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Perfecting the Home Office

In 2015, it should be no surprise that many Canadians work from home. Whether you run a household, a small business, or simply have flexibility with your employer for the location of your workday, one thing is certain, you need an organized, comfortable space to be effective. A home office needs to be more than just a stylish place that you enjoy being in; it needs to have the space to properly house all of the equipment you utilize, store supplies and have a workable desk surface.

Keep in mind these tips to creating the perfect office:

  1.  Location, Location, Location: Real estate is not the only thing affected by location.  The effectiveness of your home office is very dependent on location.  While you may work in your home, create a space that allows you to keep your personal life separate. Consider how your tasks will be affected by the coming and going of other members of your household, the noise from the television, stereo, nursery, kitchen, laundry, HVAC system, and bathroom. In turn, consider how much noise you may create in your office and how that may affect other members of your family (eg. sleeping baby). Choosing a location for your office can be more difficult than you think. The walls of your space may need to be insulated in order to reduce household sounds and reduce distractions. The addition of a functioning lockable door may also be necessary for some home offices.
  2. Establishing Storage vs Work Spaces: Over time, it is inevitable that your office will become cluttered with ‘stuff’ (papers, files, books, policies/procedures, drafts, plans, etc.) that will impede your productivity if you don’t establish a filing and storage system. Your office area should be mapped out to determine the best functionality for your objectives. Cabinets or closets are needed for storage and to preserve privacy. Desk space should be set away from any traffic or noise areas. If possible incorporate a window nearby to allow for natural light and sunny surroundings. Office equipment should be setup in an ergonomic manner close to the desk area. Make sure your desk is suitable for your tasks and is ergonomically designed.  If you have colleagues or clients that meet at your office, ensure that you plan for a boardroom or sitting area away from your desk and documents in order to preserve confidentiality.
  3. Electrical and Lighting: Plan ahead for task and ambiance lighting. Ensure that lights can be dimmed if needed for a presentation and that they are positioned appropriately to avoid glares on computer screens. Since technology changes over time, it is vitally important to ensure that enough outlets in the appropriate locations will be available for any additions to your equipment or lighting needs.
  4. Flooring and Working Surfaces: If offices are located in basements or previously designated bedrooms, it is likely that the floor space is carpeted.  While this may maintain warmth well, it can create a problem of static from foot traffic and desk chairs for electronic equipment/computers. A solid surface can reduce this issue and usually offers ease of maintenance. Tile or hardwood are likely your best options. Desk and table surfaces should be chosen based on their purpose and your ability to maintain it. Glass scratches easily, but can make a room appear more spacious, and wipes up easily if there is a spill. Choose the best material for your tasks.
  5. Facilities: Your office should be close to a washroom and place for drinks to help you focus during your working hours, but not so close that you are affected by noise. It also helps to maintain professionalism if you have both nearby if you have clients and colleagues attend your office.
  6. Your Individual Flare: Even if you do not have clients come to your office, your space should embody your style and look like your office not a recycled space. You will be spending many hours in this space and it should stimulate your creative side and positive thinking. Pick a wall colour that is cheerful yet helps you remain calm if you have a stressful situation. Decorate your walls with artwork that you love and that suits the rest of your design. Bring an ‘executive’ flare to your space with built-ins, a specially designed desk, a sitting area and beverage bar, or some other facet that makes the space your own. If you have to spend 8 hours a day in your office, ensure that your chair not only reflects your style but more importantly offers great support and comfort. The perfect home office is one that promotes your creativity and focus and allows you to be as productive as possible every day.

If you are considering a home office renovation, call us at Vanderzalm Construction Inc. at (905)562-4463 or (905)684-5823.