It's a growing trend. Thousands of Canadians are choosing to work from home. Many cite the increased flexibility that a home office provides and the time saved in long commutes as reasons. However, a truly productive requires more than a phone, fax and computer. So, whether you're contemplating making the move or just want a handy place to work in your house, it's time to create a comfortable office space that's right for you.
Choosing a location
Ideally, a room devoted entirely to housing a home office is the best option. A guest room or underused bedroom can serve a dual purpose. If you have tight quarters, a closet, corner nook or stairwell landing can also work well as office space, provided it's thoughtfully designed.
Designing a layout
Calling in a professional to help you design your space is a good idea. If that isn't an option for you, then do your homework. In order to create an efficient floor plan, you'll need to consider all the equipment you'll be using. Most people require two different work stations: one for administrative duties, such as billing, faxing, phone calls and computer work; and another that is project related, such as a meeting, drafting or sewing table.
When choosing home-office furniture, look beyond furniture designed specifically for offices. For example, entertainment units or armoires adapt well to home-office use – their doors can be shut at the end of the day to hide clutter. Standard kitchen cabinetry can also be called to duty with great flexibility. The following is a list of basic items to consider.
Desk: The work surface should be at least 20 inches deep with about 18 inches on both sides of the computer.
Chair: For a perfect fit, look for an ergonomically designed office chair with an adjustable seat, armrest and back, as well as tilt tension. A traditional-style chair should have a seat height between 16 inches and 20 inches.
Filing cabinet: A vertical file cabinet approximately 30 inches deep offers ample storage.
Bookcase or shelving: Look for deep, sturdy shelves for convenient at-a-glance storage.
Because you're trying to artfully blend home and work, organization is key. A well-organized workstation will make both your life and job easier. First, analyse your technological needs. Prioritize equipment purchases, such as a computer, printer, fax machine, photocopier and software, according to what you need most.