More and more professionals and business owners are choosing to work from home, from a couple of hours to a couple of days per week. This flexible schedule is a great trend that allows workers to spend more time with family and encourages efficient work practices. For some, this means taking over the kitchen island or table as a workspace, but that leaves one vulnerable to the chaos that can happen in a kitchen. It is my belief that every home, no matter how small, has the potential to include a small workspace.
Most home offices will require space for a laptop or computer, printer, filing area and some tabletop surface. Also necessary are electrical outlets, lights and connectivity to the internet. Virtually any unused space can qualify as a workspace: an entry hall table with a chair, a large chest in a guest bedroom or even a small tabletop inside a closet.
Keep in mind that this is an area where you will be spending a lot of time; it is important to make sure your home workspace or office has an aesthetic punch. Take the idea of a small, drab work cubicle out of your head, and think stylish work pad. As a point of departure, position your work surface toward a window or view, which, besides being nice to look at, can serve as a source of light. Make sure there is enough space to move in and out of a chair and access your files.
A comfortable chair with an ergonomic design is a must for a home office. Leather is often preferred by office workers, but fabric or mesh are also recommended because of the breathability of the materials. Select a design style that blends with the rest of your home's decor. You may even want to add a couple of lumbar pillows, which play off the decor.
Long hours will seem short when you paint the walls of your workspace a color you love. Forget the safe office beige, and try a soothing shade of sage or an energizing accent wall in orange. Colors do affect your mood, so give some thought about what colors move you in a positive direction.
Keep your space organized. Besides filing or drawer space, you may need to look up to the walls around you. Vertical space is valuable for storing older files, catalogs and office supplies. This can be open or closed shelving, which can be outfitted with papered storage boxes and bins for a uniform, decorated look. Fabric and a staple gun can work magic in dressing up standard, store-bought shelving in a custom look.
Finally, this home workspace is a place you can decorate with motivational items and family photographs that often are frowned upon in an office. Staplers, paper clips and garbage cans are essential, but go a step further. A plant such as an orchid is uplifting and great for the quality of the air. Every detail counts.
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.