Calm working spaces
In the space of a single generation, communications technology has revolutionized our lives completely. Often it's difficult to remember a time when it wasn't possible to dispatch the printed word across the world instantly, access information on any subject, order goods and services at the touch of a button, and communicate with people and organizations around the world.
Of all the social changes this revolution has brought about, one of the most significant is the huge increase in the number of people now working at home, either full or part time. And as computer technology grows in capacity and sophistication while shrinking in size and cost, a home office will become a viable option for a growing section of the population.
In addition to convenience, a home office has a great deal to offer in emotional terms, providing insulation from many of the principal irritations of office life - the politics and personality clashes, and the travelling to and from work.
Working at home also allows you to spend your days in an environment you have created specifically to suit the job you do and the way you want to do it. You are completely free to express your personality by surrounding yourself with colours, styles and design details that you would never encounter in an office environment,
As with any design project, you should begin the process of creating a successful work space by assessing your needs. Will you be working at home on a regular basis? What equipment and materials will you need? Once established, this information will help you decide where to locate your work space, what should go into it and how you can arrange it for maximum efficiency.
When planning to run a business from home, begin by asking yourself exactly what your business will consist of. Will you be seeing clients? Do you need privacy for meetings? Do you foresee an expansion that will require more space in the future?
Whether you own or rent your home, think about the future. Those who rent will not feel inclined to install expensive built-in shelving or work surfaces, whereas free-standing furniture has a wider choice and the flexibility of being easily moveable should the need arise.
The most practical home office setting involves taking over part of, or moving into an existing room or adapting a previously underused area like a hallway or landing. Those working from home with the inclination and the means to make a more serious commitment might consider converting a garage or an attic, or even adding on a new separate building. You may feel that the size or layout of your home limits your choice, but before you settle on the most obvious option, make sure you've investigated all the workable alternatives - there may be more than you imagine.
[ excerpt from calm working spaces ]