Interior Design for the Home Office – Part 1 of a 4-Part Series

The home office is a topic that can easily start a heated discussion among almost any group of people. Opinions aside for now, home-based businesses have grown tremendously in number over the last decade, and with some careful planning there is no reason why a home office cannot be productive and successful find out more.

Home offices and home-based businesses have unjustly faced a bad reputation in the past. Mental images of some one working in their pyjamas with dirty laundry and dishes piled high around them are gratefully fading from people’s minds and being replaced with a more professional image.

Just like an ordinary office, your home office has to work for you and your clients. And the first step (which also happens to be the most important) is location.

Usually when this is said people’s reactions are, “But I have no other space!” A little creativity, and possibly some rearranging, can likely prove you wrong. Let’s face it: if there is one unused space in your home, it is probably the least practical space in your home.

The most important factors in choosing the location within your home for your office are:

> Will clients (or other business contacts) be invited to your office?

> Is there a high activity lever in your home? Children bustling about or frequent houseguests from out of town?

> Is the space/room you are considering a suitable size to meet the needs of your office without being too small or too large?

A few further points to consider:

> Your office must have a window.

> If the washroom is down a hall and up a flight of stairs, the location is no good.

> At times you will want to be able to close your office. Either you will be entertaining or just not wanting to think about work or your office for a while. Make sure you somehow have this opportunity, whether it be walls and a door; a curtain, screen, or partition; an accordion-style room divider…

> Don’t rule out a room because it currently lacks something you will need. Telephone jacks and Internet cables can be put in, as can better lighting, electrical outlets, etc…

> Your office does not have to occupy an entire room.

If you have children, no matter their ages, do not even think about locating your office in a nook off the playroom or in a relatively open space somewhere between the living room and kitchen. Even young children can quickly be taught to knock before entering your office, and to only enter with your permission. Distractions are the most common complaint of home-office workers, so pay extra attention to make them less likely, and less time-consuming.

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