Category: Set Up Your Home Office

executive-desk
Coaster Fine Furniture 800800 Executive Desk with Computer Storage

One of the first things to come to mind when you think about furnishing your home office is a desk.  A word of advice, take your time choosing one.  It should be functional, aesthetically pleasing, and suited to the space it will occupy.  Prices will vary depending on what you need/want.  But remember, this is a long term investment in your business and it will have a direct effect on your ability to work efficiently.

Let’s go over some of the things you’ll want to consider to make the best decision for you and your office space.

 

Aesthetics –

All though function and price are important, you’ll be spending a good bit of your time at this desk.  Studies show that you will be more efficient working in an environment that you find comfortable in.   Your desk should coordinate with the décor of the room it lives in.

There’s no one right answer for everyone here.  What is the vibe you want your office to put off?  If you have a modern more elegant style, a desk with a tempered glass top would fit in nicely, maybe even with shiny metal finishings.   But if you’re more drawn to a classic sophisticated atmosphere go for a wooden executive style desk.

Will you be meeting with clients in your office?  Just imagine their reaction when they walk in your office and see that rich mahogany desk front and center in the room.  They’ll see you as the successful professional you are (who happens to be fortunate enough to work from the comfort of your own home).

 

Price –

I know there are a lot of expenses involved in setting up your home office space, and furniture can be a whopper.  Just keep in mind that your desk is a long term investment in your business (not to mention deductible).   It is something you won’t have to replace often (if ever) especially if you go with a quality one in the first place.

Whether you decide on a built in unit, an L-shaped desk, or an executive style stand-alone desk, consider the quality of the materials it is made with.   If you choose a sturdy piece of furniture, it will last a very long time.

Oh and don’t be afraid to check out some second hand options.  A good desk can last for many many years. Look into auctions, second hand stores, or classified ads.  You just may find a gem at a very reasonable price.  Lucky you!

 

Function  –

The type of work you will be doing and the tools you need to do it with will be a key consideration when choosing a desk.  Consider these areas when picking out your desk.

Ergonimics –

Like I said earlier, you’ll spend a lot of your time at this desk.  So make sure it’s comfortable to sit at.  You’ll want a quality chair too but that’s a whole other post (coming soon). A good ergonomic desk will keep your joints at right angles. Some desks come with adjustable legs, if yours doesn’t you can get them separate if needed.

 

Desktop space –

Make sure the top of your desk is long enough and deep enough to suit your needs.  I know a lot of people have gone digital with everything and that’s great if that works for you.  I’m not quite there yet, not sure if I ever will be.   I like working with physical documents.  It makes things seem more real to me if that makes any sense.  There’s something about the tactical experience with paper and pencil that tends to keep me more focused and productive.  Anybody else feel this way?  Also, I find that I retain information better when I write them down on paper vs type them on a computer.

 

Cord Management –

Inevitably you will have things on your desk that need plugged in.  Monitor, light, printer, etc.  Cord ports are awesome!  You can just feed the cords through that little whole in your desk and keep them out of your way.

 

If you don’t have cord ports, I saw a little trick that works out great to control the cord monsters.  I ran across a YouTube video that showed several uses for binder clips and one of them was cord management.  You feed the cords through the handles on a binder clip and attach it to the back of your desk.  Boom! Make shift cord port!  I love little tips like this.

Keyboard/Mouse Tray –
You might want a keyboard tray.  Having a space to tuck away the keyboard when it’s not in use is so handy.  Besides, it’s more comfortable to type with the keyboard at a slightly lower level than the desktop.  Make sure it’s big enough to hold the mouse too.

Monitor Mount –
Some desks are designed with a little shelf for the monitor to sit on.  My advice, get an articulating monitor arm or wall mount.  Your monitor doesn’t have to take up precious desktop surface area.  Have dual monitors? Get one that is designed to hold two monitors, yep they make them.

Storage –
If you keep physical files at all you’ll want a drawer for them in or at least near your desk.  I know some people like the sleek look of a tabletop style desk with no drawers and that’s fine if that’s what you prefer.  Just remember that you need a place to keep all of your office supplies.  I like to have my supplies within arm’s reach but out of site when not in use. So a desk with at least a couple drawers would be my first choice.  I love it when everything has a place it belongs, don’t you?

Drawers –
And while we’re talking about drawers, a quality desk will usually have deep drawers mounted on rails that slide in and out on ball bearings. If yours doesn’t, you can rub a little paraffin wax on the bottom of the drawer and in the slot where the drawer goes to make it slide in and out smoother.  Don’t worry, it won’t hurt your wooden desk.

I hope this helps guide you to find the perfect desk for your home office.  Look around a little before picking one out, it will be the hub of your home office and should suit you to a tee.

Have a picture in your mind of the perfect home office desk?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

To Your Continued Success,

Save

5 Things To Consider When Designing Your Home Office

home-office-569359_1920Having a home office area of some sort is a necessity for most of us. Since it’s going to be in your home, it should suit your own style as well as be functional.

You’ll be more inclined to spend time in a space that feels personalized and comfortable. Planning out what you need and what you have to work with before you start will make this process so much easier, not to mention more enjoyable. Let’s get started!

5 things to consider to when designing your home office

  • Who will be using it?
  • What type of work will be done in it?
  • How much time will be spent in it?
  • How much space do you need?
  • What area of your home will it be in?

Who will be using it?

So who is going to be working the most in this home office? A parent with small children? A student? A retiree earning a little extra money from home? Each of these people will have different needs.

  kids-play-1524342

A parent of small children, for example, may only need a place to pay bills and keep track of papers (legal documents, medical records, schedules,). You wouldn’t need a lot of space and you wouldn’t spend a ton of time in it. But you’d probably still want to be in the line of sight of the kiddos. So a small cabinet in the kitchen or a table and file drawer in the living room may work just fine.

If you’re a student, at any age, you’re going to need a place to study and a computer. That could be as simple as a small desk in your room with a cup to keep pens and pencils in.

Or picture a retiree, someone who has their own house, the kids are grown and moved out. So here you are with extra space and some free time on your hands. You could dedicate a whole room to being your home office. Lucky You! I can see a desk, a filing cabinet, a printer shelf, whatever your little heart desires. Paint the walls a color that you like, pick up some coordinating accessories and you’re all set.

What type of work will be done in it?

Think about what you’re going to use it for. Running a full time business from home will likely take more space than just a spot corral the monthly bills would require. Do you need privacy for sensitive information? Do you need a quiet space to make conference calls? What type of work you want to do in your office will determine a lot

How much time will be spent in it?

If you’re just spending an hour or so a week to update the budget and plan the weekend, you probably don’t want to clockdevote a lot of real estate or capital into an “official place” to do that from. In fact, now that cell phones have evolved into mini hand held computers you can usually do those things on the fly from anywhere. Technology, ain’t it great?!

How much space do you need?

A lot of work from home jobs require nothing more than a computer and internet connection. But it really depends on your vocation of choice. As an independent bookkeeper, some clients prefer that I keep their files for them until the end of the year. Each of these needs its own secure space.

Think about the stuff you need in your office. How much equipment do you require? Will you be meeting with clients? Do you need a large filing cabinet? All of these things require square footage.

What area of your home will it be in?

What room you set up your home office in is completely up to you. For privacy or quiet, a corner of the bedroom might work well. Need to be able to keep an eye on the kiddos? Or if you just want a convenient spot to keep papers and pay bills, maybe the kitchen or living room is best. If you’re fortunate enough to have a whole room to dedicate as the office, this is gonna be fun!

.

Once you’ve decided where it’s going to be located, let’s look at how much room you have. Square footage will help narrow down your choices. How much space do you really need?

Now that you have a pretty good idea of what you need, we can move on to actually designing your home office. Have fun with it!

In upcoming articles we’ll go over some of the specifics such as space saving designs or incorporating into your available space without sticking out like a sore thumb.

To Your Success!

Barb,

Set yourself up for success by creating a functional and comfortable place to work.  It can be a small corner in the kitchen or its own room but it needs to be a space dedicated to the purpose of your business activities.