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Home Is Where The Office Is


Posted on June 16th, by amanda@amandahart.net in Home Office, Organization, Remodeling, Renovation. Comments Off on Home Is Where The Office Is

More than 33 million Americans are now working from home — an increase of over 17% since 2006 — according to the global HR association WorldatWork. And the smartest ones have spent some time and attention to designing their home office.

 

The kitchen table may be convenient, but it’s usually not the most productive space — too casual, and not effectively separated from the home environment. To do serious work from home, you need to think first about the work you do, the equipment it takes, and the space you’ll require.

 

For starting the process, I like using the five-step approach of designer Neal Zimmerman in his Home Workspace Idea Book. He recommends that you:

  • Determine your needs.

What office equipment: computers, printers, copiers, faxes? How much filing space? Will you need meeting space separate from your desk? Will you have other employees? What about space for specialized projects — for example, I need a drafting station to work on drawings and plans.

 

  • Choose a location.

Consider whether the space will have to shared with other family members: that den or spare bedroom that may be fine most of the day can suddenly require negotiation when the kids come home from school and want to play video games. Not every home lends itself to new drywall and studs.

 

  • Develop a plan.

Think about the practicality of what you want. Do you have adequate space? Can you provide adequate power? Is there enough storage for the future? Make certain everything is going to fit, and that your budget can afford it all.

 

  • Create a healthy environment.

Just as employers are responsible for maintaining safe and comfortable work spaces, so too should you take extra care to take care of yourself. Make choices that can help prevent eyestrain or back injuries — and don’t skimp on quality. You probably do need an ergonomic desk chair (I have one.)

 

  • Define a place for who you are.

Working at home gives you the power to create and environment you can enjoy every day. Make decisions for your wall colors, your furniture, your storage that reflect your individuality and make you happy.

When I design a home office space, I ask our clients multiple questions in order to maximize the output of the hours spent working there. Some of the things we’ll discuss include:

 

  • Will an L-shaped or U-shaped layout be best for the tasks at hand?
  • What desk chair is best for ease of adjustment and all-day support? Most home-based professionals spend more time in their chairs than they do in their beds.
  • What furniture position will maximize the hours of natural light, and what illumination sources will be best at reducing glare?
  • How “paperless” will the office be, and how much storage for files, reference books and work-in-progress will still be needed?
  • Who else will use the space? Will there be visitors? The family pets?

 

As your business grows and changes, your home office needs will likely evolve too. Don’t be hesitant to experiment — often one simple change in your office layout can really boost your productivity. With a little planning, you can create a home office that supports your entrepreneurial spirit and enriches your living environment.

 

Remember I’m always eager to hear your comments. Contact me at Michael@michaelmenn.com or at 847.770.6303.

 

Best,

Michael Menn

 

 

 





Comments are closed.

Home Is Where The Office Is


Posted on June 16th, by Michael in Home Office, Organization, Remodeling, Renovation. Comments Off on Home Is Where The Office Is

More than 33 million Americans are now working from home — an increase of over 17% since 2006 — according to the global HR association WorldatWork. And the smartest ones have spent some time and attention to designing their home office.

 

The kitchen table may be convenient, but it’s usually not the most productive space — too casual, and not effectively separated from the home environment. To do serious work from home, you need to think first about the work you do, the equipment it takes, and the space you’ll require.

 

For starting the process, I like using the five-step approach of designer Neal Zimmerman in his Home Workspace Idea Book. He recommends that you:

  • Determine your needs.

What office equipment: computers, printers, copiers, faxes? How much filing space? Will you need meeting space separate from your desk? Will you have other employees? What about space for specialized projects — for example, I need a drafting station to work on drawings and plans.

 

  • Choose a location.

Consider whether the space will have to shared with other family members: that den or spare bedroom that may be fine most of the day can suddenly require negotiation when the kids come home from school and want to play video games. Not every home lends itself to new drywall and studs.

 

  • Develop a plan.

Think about the practicality of what you want. Do you have adequate space? Can you provide adequate power? Is there enough storage for the future? Make certain everything is going to fit, and that your budget can afford it all.

 

  • Create a healthy environment.

Just as employers are responsible for maintaining safe and comfortable work spaces, so too should you take extra care to take care of yourself. Make choices that can help prevent eyestrain or back injuries — and don’t skimp on quality. You probably do need an ergonomic desk chair (I have one.)

 

  • Define a place for who you are.

Working at home gives you the power to create and environment you can enjoy every day. Make decisions for your wall colors, your furniture, your storage that reflect your individuality and make you happy.

When I design a home office space, I ask our clients multiple questions in order to maximize the output of the hours spent working there. Some of the things we’ll discuss include:

 

  • Will an L-shaped or U-shaped layout be best for the tasks at hand?
  • What desk chair is best for ease of adjustment and all-day support? Most home-based professionals spend more time in their chairs than they do in their beds.
  • What furniture position will maximize the hours of natural light, and what illumination sources will be best at reducing glare?
  • How “paperless” will the office be, and how much storage for files, reference books and work-in-progress will still be needed?
  • Who else will use the space? Will there be visitors? The family pets?

 

As your business grows and changes, your home office needs will likely evolve too. Don’t be hesitant to experiment — often one simple change in your office layout can really boost your productivity. With a little planning, you can create a home office that supports your entrepreneurial spirit and enriches your living environment.

 

Remember I’m always eager to hear your comments. Contact me at Michael@michaelmenn.com or at 847.770.6303.

 

Best,

Michael Menn

 

 

 





Comments are closed.