With many people telecommuting these days, an office space has become an essential room in many homes. Not everyone has a big budget to outfit a full scale office and few people can pay to have a professional space planner come into their home to design the most efficient office space. However, there are seven simple of ways to create a quality working space where you live without spending a fortune or breaking down and buying a cubicle.
Define: If you’re lucky enough to have a separate room for your home office, the task just became a whole lot easier. The key to your new home office is to make the best use of whatever space you have, whether it’s a stair landing, a small closet, a spare room, or an unused corner of the living room. For greatest efficiency, find a space that can be dedicated to a home office area without interference from the distractions of daily living.
Plan: While it may be tempting to just keep moving pieces around until the space works, if you take the time to actually measure your space, create a floor plan, measure your furniture, and think it through; the final result will be achieved with less stress and sweat.
Furnish: Use the desk that fits your style and organizational needs. Do you need a lot of drawer space? A filing drawer that locks? Think ahead of all the items you will store in and on your desk, and purchase accordingly. If your desk is too small, it will feel cramped and burdensome, making you yearn for the spaciousness of the common corporate cubicle.
Store: Storage boxes prove useful as a means of hiding paperwork and clutter that can quickly pile up. These boxes can be placed anywhere, which frees up even more space. Make sure to label the outside to prevent wasted time digging through them later trying to find your old TPS reports.
File: The oldest form of organization for any office is still the greatest source of help. By creating folders and files for all important items in your personal and professional life, a filing cabinet allows you to label a folder, file it alphabetically into the cabinet, and poof, it is off your desk and accessible when you need it.
Accessorize: Phones, faxes, pencil sharpeners, staplers, printers, oh my! These items of necessity are the staples to any home office worth its salt. Your desk should only hold items used daily like a phone or reading lamp. All other stock items should take up residence on a matching credenza, display shelf, or even a closet.
Prioritize: There will always be a piece of mail needing attention, a field trip slip to sign, or tickets to a show that you cannot lose. Hang a bulletin or magnetic board on your office wall in order to display these items visibly, this way they will not get lost in a shuffle of paperwork in the Bermuda triangle of your desk.
Now you are ready to work from home, so it is on to the next logical step: Coffee Break!