BY JOSEPH PUBILLONES
Today more and more people throughout the world are making the commute from their bed in their favorite pajamas and slippers to their makeshift office at the dining table. No doubt many perceive working from home as the ultimate perk, but working from home can mean a good portion of your home will be in a constant state of disarray. Losing message memos or getting important documents oil-stained are just some of the perils of working from a temporary workspace. Even the smallest home can have a dedicated home office.
Almost any place can make for an office, as long as there is some natural light, and some peace and quiet so you may take a phone call. Your home office can occur even in spaces such as an entry hall or underneath a staircase, or a corner of a guest bedroom.
Placing a desk near a window or where some natural light is important, but we shouldn’t forget to add a desk lamp for task lighting. Overhead lighting is rarely enough for a working environment. This combination of natural and task lighting is the best for avoiding eye fatigue.
Invest in a good chair for ergonomic support. Your dining chair will just not do. Good posture is important for your body, especially when working for several hours at a desk or in front of a monitor. There are good stylish chairs to mix with almost any decor in a variety of materials from plastic to fabric to leather. Your desk should be ample enough for your work stuff, papers, computers, etc., and why not enough space so you can prop your feet up for a catnap…after all, you are at home.
Storage is important so you can tidy up. There should be plenty of drawer space for office supplies, and at least one filing drawer to help keep you organized. An at-home office comes with the burden of organization at the end of the day.
Personalizing or decorating your workspace at home is important, but a bit of restraint — perhaps even more than when in an office cubicle — is recommended. It’s ok and even encouraged to surround your work area with plants, photos and candles that make your work a soothing environment. Just remember not to overload the area, otherwise those items will distract you and create clutter, which can keep you from performing your best work.
Technology is a part of most work environment, and we should embrace it. Your home office shouldn’t look like the cockpit of an airplane. There are ways to conceal printers by placing them behind doors or in adjacent closets so as to not overload your home. Another area of concern come with the cables and power surge cords — cable control is essential. If you are not capable of controlling this aspect of your office, contact a professional at a computer store to help you, otherwise your office will look like the cockpit of an airplane that has crashed!
— Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla. His website is www.josephpubillones.com.