Home is Where the… Office is

10 per cent of Canada’s labour force – or 2.5 million Canadians – work outside the office at least one day a week* and 80 per cent of households own at least one computer. These are just two two reasons why building an office in your home is a good investment. Whether it’s for business or personal use, here’s a few ways to ensure your new home office is both functional and comfortable.

Your first step is to find the ideal space for your home office

Look for a room with enough space to accommodate a desk, office chair, bookshelf, and equipment such as a fax machine, printer, or filing cabinet. If possible, ensure the room isn’t too close to high traffic areas like the kitchen, living room or any other area that may cause distractions. You’ll also want your room to have sufficient natural light, ventilation and easy access to phone lines and electrical outlets.

If finding the perfect space for your office proves difficult, you can always try transforming a large storage area, walk-in closet, or even a section of the basement. Partitioning an existing room is also possible with the help of a few strategically placed bookshelves.

Next you’ll want to plan your work area

To save time and a lot of moving, measure your furniture and the room’s dimensions and draw up a floor plan beforehand. Make sure to leave a clear path from the office door to your seat to prevent constant maneuvering around furniture, and situate your desk near electrical plugs and phone jacks. Install shelving behind your desk for easy access to books and supplies, and position your computer screen at a 90 degree angle from any light source to avoid any glare while you work.

Your final step is to add some style to your office

First choose a colour scheme. Warmer colours like reds and yellows make for a comfortable, upbeat environment, while pastels and darker colours will give you a sophisticated, classy look. Give some visual punch to your office by adding paintings, sculptures, framed photos, or sports memorabilia to walls and bookshelves. Finally, use flowers or green plants to create a little ambiance and improve the air quality. Now your new home office will be ready for work, rest, or play.

*Canadian Telework Association.