Making Your Home Office Workable.
The idea of working from home is rapidly gaining popularity among many people who are finding the daily trudge to and from the office harder and harder to bear. For those who have decided to set up an office in their home as a permanent place of work, whether located in an attic, a bedroom or a garden shed, careful planning is important.
It’s not enough to just place a desk and chair in a room and call it an office. This is where you will spend the majority of the working day; therefore, the provision of comfort should be very high on your list of priorities. The following advice on setting up an office at home contains some fairly obvious suggestions and is not in any order of importance, but surprisingly many people fail to think about them and end up working in very uncomfortable surroundings.
• Take time to plan the office layout so that there is sufficient room to move about, ensure that you do not crowd the floor space with too much furniture or superfluous equipment such as extra chairs that may never be used, or a drinks cabinet for example. Try to stick to this simple rule – if you don’t need it – don’t have it in the office.
• If possible, position your desk close to a source of natural light such as patio doors, windows or under skylights. Daylight is more conducive to a pleasant working environment than harsh artificial light. However, a good desk lamp is an asset when working at night. Standard overhead lighting is not generally sufficient for long spells of reading or close work and may cause some strain on the eyes.
• Try to ensure that you have plenty of file and paper storage facilities. Quite often people do not think of this until their office is set up, after which they find there is no room to put a filing cabinet; most of the paperwork then lands up on the desk or the floor, neither of which is acceptable nor professional.
• Invest in a good-quality office chair. Posture is extremely important when an occupation dictates that the majority of the time is spent sitting down. Whilst buying a proper office chair may appear to be an unnecessary expense, it could cost considerably more in time off work as a result of back trouble.
• Avoid installing kitchen appliances in the office. Quite often people add ‘convenience’ items to their home office such as coffee makers, toasters or even microwaves. They are not convenient; they are space-consuming distractions that sooner or later you will have to remove should you find yourself requiring extra room.
The key to having a user-friendly office is forward planning. Take the time and make the effort as you do when deciding how you want to furnish the other rooms in your home. The tips given are by no means exhaustive but should provide a practical starting point for anyone setting up an office at home for the first time.
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About the Author: John Sheridan is a professional proofreader of hard copy items and website copy. He also writes web copy and occasionally accepts small copy-editing assignments. He can be contacted via: www.textcorrect.co.uk