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Is your home ready to be your office? PDF Print E-mail
Live work - Siting the work area
Written by richart khalil   

Times are changing fast… very… fast.

Everything is metamorphosing from the domestic environment to the business field where the so called differentiation between private space and public space is collapsing by the use of new composite components to define environments.

These transformations lead us to a new form of personal lifestyle where everything is mixed and merged into new habits and new patterns.

One of these aspects is the flourishing trend of working at homes. At first look, it can be tempting to earn a living without facing the draining horrors of the daily commute or putting up with petty office politics, having flexible hours, fewer distractions and setting your own pace and schedule.

On the other hand, working from home can bring up a number of unique challenges that require serious consideration to keep work productive and the lifestyle enjoyable. Part of these challenges has to do with spatial arrangements, others with working methods and preferences.

Although all the components are morphing, some essential guidelines concepts of the office and home space are timeless and constant.

Working from home full time requires serious consideration by assessing your needs and requirements. This asks for a deep determination of the implications of the change to working habits. Because working from home a full time is different in essence from the time when one brings home some materials to scan, prepare for a big meeting or make telephone appointments. The following set of conditions helps you define the practical conditions required for the home work:

  • The physical conditions required for your work:
    Do you have enough space in your home for a desk or workstation computers, printers, faxes, scanner or other equipment, for filing and storing supplies? Is your work dependant on natural or artificial lighting? Are the light arrangements sufficient to support the work that you do? What is the noise level that your work creates? Will it distract others in the house hold or do you need absolute silence to function effectively?
  • Technological support:
    What special equipment do you need to buy? Do you find in the neighborhood essential support services, such as printing or photocopying? Do you need additional telephones lines? Do you need high-speed internet access?
  • Access:
    Will your work need to employ people, receive clients and customers on a regular basis? What sort of image do you need to convey to your visitors? Do you have to go through the entire house in able to reach your office?
    If privacy is an important consideration and you can’t find a space with a direct access, you may consider adding a room.
  • Legalities and finance:
    What are the legal aspects for working from home? What are the tax procedures to follow? Aren’t they too demanding and becoming much distraction from family that stop you from making ends meet and keeping clients happy?
  • Future prospects:
    Is there enough potential for your work to grow? What is the change potential of your business or career over the next five or ten years? Can your arrangements enable you to cope with new circumstances, such as the arrival of new children or a partner deciding to work form home as well?
  • Personal preferences:
    Don’t underestimate your needs. Your work space must be to a certain measure private to keep interruption away. In which working environment do you feel comfortable and encouraged to produce?
  • Social contact:
    Isolation can be an issue for the home workers. What are your strategies for combating this loss of contact? What are the surrounding facilities that you can count on for social interaction? 
  • Space use:
    What are the spaces that you can turn into an office space? Can you divide your office into two or more spaces?
            •   Finding the adequate space:
              In your search for the adequate space for your home office you must consider different parameters such as privacy, access, space availability, preferences, future prospects, enough space for physical and technological needs. Put on all sizes of needed furniture, equipment and storage; the put them in the way you feel comfortable using them; at least design the space around them.
              Once all of these are defined, search for the most suitable options available in the house, such as the guest bedroom, basement, attic, attached garage, hallways, and closets. You may also consider adding space.

Asking the right questions at the right time helps you getting the right answers and therefore minimizes the risks and problems that could occur once you have established your work from home.


© 2007


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