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Home Office Design: Secrets to Exceptional Home Office Design

Apr 8, 2008
One of the most important activities you will engage in when going into business for yourself is setting up your home office. Your home office will be the place you conduct business, and while it can be in the corner of your kitchen, you will really want to find a spot where you are away from family activities and can have some privacy and silence while you work.

The size of your home office is less about the size and more about functionality. When you are deciding where to put your office, think about places that lend itself to being set up as the nerve center of your business. There are many factors to take into consideration when charting your home office organization.

Is the area well lit?

Proper lighting is essential. You do not want to spend hours in a dimly lit work area, which can result in eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision. Prolonged periods in inadequate light could lead to serious problems further on.

Are there plenty of electrical outlets?

You want to take into consideration electrical outlets available for the equipment that you will be using day-to-day. At the very least, today's modern home office has a light, computer, telephone, answering machine, monitor, scanner, printer and speakers (optional but still nice to have). You may also add a radio/CD/MP3 player that will need to be powered. Make sure you have enough electrical outlets to power your home office adequately so that you do not have play plug switch on equipment.

Is There Enough Ventilation?

All of that computer equipment needs to "breath" to remain cool and functioning properly. If you have ever, "fried" a computer you know how important it is to keep the fan clean and dust free.

Telephone Access Is another Consideration

In addition to having a telephone handy for business purposes, you will also require telephone access for your modem. You may also consider a separate telephone line for your business. It is much easier to track your telephone business expenses for tax purposes if you have a separate phone line.

Having separate telephone lines in your home office is important because you don't want to be online if a client is trying to reach you. Make sure that this separate line is set up to receive phone calls while you are online. If you have broadband, one phone line will suffice. These things need to be considered prior to opening your door for business.

What Type Of Internet Access Do You Have?

Most modern home offices will have a decent Internet connection - DSL or Broadband. Gone are the days when dialup access was sufficient, and while it can still be done, most home office business have a fast Internet connection. You may be already DSL-ready and only need to call your telephone company to get it started.

If you already have a broadband connection, you will also need to have connections close by. While you can go wireless, there are some drawbacks to taking that route for business use. First, most wireless connections are running about half as fast as true cable hookup to your computer. So, if you are doing the bulk of your business on the Internet, consider cabling it to your computer. Security is another big issue with wireless connections. Make sure, if you are connected wirelessly, that you have the proper encryption and that your modem/router is password protected.

If you take advantage of a nearby WiFi hotspot where you can go wireless, be sure and avoid making purchases or conducting unencrypted transactions while wireless on a public wireless connection. If you go wireless at home, make sure you have encrypted your connection and you should be just fine. With all of these decisions made, you will have the basics for starting the setup of your home office organization.
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