As homebuyers get ever nearer to closing on their new homes, it’s pretty common to start switching their mind’s gears from contracts, negotiations and contingencies to appliances, furniture and paint color.
And, for those who work from home, getting the home office set up is typically their first priority. If you are among them, check out our handy guide to get you back to work quickly.
Choosing the location
If this will be your first home office you’ll need to pay close attention to the decision on which room to utilize.
Unless you live alone, distractions abound in your typical home. Choose the room that is furthest removed from the main living areas and away from the kids’ rooms, if at all possible.
Then, remember that to use the IRS’ home office deduction the office must be used exclusively for work. So, ensure that your office doesn’t double as a nursery or gym and you’ll be safe if you’re ever audited.
Learn more about the home office tax deduction in IRS Publication 587.
you must use the area exclusively and on a regular basis, either as your principal place of business or a setting to meet or deal with patients, clients or customers.
Light it up
In a perfect world, the ideally-located room also has tons of natural light. Since there is fat chance of that, let’s get it lit so that you can be uber productive.
Natural light is best because it helps you focus, according to the Journal of Clinical Sleep medicine. The authors claim that exposure to sunlight is “a profound way to improve office workers’ productivity and health.”
Even the sunniest rooms in the house won’t remain that way at all hours during a work day so you’ll need to supplement the natural light. Table and task lamps, set strategically around the room, should do the trick.
Maximize the space
The work from home Mom or Dad typically ends up with the smallest room in the house to use as an office, so you’ll need to take stock of the space and determine how to best use it.
If storage is important, consider adding shelves and cupboards. And, since most home offices were once bedrooms, you should have a closet you can trick out in a brilliant storage solution. Check out these small office storage ideas on Pinterest.
Whether all you need to work from home is a laptop and a desk or you require a full-color printer, several monitors and multiple phone lines, ensure that your equipment is “ergonomically sound, because you are going to be working on it for hours,” author Cecelia Jernegan (“Working From a Home Office Successfully: Best Practice Tips) tells Lorin Folino of Inc.com.
From your chair to your computer monitor, consider your comfort first.
What do you require in a home network aside from the basics of a modem and router or wireless gateway? Think about other devices you’ll need to connect, such as a tablet or laptop. Cnet.com has a handy guide to help you determine what you need for home networking. Find it here.