Tips for Establishing a Comfortable, Functional Home Office

Home OfficeAn ever-increasing number of people are working from home with each passing year. This includes individuals who work only from home as well as people who telecommute part of the time. As a result, the need for comfortable, functional home offices is also on the upswing.


The creation of a home office is something that must be undertaken strategically. In this regard, there are some specific tips to bear in mind when it comes to setting up an ideal home office.


Develop a Plan


You should not take off on pulling together a home office in a haphazard manner. Rather, you need to develop a comprehensive plan for your workspace. This includes developing a list of the critical elements that you must have for your home office. The list should cover all of the basics, like a desk, appropriate chairs, telephone, copy machine, and the like. You will also want to make certain that you identify any other special items unique to the work you will do that you need to include in your fully outfitted home office.


Select an Appropriate Space in Your Residence


Once you have developed a plan you will have a better idea of what you will need in the way of a specific space for your home office. You might have very limited options in this regard. Nevertheless, you need to make certain that the space you select for your home office can be dedicated to that use only. You need a space that will permit you privacy and a lack of distraction.


Work Area Versus Storage


A common mistake people when it comes to creating a home office is developing a great work area but forgetting about space for storage. The reality is that an office requires sufficient storage space for supplies and other purposes. Thus, when you get down to the nitty-gritty of organizing your home office, you need to make sure that you strike an appropriate balance between suitable work space and sufficient area for storage.


Proper Lighting


Another area that many a home worker fails to pay appropriate attention to is lighting. You need to make sure that you have suitable lighting for your home office. Ideally, you are able to set up your home office in a space that has a nice amount of natural lighting.


Beyond natural lighting, you will want to make sure that there is sufficient overhead lighting in the space. In addition, you might want to consider what best can be called task lighting. For example, you will want to ensure that you have a suitable light on your desk or other work area.


Dedicated Phone Line


This might seem like a small point but you definitely want to make sure that you have a dedicated phone line for your business. There are a number of reasons why this is important, including you really do not want to make your personal telephone line public. The reality is that a dedicated home office phone line may be a given inasmuch as many residences no longer have landlines anyway.


Keep Personal Matters Out of Your Home Office


You need to make sure that you establish firm boundaries between your home office and personal matters. A key reason why you want to take this approach as to do with taxes. If you properly maintain a work space in your home you are able to take a tax deduction for that space. You can deduct that portion of your mortgage or rent payments that can be attributed to the amount of space dedicated to your home office, provided you don’t mix business with personal in that area.


Another primary reason why you need to maintain firm boundaries between the home office and the rest of the residence is to better ensure your own productivity. You tend to work in your office and enjoy your personal time outside of that area.


Maintain Office Hours


One of the benefits of working from home is flexibility. With that understood, you still need to maintain a sense of discipline when it comes to conducting business from a home. As a result, you are wise to establish specific office hours each week. Establishing office hours accomplishes two important goals. Taking this approach provides you structure, which enhances efficiency. In addition, establishing specific office hours lets other people in your home know when you cannot be bothered because you are working. Everyone can plan around your office hours, provided that they are made aware of them in advance.




Jessica is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage, a leading company that provide Internet fax service services for individuals and businesses.


Are You Prepared for a Flood or Fire at Your Home?

House FireTwo of the most devastating occurrences that can happen to a home are flood or fire and in some cases both at the same time. There are tactics you can employ to lessen the odds of a flood or fire in your home. With that said, none these strategies are foolproof. Understanding that a flood or fire are not wholly avoidable, there are some steps you can take to prepare for the possibility of one of these catastrophes.


Maintain Proper Insurance


If you are like the vast majority of homeowners you do have basic homeowners insurance coverage for your residence. If you are like many people, you may not have enough coverage under your homeowners insurance policy in the event of a major fire. There are a number of key reasons why this may be the case.


First, you may have taken out a homeowners policy some years ago and have not updated coverage limits since that time. Second, most homeowners insurance policies require a specific itemization of costly electronics and valuable jewelry. If you are deficient on either of these counts, your homeowners coverage is likely inadequate. A vital step you need to take to prepare for a possible flood or fire at your residence is to revisit your homeowners insurance. You need to make sure policy limits and extent of coverage are suitable to meet your needs.


Another insurance-related matter you need to address is that associated with flood insurance. A considerable segment of the population incorrectly assumes that flood damage is covered by their homeowners insurance policy. As a general rule, this is not the case. You need to have a separate flood insurance policy. In anticipation of a possible flooding you need to make certain that you in fact have appropriate insurance to cover losses associated with this type of event.


Identify a Restoration Specialist


In the aftermath of a flood or fire time is of the essence. The extent of damage can be reduced significantly in many cases when a restoration specialist is promptly at the scene and ready to undertake work.


Only a small fraction of homeowners are prepared appropriately in this regard. These are homeowners who identify a reputable restoration service in their community that provides immediate emergency services.


A homeowner doesn’t want to be left surfing the net trying to find a suitable restoration professional in the aftermath of a flood or fire. Valuable time is wasted proceeding in that manner.


Proper preparation for a flood or fire dictates that a homeowner identify a restoration service and know how to make immediate contact with such a provider. Confirm the extent of services provided by a restoration professional. Some restoration specialists address flood remediation while others deal with the aftermath of fires. Still other restoration companies remediate both floods and fires.


Home Inspection and Evaluation


A stark reality is that many residential floods and fires are caused by something going awry in or at a residence. For example, flooding may occur in a home due to a plumbing issue as opposed to a storm. A fire may occur in a home because of faulty wiring or some other mechanical breakdown.


Another strategy that needs to be employed to prepare for a flood or fire, and to aid in preventing these types of occurrences in the first instance, is to obtain a professional inspection and evaluation of the residence. Inspections can help identify something that may be in a dangerous condition at a residence.


An inspection and evaluation provides other benefits that aid in the preparation for a potential flood or fire. An inspection and evaluation can ensure that you have proper emergency evacuation exists in your home.


First Aid and Life Saving Training


As part of preparing for a flood or fire, a homeowner will want to consider seriously obtaining first aid training from an organization like the American Red Cross. People easily can end up injured, even severely so, in the event of a flood or fire. A homeowner that has appropriate first aid training is in the best position to protect residents in the event of a life-threatening event like a floor or fire.


In the final analysis, by taking a comprehensive approach to preparing for a flood or fire a homeowner is able to lessen the extent of damage associated with such an event. In addition, a person is placed into a position of being able to protect the health and welfare of residents in a home when a flood or fire occurs.




Jessica Kane writes for Advance Online, a leading provider of web-based OSHA. DOT. and HAZWOPER training.