Home based businesses are essential in economy since millennia ago. These small businesses are the core of many nationwide economies. In the United States alone, one home-based business starts every 11 seconds. Many people want to convert a portion of their houses into a small office, without reducing the desirability factor. With the advent of IT technology, it is possible for business owners to save overhead and allow staff to operate from small spaces. In this case, we should make sure that we are still able to maintain productivity level despite the small locations. Many people enjoy their rebirth as entrepreneurs after retiring from their primary employment.
When designing our home office, there are a few things that we need to consider
- The type of equipments needed: Most offices require standard equipments, such as PC, fax, printer, telephone, answering machine and desk lamp. However, others may also require ovens or woodworking tools, if we have a bakery or furniture-making business. Other things that we need to consider are desk lamps, whiteboard, meeting table with enough chairs, bookcase, file cabinets and work tables. We may also need some additional items that can make work environment more enjoyable such as sound equipment, small refrigerator, wallpaper, well organied filing system, rebounder, good use of overhead space and copious work surface. Again, this is our own list. Some people are comfortable with more Spartan working environment, while others prefer to have extra comfort.
- Evaluate the office design: Once we build our office space, it would be quite difficult to change it. In this case, we should ask contractors, families and relevant professionals about the design of our workplace. We should consider aesthetics, comfort, storage facilities, lighting, flow and function. Although office space in home-office design is usually small, we should still need to provide some empty space to avoid clutter and heightened level of stress. We should also be open to other ideas that may suit our personality and work style.
- Use space efficiently: Now that we have a good sense of things that we want from our home office, it is important for us to look more closely at the office itself. We should consider the shape of the room and how many square feet of space that are available to us. The space should be comfortable during winter and summer. We should consider whether it is necessary to add heater or air conditioner. There should be enough windows in our office. If we want to make the interior warmer, main windows should face east or west. If we want to make the interior cooler, main windows should face north or south to avoid intense sunlight. Adequate natural light should allow us to reduce the consumption of energy. There must be enough electrical outlets in the office spaces and they should be properly located. The telephone jacks should also be placed close to the desk where telephone set, fax and DSL modem are located.