The Home Office – What to Consider
Dreaming of a home office? There are lots of considerations as you plan the perfect space so you can be as productive as possible in an atmosphere you love. Here are six important points to consider for your home in the Greater Philadelphia area.
Location: Where should your home office be located? Do you have a spare room or large closet, or extra basement, attic, or garage area that can be easily renovated? Or are you incorporating a home office into new construction?
Will your office need an outside entrance for clients to access? Do you need a quiet corner of the house, or do you have a growing family and need to be where the action is to keep things in line while getting work done? These are all important details to consider when deciding the best possible location for your home office. If possible, have a couple of options so that you can work with your designer or contractor to determine the best location for your needs.
Lighting: Work environments require a good deal more lighting than most living spaces. Having some natural light is ideal because it has a soothing effect on the mind. But sunlight can sometimes produce glare, so proper placement of your desk and monitor is important. Inadequate lighting can create eye strain, neck strain, and headaches, so you’ll want to incorporate overhead lighting as well as lighting fixtures that are both aesthetic and functional.
Power: Assess your power needs. What kind of technology will you need? If you’re renovating an existing room, will your electrical wiring support it? Sufficient lighting will also increase electricity consumption.
Consider also how well your internet reaches the part of the house you’re thinking about for your office. If necessary, you may need to boost reception. Be sure to include surge protectors in case of power surges and have a backup power source in the event of power outages.
Ventilation: Office equipment generates heat. Between your own body heat and the equipment, it could get quite uncomfortable, especially if you’ll be keeping the door closed for privacy or noise reduction. You’ll need to plan adequate ventilation, such as overhead fans, even if you’ll have air conditioning. An overhead fan keeps the air circulating, and it will provide just the right air movement when the weather isn’t warm enough for the A/C but your office is heating up.
Organization: Every office requires storage space for office supplies, files, and other items necessary for your work. But you’ll want to keep things neat and organized for optimum working capacity.
What do you need at your fingertips? What can be stored out of sight? How much storage do you need? Think about what items you use frequently throughout the day or the week and which items need to be available but don’t need to be within easy access. Storage units or bookshelves within arm’s reach and drawers that hide necessary office supplies create an efficient, tidy space.
You’ll also want your office to look professional and neat for any online meetings you have, so make sure you have a nice view behind you when sitting at your computer.
Inspiration: Now comes the fun part. Having determined a few great locations for your home office and evaluated your equipment and storage needs, start looking online and in magazines for inspiration!
What do you like? What’s your style? White and bright or colorful and eclectic? Casual or professional? Victorian floral design or retro? Minimalist or knickknacks?
Do you want a sit-down or stand-up desk, or perhaps the option for both? If space is limited, consider a fold-up desk that hides your shelving and storage when it’s closed. And since you’ll be spending a lot of time in the office, include at least one feature that isn’t necessarily functional but just makes you happy. A window seat, a wall mirror reflecting a bouquet or a unique work of art, exposed beams – think outside the box.
Your home office dream is within reach. At M&K Renovations, we have years of experience helping clients create their dreams. Call us today at (610) 353-2895 to get started.