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How to Set up the Perfect Home Office

Posted in Interior Design over 9 years ago, 0 replies

Though the benefits of working from your home include not having to deal with rigid schedules, commutes and irritating co-workers, we do still have our share of drawbacks. Those of us working from home have our own set of challenges to deal with, including unwanted visitors, family intrusions and carving out your own little niche that lets you separate your home life from your work life.

This is possibly where the biggest challenge comes in. If you’re working from home and have a family, how do you set aside a personal space that help you focus and also set up clear boundaries for family members who often have a difficult time disassociating the work you from the home you.

Everyone is different; your environment and available resources are different. Depending on what you have to work with, and what your preferences are, there are likely quite a few good home office options to get you well on your way to a productive new year.

The Budget Office

If you’re main concern is cost, then chances are you’re also highly business minded and want quick effective steps to get you started on the bigger job at hand. For a budget office, begin with what you have. Look for a sturdy work table, a comfy chair, lighting and a quite nook. If you’re starting your office from scratch, then consider:

Buying used furniture – Many cities have liquidation, overstock.com, or warehouse sales, where the listed price is lower and you have the option of haggling with them for a lower price. You can also use Craigslist’s “free” section to see if anyone is giving away any furniture, requiring you to only go and pick it up.

Buy a refurbished laptop – Look around Craigslist, ask your local electronic dealer for this type of deal, or call up the manufacturer directly asking if they have a special offer for refurbished computers.

Purchase all-in-one – instead of buying a separate scanner, printer, copier, and fax, try purchasing an all-in-one unit. It might be slightly pricier as a whole unit, but you will definitely be saving by not having to buy individual units, nor dealing with the cost of multiple ink cartridges. You’ll also save a little on electricity since you’ll only be using one outlet rather than four different ones.

Budget office ideas are also great for those who have smaller spaces to work with, since they’re looking for quick space-saving economical choices - great for East Coast homes where space is often an issue.

The Kid-Friendly Office

If you’ve got little rug rats running around, then you have a whole different set of concerns when it comes to your home office. Here are some ideas of how you should go about setting up your space:

Be Boring – There’s nothing kids of any age love more than to satisfy their curiosity, and there’s nothing that interests them more than clutter, cuteness and lots of interesting colors and shapes. Keeping your workspace boring helps keeps them disinterested.

Setting up a Mini-Me Station – Kids love to be like you, so setting up a little work desk of their own in the same room as yours will give them a sense of pride and belonging. Plus they’ll be too busy with their own desk to be puttering around yours. This little trick also helps you keep an eye on them while you’re working.

The Shed Office

One of the biggest problems in setting up a home office is a lack of space. If this is your problem, then considering having an outdoor office. An outdoor office is a great alternative that lets you work from home but have a completely separate, private area in which to work out of.

The easiest way to set up an outdoor office is to follow these steps:

Unit – Purchase a outdoor shed from home improvement warehouses such as Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Insulation – Add dry wall and wood flooring to insulate it, this is particularly important if you’re in a colder climate.

Cost – The total costs can run anywhere from two to six thousand, depending on the quality of the shed, the level of insulation, and wiring work. However, even the higher end cost is still far cheaper than building an addition, dealing with zoning/construction permits, or striving to maintain your sanity with a make shift in-house office.

Alternative to the outdoor office include setting up a garage office. If you do opt for this choice or even if you’re in a shed, then you should likely think about the ozone air quality of your work area.

How to Set up the Perfect Home Office is written by freelance writer Shireen Qudosi. Follow her on Twitter @ShireenQ or email her at shireen.qudosi@hotmail.com
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