10 Tips for Setting up A Home Office

Setting up a home office that will enhance
productivity while offering comfort isn’t as
simple as it sounds. Many home workers juggle and
struggle to determine the best setup for their
needs.

Think Comfort
Studies show that efficiency decreases when we are
uncomfortable. Lesson to be learned: don’t
sacrifice comfort for beauty when selecting your
furnishings.

Use Mobile Furniture
Reduce grunt work. Few of us enjoy an hour spent
shoving and pulling a heavy filing cabinet from
one side of the room to the other. Office
furniture with wheels or similar mobility aids
will make life much simpler. It’s easy to set up,
easy to rearrange, easy to move for cleaning or to
retrieve lost items.

Remember to take accurate wall measurements before
you go shopping for office furniture. Take
wallboards, heating ducts and other such items
into account.

Some manufacturers are making office furniture
with adjustable surfaces so you can work either
sitting or standing. Before buying, be sure your
home office has adequate space for this feature.

Think Convenience
How much fun will it be when you have to crawl
under a desk on your belly to attach your new
printer to the back of the computer? Computer
makers don’t make things easy for us, but with a
little pre-planning, you can place your computer
so you can actually get at those hookups when you
need to.

Check Your Wiring
Make sure your home’s wiring is adequate to
accommodate office machinery and various computer
hookups. Ensure you that you can use three-
pronged plugs to ground your equipment. Check for
electrical hazards — being especially cautious of
hazards to children and pets.

Be Mindful of Wall Outlets and Phone Jacks
Stringing a long cord across the living room and
into your home office isn’t a look that Martha
Stewart would endorse. If your office area doesn’t
have outlets, you won’t regret the cash it takes
to have them installed.

Communicate Efficiently
So, your best client phones with a big order but
he can’t get through because your kid is on the
Internet!

If you’re sharing a home with other people, you
need a separate phone line and Internet hookup for
your office. If you spend much time on the
Internet yourself, a direct connection like cable
or DSL is very, very helpful.

Make it Safe!
When you work from home, you don’t have a
Workplace Health & Safety Committee looking out
for your best interests. Learn about workplace
ergonomics and take it seriously. Having to shut
down your Internet business because of carpal
tunnel syndrome isn’t a good business plan.

Remember your eyes. If you’re on the computer for
long hours, get a glare-resistant screen for the
monitor, or ask your optometrist about glare
resistant eye-glasses.

You’ll need to position your monitor so sunlight
doesn’t shine on it directly. If this can’t be
arranged easily, be creative about finding a way
to block the sun. An artist’s easel holding a
large poster or chart is one approach.

Light It!
The best lighting is lighting that allows you to
see what you are doing without strain to your
eyes. Many find that incandescent lighting is
easier on the eyes than fluorescent lighting or
cool lighting.

Deduct It!
You’ll want to check with your taxation
department, but in many countries, some aspects of
a home office are tax deductible. In Canada, for
example, you can deduct a portion of home expenses
(rent, utilitiesBusiness Management Articles, etc.) for your home office. BUT
your office must be separate from the rest of the
house and used only for business purposes. Find
out what’s deductible before you file your taxes.

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