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How to Design Your Home Office for Ultimate Productivity

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

Ideally, your home office wouldn’t be in your house at all.  That way you could avoid the many distractions that accompany working from home, such as hungry kids, barking dogs, ringing phones, and that nagging feeling that you should be cleaning up the dishes and vacuuming rather than writing a proposal for a client.  Or perhaps a sound-proof room with a lock would do the trick.  Unfortunately, neither of these options is feasible for the average woman working from home.  But there are ways to create an environment that is conducive to productivity (when you can find the time to use is).  Here are just a couple of adjustments you may want to make in order to get the most out of your office space.

Unless your office has been designed by a professional decorator, you’re probably going to have to clear the space and start from scratch (more or less).  Drab, neutral walls, a flimsy, second-hand desk, tons of cables trailing hither and yon, and all kinds of toys underfoot (not to mention stacks of papers and post-it notes) do not exactly make for a Zen workspace.  Think long and hard about the color you want to put on the walls when you paint your space.  Believe it or not, it can actually influence your mood.  And if you follow feng shui, then you know that different colors also have different associations (red for luck, green for health, etc.).  By choosing a bright color instead of a neutral, you can really stimulate your mind and help to get your creative juices flowing so that you’re able to do more and better where your work is concerned.

Next you need a desk that suits your purposes.  Modular furniture is nice because it is inexpensive and you can easily add pieces.  But since you’re probably going to be spending quite a bit of time at your desk, you’re better off spending a little more for a piece that is not only functional and comfortable, but also fits your style.  And don’t forget to get an ergonomic chair that will help you to avoid work-related injury.  If you end up selecting a desk that doesn’t have as much storage as you’d like, simply install shelving units above your desk with plenty of bins to hold everything you might need and keep it all in order.  One of the most important things to remember when creating your workspace is that it must be functional!  Having proper storage and organization is essential to managing your time and keeping your space free of clutter.

You should also have a filing cabinet to keep track of clients and projects.  This will ensure that you’re always on top of your work and that nothing falls through the cracks.  Just remember to file regularly and create a system that helps you to keep everything in order.  And as for other furnishings, if you still have room you should think about installing a sofa or a couple of chairs for clients.  You may not have many visitors, but when you do, you don’t want to have to sift through the detritus in the garage to find some folding chairs for them.

Finally, add some personal touches.  Frame a couple of pieces of art from your kids and keep a family photo handy to remind you why you’re working so hard.  And throw in at least a couple of plants to fill your space with the oxygen you need to think clearly and the greenery that will stop you from feeling like you’re stuck in a box all day.  You may not be able to stop the noise and interruptions while you’re working, but you can definitely create a space that makes you feel good about going to work each day, even if it’s just down the hall.

Breana Orland writes for Design 55 Kitchenware where you can find a large assortment of high end furniture to meet your decorating and budgetary needs.

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