YOUR HOME OFFICE
If You Want An Office In Your Home, Here's How To Set It Up
When setting up your home office, your first concern will be location. If you have a spare bedroom or other unused area in your home, you've probably already decided to use this area. Perhaps you are considering adding on to your home to accomodate your office, or doing a little remodeling to add work space. Wherever you decide to put your office, it should be away from the noise and distractions of your family life. While you are considering where to locate your home office, remember to include plans for lighting, electrical wiring and outlets, phone lines, and ventilation. You'll want at least two phone lines in your office, and your lighting should be as natural as possible, and adequate for your work.
Check These Sources For More Information
- entrepreneur.com has information on setting up your home office, as well as businesses you can get into if you haven't decided on a business yet.
- Better Homes and Gardens.com has many online articles to help you with decorating and furnishing your home office.
- Office Depot has almost everything you need for your home office, from furniture to office supplies.
- Staples is another office supply store, you can order online and have your office supplies shipped directly to you.
Office Furniture and Equipment
Once you know where your office is going to be located, it's time to think about the furniture and equipment you'll need. Undoubtedly you'll need a desk and comfortable chair, since you'll probably be spending a lot of time here. There are many styles and sizes of desks, evaluate your needs before buying one, so you'll have the one that works best for you. Test out chairs before you buy one, for comfort and for ease in working at your desk. You may need an additional chair or two if you expect clients to visit your office. Undoubtedly you'll need a filing cabinet as well. These are the basics for office furniture, you may find other things you need or would like to have. And don't forget the personal touches. This is your office, you have total control, and decorate and add the extras to your heart's content.
Along with the furniture, there will probably be equipment needs as well. Certainly a telephone, computer, fax machine and a printer and copier. It's recommended that you have at minimum, a second phone line which is strictly for your business, apart from your home phone. There are some pretty sophisicated telephones too, so have fun shopping. When it comes to a computer, you can get a pretty powerful system for right around $1,000. For your copying and faxing needs, you'll find many makes of multi-function machines that will handle your faxing, copying and printing needs. Most models run from $250 to $500.
Organizing Your Office
If you're just starting out in your new home office, perhaps you haven't had time to clutter it up yet. Now's a good time to put your office in order. You have hopefully purchased a filing cabinet. Set up the folders within the cabinet, and plan to keep up to date with your filing. If you pile things on your desk, you'll waste time looking through the piles. Instead, get in the habit of filing the papers right away. You'll undoubtedly find things easier if you get in the habit from the beginning to use your filing cabinet. Take the time to organize now, before you get too busy and use that ages old "I don't have time" excuse. Better to take the time now, than later on when your business is more successful and you are busier. If there are files and papers you will be working with frequently, don't pile them on your desk, but use a desktop file or magazine holders to to contain them.
Begin the Adventure
Planning and organizing your home office space is probably just the beginning of a new adventure. If it's in conjunction with a new business, we wish you well on your journey. Take to heart the suggestions we've made, check out the online links above, and enjoy the ride!