DIY Network

Arranging a Home Office

A home office should be an environment that is happy and comfortable.

More in Decorating

home office should be happy and comfortable

The location of your desk and other office furnishings within the office space can have a direct impact on the manner and efficiency with which you work. With the advancements of technology and communication facilitated by computers and the Internet, many corporations are encouraging their associates to work from home.

Don't pick the dullest or most isolated room in the house when selecting an office location. Keep in mind how much time you'll be spending there, and make your decisions based on three main factors:

Family considerations: Consider how the placement of the office will affect family members in the house, taking into account the hours you're likely to be using the office and whether you are likely to need to meet with clients in the home office.

Equipment needs: Plan for enough space to facilitate your equipment needs such as work-surface, computer, copier, phone, fax, etc. Don't forget to ensure that the number and placement of electrical and phone outlets is sufficient.

Comfort: Utilize an area that is comfortable and pleasant to be in. Consider whether the space is one in which you'll be willing to spend time nearly every day.

Once the furniture has been purchased and delivered, try out several configurations of furniture-placement within the room to determine which arrangement will be most functional. Aesthetics should be a concern also, but follow the adage "form follows function." Remember that this is a working environment. Efficiency in usage should take precedence over appearance; decorative aspects can then be adapted to work within the confines of the most useful arrangement. Consider how the different components within the room will work together in typical use.

In the office space in our demonstration, the U-shape configuration (a variation on the L-shape) features two secondary work-surfaces at right angles to the main surface. The L-shape and U-shape are particularly useful when standard paper-and-pen deskwork is to be combined with use of a personal computer. These ergonomic configurations are designed to prevent the user from needing to frequently get up and walk about the room to put things away, retrieve things, use various pieces of equipment, etc. Having to do so is a time-waster and an opportunity for distraction. The objective behind a functional arrangement is to have the most essential items -- such as in/out baskets, computer, printer, phone and fax machine -- within arm's reach once the office is fully furnished.

Advertisement