Practical Home Office Tips

Comfort, Productivity, and Creativity: The Hallmarks of An Ideal Home Office

Do you know that Oregon ranks 4th in the Nation for percentage of work-at-home employees? Nearly 108,000 estimated workers work from their home office. The numbers are exponentially larger for those who use a home office for household business. Here are some ideas to organize work space to enhance your creative flair and productivity.

Organizing your home office space for optimal productivity, less distractions, and more comfort is essential.

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Each of these recommendations are for ideal situations, but I realize not all homes can accommodate the ideal. Work-arounds might be needed.

Go vertical with magazine racks for file storage.

Go vertical with magazine racks for file storage.

1. Select a room that is quiet away from playrooms, laundry rooms, and high traffic areas to avoid extraneous noises during business calls and distraction. If possible, choose a room with a door. To aid in sound-proofing use carpets or throw rugs and wall decor to dampen excess noise.

2. Choose a room that is bright and airy, but place your desk and computer out of direct light to avoid screen glare or use blinds/curtains.

3. Locate near an external entryway for easy client access and to reduce wandering through your home especially if it is not as tidy as you wish.

4. Ensure adequate electrical outlets near work spaces to avoid electrical overload and to reduce tripping hazards. If you need to run cords or cables across a room, use cord covers. Cable disguisers are also available if you find dangling cables unsightly. I use velcro strips to attach cables to the back legs of my desk.

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5. Use surge protectors to avoid frying your electronics during storms or power outages.

6. Remove all items from the room that are not office-related to maximize space and limit distractions.

7. Use screens or curtains to divide the room for multiple users. Try headphones if noise is a distraction.

8. Designate zones in the room. For example one side of the room is for professional file storage and supplies, the opposite side for personal files. Otherwise, divide file cabinets or credenzas to clearly delineate purpose. Label accordingly.

9. Use vertical spaces for storage such as magazine racks to hold file folders and postal mail baskets if horizontal storage is minimal and to keep your desk clutter(less).

10. Place equipment and supplies within easy reach to save time or conversely, place them out of reach to encourage movement and blood flow every so often.

For more practical tips for laying out your home office to maximize productivity and creativity, contact