Lots of people would like the option of working from home and more of us are doing so than ever before. Technology and a more mobile work force have made offices in the home a mainstream idea, even in the corporate world. A stubbornly sluggish economy has driven many people out of traditional full time jobs into various part time and home based businesses. Some of us thrive in the familiar, comfortable environment of a home office and one of the keys to success is having a well-designed work space.
What some people don’t understand are the significant differences between a home and work environment, and how these differences affect behavior.
You may think that your home is the perfect place to be your most productive self. After all, it’s your space and you feel more comfortable there, so you can be more creative and productive, right? Well, not necessarily. Those who are experienced in home-based businesses or employment understand the productivity pitfalls. Even if you live alone, the multitudinous distractions of your home’s upkeep needs, entertainment opportunities and leisure temptations will beckon you louder that you may think. Therefore, creating a dedicated workspace buffered from the home’s distractions and temptations will make working from home a better career experience. Your boss and clients will appreciate it!
Planning the “Commute”
The first step is exploring the layout of your home to determine where you will get your work done. Beginning mentally, you need to cordon off the office as a special area that you go to for business. It’s very important that you keep your office separate from the main living areas so a spare bedroom, basement room or perhaps a loft would be a good choice. Sometimes, a segregated corner of a larger room will work. If you have young children, they need to respect mommy or daddy’s work place and not be allowed in without permission. When the door is closed, that means “do not disturb” unless it’s something very important.
Will you have meetings with clients or other associates at home? Think this through carefully, including parking spaces, ease of entrance & exit as well as work space for additional bodies. Remember, this is about maintaining professionalism and the proper visitor experience will be important to your business.
After you choose the right space for your office, make it a place of professional inspiration. Furniture, computers, office machines, tools, studio supplies, etc. all have to fit and function well. Pay very close attention to ergonomics, spatial orientation, colors and lighting. Consider how much you use your printer or other devices. Are all your supplies arranged for easy access and proper storage?
Because you will spend many hours every week in it, the feng shui of your office will have an impact on your productivity, mood and possibly even your health. Design your work environment according to best use of space, shapes, colors and lights.
Designer Jo Heinz, interviewed in Entrepreneur Magazine, sums up nicely what every professional needs to know about home office design. “Your office should be a connection to yourself, your spirit and your productivity. It should afford focus rather than distraction and be a place you want to be and want to spend time in. That will positively influence you in the space and enhance the work you do there.”
3W design offers complete remodeling services including home and commercial office space designs. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at (603) 226-3399.