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Designing Your Home Office

You've finally taken the leap: you've started your own business! And whether you're dedicating 20 or 40 hours a week to it, you need a quiet, well-organized and functional space to work. Read on for some tips on how to design your own home office.

Designing your home office.

Choose your space carefully.

It's imperative that you select the space for your home office with care. Make sure the space has plenty of natural light and is large enough for your desk, storage and some kind of comfortable seating arrangement. If possible, make sure it's a room separate from the rest of your home. That way, it's easier to keep your work and private lives separate, and you run a lower risk of being distracted. Also, note that you can claim some home office furniture, equipment and supplies as tax deductions, but only so long as they're actually used in your designated office space and for business purposes.

Get quality, up-to-date equipment.

If you're going to be spending a lot of time at the computer, it's worth purchasing a desktop computer with a large screen. Laptops and tablets may be convenient, but if you're looking at a small screen all day, you're almost certainly going to develop headaches. Most home offices need a minimum of one computer, some form of external back up drive and a printer. The more up-to-date your equipment, the faster it will be and the more capabilities it will have. In addition, most modern hardware comes with wireless capabilities so you don't have to look at bundles of wires all the time. But don't go overboard: resist buying high-end equipment you won't need on a daily basis. Most personal computers are more than adequate for a beginning or small business.

Ergonomics.

Hours spent at the computer, desk or drawing table can wreak havoc on your body. Repetitive strain injuries; upper and lower back problems; carpal tunnel syndrome; eye strain and headaches are common injuries for office workers. To maintain your health, invest in an ergonomic office chair, and ideally both a wrist and footrest. And when you have a moment, take a look at this guide from Mayo Clinic, which shows you how to position your computer equipment in a way that places the least amount of stress on your body.

Storage and organization.

Chances are your home office isn't the largest room in your home. So when it comes to storing and organizing everything from reports and correspondence to office supplies and reference materials, you need good storage solutions that allow you to keep everything filed away but within easy reach. Hang shelves vertically to make the most of your walls, and look for options such as stackable cubes or trays to use as additional storage space.

Decorate.

The best part of a home office is that you're free to decorate it as you like. So whether you like traditional, contemporary or eclectic, find ways to add a bit of your personal style to the space. Decide on a color scheme you find inspiring, and choose accessories and fixtures that match your taste. It will make spending time in your office much more pleasant!

Plants.

Plants can help purify the air and bring calm energy to a space. Look at these examples on Houzz to see some ideas on how to add plants to your home office décor.

Designing your home office requires both time and money, but when you're happily at work and your small business is thriving, you'll be glad you made the investment!

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