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How to Remodel a Home Office

Updated on November 26, 2013

Work-at-Home Benefits

With a commute of about three minutes, including the time it takes to get out of bed, grab a cup of hot coffee and plop down on your office chair, it’s no wonder working at home has such appeal.

Unfortunately, if you’re filing business reports in stacks on the floor or you can’t find the phone book your productivity may suffer. Without an organized workspace, you may find yourself wandering to Starbucks, laptop in tow.

Contemporary Office on a Budget

Inexpensive fixtures offer office efficiency.
Inexpensive fixtures offer office efficiency.

Home Office Environment

Creating a work-friendly environment is a goal of nearly every home office remodel. Optimal use of space, pleasing aesthetics and a professional atmosphere helps you focus on the job at hand and reduces the risk of crawling back into bed. Professional copywriter and owner of B2B Broker, Glenda Taylor, offers the following advice, “Create a successful home office by installing more organizational storage than you think you need and concentrate your efforts on your immediate work area.”

When asked what features are important in the work area, Taylor advises, “Comfort and accessibility top the list. You can’t focus on business when your back aches from sitting on a hard kitchen chair and your concentration will suffer if you have to carry your laptop to another room just to hook it to a printer.

Style With a Purpose

Before you get out the paint roller, assess your personal business needs. By developing a floor plan and selecting furniture and accessories that reduce your work tasks, you can personalize your office to suit your business.

Define your workspace. An entire room is optimal but even a portion of a room is acceptable as long as you can isolate yourself from the distraction of noisy children and other household sounds. Being able to close a door and shut out diversions may increase your efficiency.

Select wall colors and designs that put you in the mood to work. If concentration is vital, Taylor recommends muted or subdued shades that won’t draw your eye away from your tasks. If your business depends upon making phone calls and selling products, you may prefer flamboyant hues and patterns that energize and motivate.

Office Layout

Design your workspace to put essential items within reach. Look for an L-shape or a U-shape desk with ample under-desk storage to accommodate all your computer and peripheral needs. Work tasks will take less time when the items you use most are within reach. Taylor recommends buying a slightly bigger desk than you currently think you need. “If your business is successful, you’ll soon fill up the storage area beneath the desk with files and office equipment and you’ll be thankful you have additional desktop space.”

Dreamy Remote Office

Get away from it all.
Get away from it all.

Working in Comfort

Look for a retractable keyboard drawer if you type a lot. When not in use, the keyboard slides neatly away beneath the desktop and when extended, it offers legroom beneath, which may promote better sitting posture. Your office chair is even more important if you spend considerable time at your desk. Look for a chair with lumbar support, adjustable armrests and an adjustable seat height to customize the chair to your body shape. Erica Orloff, author of “The 60-Second Commute,” recommends adding gel wrist pads to keyboard and using an ergonomic split keyboard if you suffer from wrist strain.

“Select office equipment that does more than one job,” Orloff advises. Printers that also serve as scanners and come with built-in fax ability reduce desktop clutter while fulfilling most small business needs.

Utilize Your Home's Details for Storage

Find office storage in the smallest spaces.
Find office storage in the smallest spaces.

Details and More Details

Install electrical outlets just above desktop level to prevent crawling beneath your desk every time you plug in a pencil sharpener or a desk lamp.

Plan your storage areas in vertical patterns. Bookcases, tall shelving units on the walls and tall file cabinets will hold stacks of reference books, phonebooks, business correspondence and baskets of office supplies. Taylor encourages his remodeling clients to err on the side of adding more storage. “Right now, we’re installing a lot of office storage, much of it camouflaged behind cabinet doors that match the homeowner’s décor.

Test out your new floor plan before positioning the office furniture. If your back is to an open window or door, you may find yourself twisting around to see what’s behind you. Place your chair in different areas of the room and imagine how you’ll feel when your furnishings are in place.

Go wireless and network your home office with additional computers if you occasionally work from other areas of your home. A wireless router can connect all your computers and peripherals, allowing you to send a document to the printer in your office from your master bedroom or from your patio.

Hideaway Office in a Closet

What do you like the best (or the least) about your home office?

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    • fcmosher profile image

      FCM 5 years ago from near the Equator

      Great lens -- I just did one about online kitchen remodeling. You write really well, thanks.