How to Plan a Homebased Office

The work environment you need to create in your home office will depend on what sort of business you do. All home offices need positive overtones so you feel encouraged to work hard and accomplish what you need to do. If you have a negative work environment with drab colors, poor lighting and awkward storage, you won't want to be there, let alone work in it.

On the other hand, if you love your office space, you'll look forward to working. This can increase your productivity to the extent that your business will become a success much sooner than you expected.

Apart from the positive/negative aspects, each business will require different a environment. If you are a freelance writer or graphic designer running a business from your home office, then you will need an environment that will make your clients feel you know what you are doing. This environment should be sober and solid. If you walked into an accountant's office where heavy metal music was throbbing, or that had children's toys scattered all over the floor, you might not want to trust him with your finances.

But if you went to an office where someone was supposed to design your wedding gown, or flower arrangements, you would not be impressed with heavy, dark furniture and shuttered windows. So the environment you create for your home office will need to be appropriate for your specific business.

If you need to concentrate carefully in your business -- you might even be a computer programmer -- you will want to create an environment that is conducive to concentration. This will mean freedom from interruption and unnecessary noise. If you need to share your office, then screens placed between you both will create privacy and freedom from distraction. Even if the other person is quiet, just seeing him or her sitting there or moving around, is likely to distract you.

You can create the right environment with the use of color, style of furniture, lighting and decoration. Bright colors and contemporary furniture will create an upbeat, funky kind of environment that stimulates the creative thought processes needed by some home businesses. Cool blues and greens with potted plants will provide a calm atmosphere. Neutral tones with dark or heavy wooden furniture will create an atmosphere of trust and dependability. So whatever kind of environment you need, go for it.

Maximizing Space: How to Create a Closet Home Office

It's true; you really can utilize that closet space for a home office. Open wide the doors and get out your measuring tape. Even if you don't have a computer desk yet, you'll be sure to find the measurements of one in that last batch of junk mail catalogues that arrived in your mailbox. Once you have the measurements, go ahead and measure that closet space. See? It won't? What do you need a desk for anyway? Forget the desk; shelving at the right height is all you need.

So what is the first task? Take everything out of the closet. Throw out what you don't need and store the rest elsewhere, even if you need to buy another cupboard and put it out on the back veranda or in the laundry. If you have garments stored in there, you could keep them on a garment rack or store them in a space bag under the bed. We mostly don't need half the stuff we keep, so you'll surely be able to dispose of some. You might even decide to sell it on eBay.

Once the closet is empty, you'll need to take out any shelves or inserts and the rod that goes across the top. Vacuum the dust out and give the closet a fresh coat of paint. Use a light color so your office space won't be too dark.

Re-measure it now to be sure your measurements are exact. Decide what you are going to put in there besides the computer. Will you need a printer, scanner, fax, or photocopier? One thing you will need to put in there is a good light and some power points, so you may need to get an electrician to inspect it.

Wall-mounted shelving will take advantage of the height of your closet and provide needed storage space. Depending on how wide your closet is, you may be able to fit shelves down to the floor on one side. But leave ample leg space when working this out. You don't want to crack your knees on a hard edge every time you move.

Shelf space can be maximized by the use of cartons or boxes to pile things into. If you need to share it with family members, each one should have their own shelf with the tallest person using the top shelf. A closet is ideal for an office because you can simply close the doors when you've finished and the room will look neat and tidy.

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