Feel at home in your office

Feel at home in your office

First, plan your space. Do you have an extra room? If not, you could carve out some space in the living, dining room or convert the patio into an enclosed space. Then, there are other options such as basement area, garage, attic, corridor or an under-the-stairs area.

Much depends on the nature of your work. Regular client visits necessitate a business-like ambience, free of household clutter. The way to your office shouldn’t wind through dark corridors or pre-eminently domestic domains. Spend on some attractive furniture — elegant chairs, an immaculate meeting-table, a coffee-table, to give an edge to your business.

For those confronted with severe space-scarcity, a fold-away desk with a laptop fortified with wireless internet connection is the only feasible option. Incidentally, laptops aren’t recommended as primary computers in the home-office.

A docking station allowing ergonomic design implementation remains the best alternative. Save space in other ways, by placing the desk in the room’s corner, hanging shelves for paper, stationery or books, positioning two-drawer file cabinets for counter-space for devices and using a paper-shredder to minimise unnecessary bills, letters or papers.  

Choosing the location also depends upon the number of gadgets in your home-office. The computer, desk and telephone are rudimentary. Instead of a separate fax machine, utilise fax software to let your computer handle this task too.

Add a copier and printer only if it’s uneconomical to get these jobs done outside. They’ll need stands. Today, teaming multifunction inkjet printers that print, scan, fax and copy with a versatile computer is considered the greatest space-saving option.  

A second telephone line where your internet connection operates via the phone-line and an answering machine are able assistants. A headset or speakerphone helps hands-free operation. Consider a cosy day-bed or sofa-bed for refreshing naps. If the room’s too sunny, draw a pale curtain/Venetian blinds.  

Bind together all the cables under the desk for ample legroom. Choose a chair supporting your upper and lower back properly. Use inflatable cushions, rolled-towels, little-pillows to arrive at the most comfortable and ergonomic position.

Plan your devices according to your budget. Prepare to-scale cut-outs of these and move them along a graph paper to determine the optimum locations. Observe design ideas – magazines, websites and TV shows are full of them. Incorporate Fengshui principles or play soothing music to beat stress. Display artwork, family photographs etc to dispel monotony.  

Clean, paint, wallpaper and fix lights before bringing in the devices. Install all the electrical, phone and cable outlets, cabinets, shelves and partitions. Bring in larger furniture pieces first. Connect everything only after you’re satisfied with the feel of the place. Check if you can introduce some omitted design ideas. Only practical use will yield ideas for future improvement.  

For an environment-friendly office, minimise printouts, composing and editing on the computer and use both sides of paper. Fix fluorescent bulbs. Switch off the devices after the day’s work to curb phantom electrical usage. Opt for a LED computer screen. Spruce up with indoor plants.

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