office, your own or someone else’s, that is in the same industry, and take note of all of the supplies in use there. I would not recommend aimless browsing in your local office super-store as it is far too easy to fill your basket with items that look and sound great, but which you will never use. As you work in your office every day, you will develop a feel for items that should be added to your basic supply list and the quantities that you should buy.
The last element to consider when setting up your home office is organization. Remove everything from the space that is not useful in your business. Office space does not need to be shared with the kids’ laundry hamper, the cat box, family camping equipment or other household items. Think about what you do, how you do it, and what you need to get it done. Set up your office space accordingly. For instance, if you access many hard-copy files while you’re entering data on the computer, keep the file cabinet in close proximity to the computer. Similarly, fabric swatches that are referenced when drafting new designs should be stored in, over, or under the work space instead of across the room or in a closet. Keep all items necessary to the completion of a project together for the most efficient use of your time and space.
Careful consideration of the furnishings, technological equipment, supplies, and organization of your work space will ensure that you have a great home office.