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A Home Office from Heaven - Guest Blog from Jon Buck, Managing Director of Borderworks

A Home Office from Heaven

Most people, from the work-at-home freelancer to the office employee who occasionally works from home needs space to set up and get productive. Home offices can range wildly from a grand and imposing room to a tiny, draughty space in the hall with kids and dogs running past every five minutes. The chances are that your own home office sits somewhere in-between these two extremes. Chances are as well that no matter what it looks like now you’d love to make a few improvements to it.

A place for everything and everything in its place
It doesn’t have to be a big space, it just has to be yours.  Image Credit: Ultralinx.com

You may have given up hope of fitting in a home office and are making do with the kitchen table. This might be your first mistake. Take a good look around with a new pair of eyes and investigate any space at all that could work. Is there room to get your legs under it? Then it’s a possibility.

Having found your space, the key becomes customisation. It’s unlikely that you’ll find the exact shapes and sizes needed for your specific needs at Ikea or a DIY store. At this point your best friend may well be wood. Even if you are not the sort to drive down to the DIY store for wood and nails and start merrily hammering away, there are plenty of firms that will make you a customised worktop. You can specify the exact dimensions to fit your requirements, and in nearly any timber. Oak, maple, cherry, ash, or pine can all be used to create a comfortable and stylish home office.

What is it you do, exactly?

Obviously the nature of your work will have a big impact on your exact requirements for a home office. You might be entirely computer bound which means no need for filing space. You might be a seamstress and need loads of space for swatches, cutting out and design drawings. Fear not, there are a host of clever home office design options that may fit the bill. If space is at a premium then go small. Modern laptops can be tiny and only require a single power socket to run. Even if all you have is a single small wall space, it can be made to work.

If you spend the majority of your working week at home and have a larger space to play with then you will undoubtedly have a lot more options open to you. With a dedicated room for your office, style and feel will also play a big part. Don’t forget to think practically though. A dedicated home office should be a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing place to work but it should also be designed to encourage productivity.

With a large space to play with, the sky’s the limit. Image Credit Bordercraft Ltd 
Take advantage of a bigger space by creating room for good working practices. Some forward planning on the placement of power points and cable management can lead to more valuable space being available. Consider wall mounting monitors and under desk computer cages for more desk space.

It’s also important to bear ergonomics in mind. You won’t get much work done if the home office you’ve created causes back ache or repetitive strain injuries. There are many excellent guides on how to avoid poor posture position; this is important regardless of where you work from. This might mean spending a little more money on a better chair or some desk risers but ask any chronic back pain sufferer and they’ll tell you it’s worth it.

The key thing with any home office space is to make it separate and distinct from the rest of the house, even if you don’t have your own dedicated office room. You need to be able to get into “work mode” when you sit down but when you are done for the day you also need to be able to switch off. It’s really hard to forget about that annoying problem with a client when your home office is in your living room so if the home office can’t be in its own room, try to have some form of shutting door or bespoke cabinetry that lets you hide the computer screen and stacks of reports and truly finish for the day.

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