Home offices are becoming more of a necessity instead of a luxury, with the growth of telecommuters and home-based businesses. An estimated one in five Americans works from home and is expected to grow with fluctuating gas prices and longer commutes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
And no longer are work spaces relegated to the kitchen table or a corner of the guest bedroom; they now usually get a room of their own. Anyone considering creating a home office or renovating an existing one should keep these tips from the NAHB in mind:
It’s important to separate the office from the rest of the house, if possible, so that the personal and work lives stay separate, as well. A barrier will prevent the temptation to take a television or other break when business is calling.
The furniture and layout of the office should fit the way the person who is using it works. Someone who is highly organized should allocate enough space for adequate storage and file cabinets. Those who work on several different projects at once should have separate, smaller work stations dedicated to each task.
While one at-home worker may prefer dark woods and rich colors, another may favor a bright colors and clean lines. The primary users of home offices should choose designs and items that best reflect their personalities and interests – without the confines of what they think a home office should look like. They get to make it their own, since they will spend the most time there.
Comfy and convenient
A home office’s furniture and amenities should not only provide comfort, but are conducive to productivity. Here are some of NAHB’s suggestions:
The chair should be adjustable with adequate seat cushioning.
A couch or armchair provide additional seating for guests or to read away from the desk.
Recessed lighting is less harsh on the eyes.
Smaller desktop lights focused on task areas for reading and writing reduce eye strain.
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder