Wednesday Feb 01, 2023

Six things to consider when setting up a home office – Money magazine


COVID has certainly forced us to make significant changes to our lives in a way we would have never imagined. Many of us have had a taste of working from home and have had to adjust to a new way of balancing work and everyday life.

The “new norm” of working from home, at least part of the time, has presented a variety of challenges, whether it be juggling children and pets or co-working with your spouse or room mate.

We have come to terms with the fact that this new way of life is here to stay for the foreseeable future, along with the realisation that a dedicated workspace is not only essential but a great value-add to any home. Let’s look at some home office renovation tips that will allow you to be productive.

1. Plan it properly

Clearly your requirements for your home office will depend on the type of work you do. You may require both a small desk for your computer and a larger table or workspace for your artwork if you are a graphic artist.

A consultant might require additional space for filing cabinets or an area set aside for meetings with clients. A photographer might require an in-home studio or storage space for props and lighting equipment.

Before you claim a corner in one of your rooms and decide that it’s “good enough”, create a detailed list to ensure your home office will meet those “must-have” needs.

Converting an existing underutilised space in your home into your home office is ideal, whether it be your garage, spare bedroom or outdoor storage shed.

However, if these options are not available to you, there is always the possibility of extending your home.

From renovating existing areas to building completely new ones, it is important to create a workspace that fulfils your specific requirements, keeping you productive.

2. Lighting

Consider the lighting that is available to the dedicated area.

Do you have enough natural light? If not, you will need to look at the fixtures that are already in place and potentially invest in quality lighting. A mixture of natural light from a window that is supplemented by an additional lighting plan will work well.

To help you avoid glare:
• Use an additional desk lamp for your paperwork. It will cut down on eye strain.
• If you have lighting overhead, make sure it runs parallel to your line of vision to your computer screen.
• Place your desk/workstation in such a way that it runs alongside your window.

3. Storage

We all talk about a paperless office these days; but the reality for many of us is still a significant paper trail. If keeping paper documents on hand is a requirement for you to function, you will need to consider your storage options.

Consider open shelves, boxes, baskets, desk drawers or desk organisers.

Built-in storage or cabinetry will save on space as the area you dedicate to your home office may not be spacious. You will then need to be creative. For example, if your home office has a staircase, the space underneath the stairs is ideal to build a wall-mounted desk that includes shelving and some storage.

4. Desk

Your desk is very important in enabling you to …….


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