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Home offices – what are your must haves?

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Must Haves When Designing Your Home Office
If you’re starting your own business, a home office is indispensable. You use your office to do everything from sending emails to keeping track of finances. You deserve more than a metal desk and extra chair stuffed into a spare corner. Why? An office that reflects the design and comfort of the rest of your home is a place you’ll want to be in, even on those long days. You can create a cozy, attractive office in your home even if you’re on a tight budget. The key is to start with necessities and shop for bargains whenever you can. Don’t forget about your local BST sites when your shopping for office furniture and even display/organization pieces.

Location, location, location. You’ll likely spend many hours in your home office, so don’t stiff yourself on space (e.g. squishing a tiny desk into a windowless closet to preserve the rarely-used guest room). Also consider traffic flow and your ability to withstand distractions. Do you work best in the thick of activity, or should your office be tucked away in a quiet space? If clients will be stopping by, a private space with ample seating is a must.

Your office should never look or feel like a dungeon. Even if it’s located in the darkest corner of your basement, it’s important to create a home office design you want to work in. This could mean adding floor lamps, painting the walls white, or adding a cozy rug. Do whatever you can to make the space bright, welcoming, and uniquely yours. If you don’t feel comfortable in your office, you’ll have a hard time engaging in your work.

Don’t sacrifice form for function. Consider your workflow and what items you need at your fingertips before investing in furniture, and then look for pieces that are both beautiful and functional. Home office furniture should complement other rooms in your house instead of screaming “soulless cubicle.” If your home has traditional décor, warm wood and soft, comfy chairs or a loveseat are ideal if you have the space. A contemporary home office can feature artistic pieces or modern metal furniture.

Invest in a great chair. When it comes to your office chair, saving money shouldn’t be your main priority. A good chair is ergonomically sound and can save your back after hours of sitting at your computer. Did you know many back problems stem from poor posture at the computer? A comfortable seat can minimize your aches and pains so your desk job doesn’t negatively affect your quality of life. The more comfortable you feel while working, the more efficient you can be.

Paint the walls a color you love. Forget “office beige” you need a color that gets your work motor humming. For some people, that’s a bright, cheery color like orange or lime green. Others need a calming shade like botanical green or sea foam blue to perform…don’t be afraid to pick a color that makes you happy, even if it doesn’t vibe with the rest of your home décor.

Give yourself a view. It’s no secret that working from home can be boring and mundane. Spice up your working hours by giving yourself a view (if possible). Instead of facing the wall with the sun at your back, consider moving your desk so it’s facing a window. The natural light will invigorate you and the view will give you inspiration (assuming your window doesn’t face a boring brick wall) but if you’re in a windowless space, hang a pretty picture above the desk, or position your chair to face the door.

Choose accessories & décor that inspires you. Unless you’re going for a contemporary look, choose extras that enhance the comfy feeling of your home office, like a pretty mug for a pencil holder, trendy notepads and sticky notes, and a decorative waste basket. Wrap your bulletin board in a pretty fabric, and hide utilitarian bookshelves behind curtains made from the same material. Hang inspirational prints on the walls, whatever it takes to make the office more inviting for YOU.

What inspires you? Figure out what people, places, or things give you motivation, then incorporate them into your home office design. There is no “right” way to turn your office into a hub of inspiration. Let your creative juices flow until you come up with ways to transform your space into a cocoon of creativity. The next time you lose your ambition or feel like napping instead of focusing on your work, gaze at your inspirational mementos. Before long you’ll regain your focus and feel rejuvenated.

Organize vertically and horizontally & make sure you keep things clutter free. Many home offices aren’t huge, so using space efficiently is imperative. Hang floating shelves on the walls to get clutter off the desk, and use vertical file folders on the desk to keep important papers within arm’s reach. Are you a stacker or a filer? If you tend to make piles, get a nice basket to tame your mail, notes and papers. If you prefer a clean desktop, designate one drawer for your “to-do” papers. Wooden or metal cube storage is a fun alternative to bookshelves, since each space can be used for books, knickknacks or baskets of odds and ends.

Nothing kills motivation quicker than a desk piled high with clutter. Don’t let your office become a catch-all for random items and papers. Before you dive into your work, spend the first few minutes of each day tidying up. Better yet, declutter your desk at the end of each work day so your office is clean and fresh when you return to it in the morning. If you can’t seem to keep your stuff organized, invest in a filing cabinet and some folders. Sort papers by type and urgency, then file them away so they’re out of sight. Address your urgent items each day to make sure you don’t fall behind, but create a longer-term plan for things that aren’t as important.
You want your office to be attractive, but you need it to be efficient. From the placement of your chair to the location of your files, put things where they can serve you best. Place items you use often within arm’s reach. Anything you don’t use often can find a home around the perimeter of your office. Optimal workflow will not only save you time but keep you on task as well.

Master your technology. Sometimes this is the most frustrating part of making your office feel relaxing. Cords are so frustrating and you need them….unfortunately. You can start by making sure your equipment is close to outlets and easy to access if you need to unplug. Feed the cords into a desk grommet, a plastic or metal cap that helps guide cords through a hole in the desk and hides them underneath. Tame the cord jungle on the floor with cord winders, tubing, or a wire organizer that’s attached to the desk and lifts the cords off the floor.

Let there be light. Here’s a bright idea: make sure your office has plenty of light to cut down on eye strain and headaches. Position the computer monitor so there’s no glare from a window or overhead light, and put a small lamp on the desk for task lighting.

If you are starting from scratch, meaning you are having a room built inside of your home, you might want to consult an expert otherwise just keep tweaking your office until it flows the way that works best for you.

Press release brought to you by Manies Construction.

#homeoffice #smallbusiness #bosslife #entrepreneur

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