Home Office Design Challenges

Who needs long commutes, office gossip, and high overhead? Certainly

not the 42 million people who call their home – or at least a portion of their home – their office. In fact, more new homes are being designed and built with a home office as part of the plan, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Advances in technology, reduced equipment costs and the removed stigma of working from home make home offices a perk for corporate employees (telecommuters) and a money and time-saver for entrepreneurs.

Working from home does present its share of challenges, however. I know this only too well when I left Home magazine after ten years as editor-in-chief to work at home. The truth is that I had always been working at home but not in an organized way. Spreading my papers and magazines over my bed for reading and catching up, working on my laptop from a comfortable chair, or paying bills or writing letters (yes, I still do that) from the antique secretary that sits in my living room as a vestigial dinosaur from the past. I had thirty seconds to take charge of my space because thirty-two boxes that represented my magazine life were also coming home as well.

That’s why creating a comfortable and dedicated workspace is so important. It’s imperative to separate work from the rest of your life. The first step in that goal is to create a space in which you can work efficiently, effectively and comfortably, away from the distractions of everyday life. Stepping into your office, you should feel as though you’ve crossed an imaginary threshold: you’re at work now, away from laundry, lawn and cable TV.

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