How to Set Up a Home Office

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Have you ever tried getting any work done in your living room? It's a little difficult with a TV staring at you in the face, luring you into watching your favorite programs or movies. And don't think you can get your work done with the TV on in the background, because that never works either. How about working in your bedroom? It's probably not a good idea to try and accomplish anything that makes you feel tired with your bed in close proximity. The kitchen probably doesn't have enough workspace, and although the dining room table might work, some people aren't fond of working where they eat, especially if their work can get a little messy. If you are looking for a place in your home where you can be the most productive and get the most work done, then it's time to set up a home office.


A desk is the most common piece of furniture that defines a specific area in your home as an office space. When shopping for a desk for your home office, think about the type of work you wish to complete at home, and the budget you have to work with. If you are using your home office as your primary workspace for a home business, it wouldn't hurt to splurge a bit on a double pedestal desk made of mahogany. If you are an architect, you would probably require a specific desk suited for your trade, like a standing desk or architect's desk. Some desks come with almost everything needed for a home office setup including a chair, shelves, computer and monitor space, drawers and a storage cabinet.

Your office chair is arguably the most important piece of furniture in your home office. The type of desk you decide on will determine the type of chair you use for your home office. If you prefer a stool over a rolling chair, make sure you have enough clearance space and that you're not seated too high above your workspace. Select a chair that is comfortable with adequate support to reduce any strain on your back. Don't be afraid to splurge on your home office chair, it can be the determining factor of how much time you enjoy spending in your home office.

It is important that your workspace not only provide you with adequate function for your work, it also needs to be comfortable. Think of your workspace as your command center, a cockpit and your throne. Unlike an office space outside of the home, your home office is where you reign and have complete control. Furnish your working area however you see fit.


Shelves, closets, filing cabinets and drawers are storage options you need to consider when setting up your home office. Will your desk come with built-in storage space, or do you need to buy a separate piece of furniture for your storage needs? Like your workspace, the primary function of your home office will determine what type of storage you'll need. If you are using your home office for your own business, you might need more storage space than a home office used for paying bills and keeping home records. Plastic storage bins and moving boxes may substitute a storage unit, but it would be wise to invest in a filing cabinet for organizational purposes.


The next thing to look into when setting up your home office is the equipment you'll need to get your work done. Most home offices will require a telephone, fax machine, waste basket, printer and computer. If you plan on doing a lot of work that requires frequent internet use, get a high speed internet connection. If you expect to receive numerous phone calls throughout the day, it wouldn't hurt to get a second phone line along with a fax switch for easier use of your fax machine. Some people may want to substitute a laptop for a home computer if they feel limited on space. Don't forget to purchase any specific equipment necessary to perform your job functions if you plan on working from home.


Proper lighting is important for reducing eye strain and headaches, while providing a comfortable workspace. A well-lit room can also keep you from falling asleep, and help you stay energized and invigorated while working from home. While the room you are using for your home office may already have light fixtures, don't be afraid to add a desk lamp or other forms of task lighting to increase work visibility.


Certain job functions will require specific accessories for your home office. Some home offices may require a marker board or map of the world on the wall. Other home offices might need more than one computer monitor, especially if you run an online business. Aside from work related accessories, consider filling your home office with items and décor that pleases you. Sports memorabilia, movie posters and magazine cut-outs might not be appropriate for a workspace in a shared office, but can be utilized in your home office which you are in charge of. The great thing about having a home office is you get to create a work environment catered to your likes and needs to help you complete your daily tasks with as much ease and comfort as possible.

Last Updated: January 20, 2012
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About Matthew Cenzon Matthew Cenzon has been writing for numerous publications since 2003, covering topics ranging from health and nutrition to the real estate industry. He is one of the contributing writers for, and is a college graduate of the University of California, Riverside, with degrees in English and Asian literature. Matthew’s interest in interior design and home improvement stem from his background working in the residential real estate appraisal business for over five years, where he witnessed many of the Do's and Don'ts of home decor.

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