Today when most of us have one or more computers at home it is even more important to invest in a good home office solution.
All of us are fighting clutter, cables and loads of papers at home. We all have a lot of incoming mail and bills to deal with. If you are or are planning to work fully or partly from home this is an even bigger battle. To be able to create good conditions and enjoy your work it is necessary to act.
Here are some short tips how to get started.
Prepare Your Solotion
Consider your total needs and put it on paper. Define both your own and your entire family’s needs. Do not forget all different types of storage, for everything from paperclips to old bills. Try to find a space where you can work without being disturbed.
The best solution is of course to allocate an entire room, but if you have limited space, a corner or a part of a bigger room can be used very efficiently. A part of the bedroom, integrated in a book case in the living room, in the kitchen or even under the stair-case. Select the space that you need or can spare.
Measure the space and make a scale drawing on paper. Draw simple scale furnishings that you can play around with to find the most optimal solution. Using wheels makes your solution even more flexible. Make sure that you have enough power outlets and phone jacks at the right spots.
Plan Your Space
If you have to integrate your home office in another room, remember that a corner working station is the best use of space. Furniture on wheels is good if you can store away the working station out of sight. If your space is limited you can also try to integrate the working station with a table top in a book case or in a wardrobe. Here are some other tips if you have space for a dedicated home office but if you aren’t sure how to use it;
Corridor set up
- Good if you have a narrow and deep office. Desk placed with a parallel corridor created with a buffet or a chest of drawers within reach from the desk chair.
- Good if you have a really narrow office, e.g. in a hallway. Single row of Desk and/or a computer table along the wall.
Parallel set up
- Good as part of a room or if you have a narrow office.Desk placed parallel with a computer table. This is quite a open solution that can be placed in quite a small space. One of the work surfaces can be placed towards a wall to improve concentration.
- Good if you have a small and square office, but this set-up works great in many different situations. Desk with a side table or computer table in a right angle works well in rooms that are square. L-shape is really efficient if you work a lot on the computer.
- This set-up works best if you have a bigger office. Desk with a side table and a computer table on each side forming an U. Works really well since all functions then can be in arms reach.
Plan for Efficent Work
When you are planning your home office it is important to plan the space for efficiency. Divide your space into three types of areas;
1. Close at hand
- The stuff on your desk and in your drawers. Such as the computer, the phone, the letter tray and last but not least the waste paper basket. Make sure you have enough free space on your desk. Letter trays are very efficient!
2. Within reach
- Printer and fax machines. And of course those extremely useful storage solutions that you will use often, like shelves, chest of drawers on wheels and cupboards.
3. Within stretch
- Storage solutions aimed for archive purposes and stuff that you do not need on a regular basis. Like book cases, drawers and cupboards. Use available wall space for space saving shelves etc.
Include these three areas in your drawing and make sure that you have furnishings that meet your needs. Give extra attention to the space for your equipment: Computer, printer, scanner and fax machine.