Here’s another guest post from Paul Deniken.
Paul Denikin got into DIY home repair projects after his daughter was born with special needs. His initial efforts were all motivated by the desire to make his home more accessible for her.
He created DadKnowsDIY.com to share some of the great resources he’s come across and to offer home improvement project how-tos and other accessibility information.
Making the Space Suit You: Planning and Setting up a Home Office
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to work from home (and can be productive working at home), it’s important not to overlook the need for a comfortable and ergonomically sound workspace. One of the benefits of working at home is that you can often work in any room you choose, in any position you choose. The problem is some of those positions aren’t great for back and spinal health — for your posture or for your joints. Creating an effective and efficient workspace should be as much about protecting your body as setting yourself up for maximum productivity.
The size and nature of your home office space should be dictated by need. If you anticipate seeing your clients at home, you’ll need an office space large and comfortable enough to make that happen. However, if yours is a solitary workspace, think about making do with less and being as efficient as possible.
Draw up a plan for your home office so you know how big your budget should be. Use existing furniture as much as possible, a good way to save money, make effective use of rehabilitated furniture, and don’t forget consignment stores, flea shops, and garage sales. You can also create your own desk space using just a table and chair. The cost of a home office depends on the extent of the work and resources involved. According to HomeAdvisor, a good desk may cost anywhere from $79 to around $2,200.
Ergonomic experts recommend moving around periodically during the course of a long workday. Failing to do so if work a sedentary job can lead to circulatory problems as well as chronic muscle and joint pain. If you have the opportunity, set up a space that allows you to work while sitting or standing.
One good way to maximize available space if you’re a bit low on square footage is to set a workspace in the corner of a room by creating a wraparound work table using sturdy but inexpensive wood and wall brackets. Set up a sitting space on one side and a “standing” desk on the other. A chair on rollers makes a nice addition, saves on space, and makes it a little easier to get up, down and around.
Did you ever joke that an employer had put you in an office space the size of a closet? Why not make the idea work for you by turning that closet in the hallway into an efficient work space? A narrow table or desk should fit admirably and give you enough space to be productive without having to pop in and out of every five minutes.
If there’s enough room, consider adding some overhanging shelving for storage (a narrow desk won’t be great for storage). It’s easy to personalize a closet office, and privacy certainly won’t be a problem when you’re on deadline.
Many home workers these days need nothing but their laptop and a smartphone to perform their jobs. If that sounds like you, you could curl up on the couch all day or do something a bit better for your spine by transforming an underutilized nook or even a broom closet into a truly compact workspace featuring a built-in desk. However, make sure to get yourself a chair that provides enough back support.
If your home is on the small side, you can still set up a productive home workspace without infringing on family members or invading your daughter’s bedroom. A clever and thoughtful use of space will save on overhead and maintain your profit margins, which is an important point if you’re operating your own business.
Image courtesy of Pixabay