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Putting Together and Organizing a Home Office
A working environment that you'll be both productive from and happy to be in (indeed, eager to be in) are essential for a home office. Whether you're a work-from-home "newbie" or a seasoned pro, here's a few factors to consider when creating the perfect spot (or as close to perfect as you can get!):
Lighting-If at all possible, try to choose a room in your home that gets a lot of sunlight during the day (natural light is a mind and energy booster). If the home office is located in the basement, look for lighting that can duplicate daylight as much as possible.
Having enough space for equipment (and yourself) is a crucial element; there won't be the same level available as in an business building (even scaled-down versions will require enough space). Go for a spot in your home that provides room for not only a few office machines, but the ability to move yourself comfortably around (who wants to feel cramped and enclosed ally day?).
Distractions-Your home office should not be too close to popular "hangout" spots, like the kitchen and living room. You'll be distracted by: Kids (if you have any); spouse or roommate (if you have one); food and drink; and pets (if you have any-allow for a little distraction here; pets are very hard to ignore and you do have to check up on them from time to time). If at all possible, try to choose a room that offers complete privacy to stay totally focused.
Wi-Fi/Internet Connection is a very important element when choosing a home office. In spite of the advent of wireless Internet, there may still be some sections of your house that will just not "pick it up" well. Always be sure to select an area or room in which the connection is the strongest; it will save you a lot of trouble (and headaches!) later on.
For reasonably-priced furniture that's also work-friendly, consider the Tempur-Pedic 9000 chair (retail price: $300), whose features include a mesh back, good lumbar support and a memory-foam cushion.
The Bekant sit-stand desk by Ikea converts to provide the option of either sitting or standing (retails for $500).
A wireless laser printer by Brother (just $100) does three functions; it not only prints, but also copies and scams.
Interior designer Lauren Liess, author of Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating (retail price; $35; Abrams) recommends "popping" a home office with a guest chair in a vibrant shade and using a dining table as a desk.
Did You Know That.....
Working among plants can bring higher concentration levels and productivity. People also completed tasks 15 percent more quickly-without making more errors-than those in a plant-free space, according to a 2014 study (Journal of Experimental Psychology).
"Plants enrich a workplace, which can lead to happier feelings and more productivity," says Craig Knight, Ph.D.
Even just the simple act of looking at a garden, forest or green area for just 40 seconds can improve focus and work performance, according to a 2005 study (Journal of Environmental Psychology).
There are currently 25 million Americans who from home at least once a week; 2.8 million regard home as their primary place of work, according to Global Workplace Analytics.
Sources: "Work it Out"-Vindy Homes-The (Sunday) Vindicator, July 19, 2015, Tech and Home section-"What To Do With 1,000 Now!-Money, Oct. 2015, "The Smart Life" by Kit Selzer-Better Homes and Gardens, Oct. 2015, "The well workplace" by Holly Pevzner-Real Simple, Oct. 2015, and "Live & Work" by Lana Bortolot-Entrepreneur, August 2015