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10 Best Books for Inspiration and Self-Help for Home Office Workers

written by: Andrea Campbell•edited by: Linda Richter•updated: 3/30/2011

The best books for inspiration and self-help for home office workers are here and it is a motley crew. Although these titles may seem like “one is not like the other," they all benefit the home office worker whether he needs a design plan, eco-friendly advice or just some serious ‘Om’ time--read on.

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    10 Best Home Office Book List: Numbers 1 - 4

    ShebsBook collection Home office workers unite! Here are ten best books for inspiration and self help that may specifically address your needs.

    #1. The Smarter Home Office: 8 Simple Steps to Increase Your Income, Inspiration and Comfort by Linda Varone

    Author Linda Varone is a home and office design consultant who specializes in “Architectural psychology." If you’ve found your office is depressing, a dungeon, or just needs some serious mojo help, this may be your book.

    A scary bit of data shared, Varone says, “…information crossing your desk has increased by 600% while the size of your desktop is 37% smaller…" So then she sets about outlining 8 easy steps to consider for your own home office: desk position, ergonomics, lighting, accessing nature, color environment, identifying underused spaces, how to make the office personal with photos and mementos, and this overlooked “best perk" of having a home office—access to family and no commute.

    Varone has design ideas such as: making use of a “hutch" and designing vertically, along with how to get the kids to respect your space; she also tells how to not zombie out from lack of human companionship. There is an action plan at the end of each chapter.

    2. The Home Office Planner by Barty Phillips

    There's more office design in this little 96-page guide, but this "spiral-bound" planner has charts to help you decide how to plan, while the unique self-adhesive stickers and a grid allow you to construct an accurate layout drawing. Inside is a split section for experimenting with color options and office furniture options. This is a fun, interactive book that makes you an active partner in practical design. There are also notes on sharing office space, the dual-purpose office, the put-away office and the awkward-space office.

    3. A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office: Navigating the Maze of Solar Options, Incentives, and Installers by Stephen and Rebecca Hren

    We love, love, love the idea that solar energy just may be becoming more mainstream, and this book helps things along. A detailed and clear overview of the many solar options available today for home office users who are energy-minded yet still don’t know all the ins and outs.

    We liked the map of the U.S. with typical kWh/year estimates for your own state. And we also found out that solar hot water panels are not the same as solar electric panels. What's the dif? Sun’s heat is directly converted to energy carried in photons of sunlight via a semiconductor to generate electricity, but solar water has copper tubes where the water flows through them. Also, solar electricity has no moving parts—and works better in cold (sun is closer to the earth in winter). But both are free, renewable, sustainable. The book details types of solar panels, tax breaks and financing.

    240px-SanDiegoCityCollegeLearingRecourceCity-bookshelf 4. The Home Office From Hell Cure: Transform Your Underperforming, Time-Sucking Homebased Business Into a Runaway Success by Jeffrey Landers

    A serial entrepreneur, Landers has founded five companies and has advised small businesses for more than three decades. But there are many struggling entrepreneurs who are in a muddle. This book has a 100-day action plan as a calendar-slash-motivator. Endorsements from guru Seth Godin, co-author of Guerrilla Marketing for the Homebased Business, tell us you will learn to identify business goals. The book is easy to read and colloquial in nature, and Landers jokes by having “TheTop 10 Signs You Have a Home Office From Hell." One of the signs is: #8: “My friends think that working at home means I never miss Days of Our Lives."

    Get a virtual office, check the yellow pages, find locations…virtual staffing; jumpstart your business, bring it back to life in 100 days—Landers wants to help you be a “Nexpert", but the plan is quite intense if you actually follow the program.

    More best books for inspiration and self help for home office workers on page 2.

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    Working in your home office means you need the very best books for inspiration and self help. Page 2 of this article by Bright Hub's Andrea Campbell contains more books guaranteed to jumpstart your entrepreneurial juices. We start with the design plan, move into furniture placement, think about having an eco-friendly home office, how to make the air quality better, give tips on filing and organization, and end with spirituality, mindset and the best ideas for home office entrepreneurs.
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    10 Best Home Office Book List: Numbers 5 - 8

    More best books for inspiration and self help for home office workers:

    5. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber

    This is a totally revised edition of the bestseller, The E-Myth.

    Gerber cites the failure-rate statistics for small business: 40% fail in the first year. Of those who survive the first year, 80% fail in 5 years, and800px-Bookshelf  of those who survive five years, another 80% fail. So Gerber talks about your becoming a technician, a manager and an entrepreneur, and shows how to balance those roles. But there are no shortcuts here because you should probably write an operating manual to know your business and get it to function properly, and he uses the McDonalds franchise as an example. The heavy business-type research is often skipped by people who want to own a small business, but you shouldn't if you’re willing to dig in--and Gerber has some models to follow: He uses a pie shop as an illustration.

    6. Office Sutras: Exercises for Your Soul at Work by Marcia Menter

    There’s a cute drawing on the cover, and Menter talks about an office that is stuffy, undusted—or that may be giving you headaches and lots of repetition. This book is not about God, being a good person, or seeking out the Dalai Lama but more about the force that moves you. We like the “keywords cheat sheet" that starts with the word Burnout. Chapter 5 is named "The Slough of Suckiness," so there is a good amount of humor but also practical advice. Each chapter includes inspiring Mantras for the Bad Days, such as “If God had wanted me to spend my whole life in my office, he would have given me a nicer office." If you think that spirituality doesn’t have anything to do with work, you need this book.

    7. How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office by B. C. Wolverton

    Based on 25 years of research by NASA, this book shows how common houseplants can combat sick building syndrome and cleanse the home office of common pollutants. Fifty plants are listed by rank based on removal of chemical vapors, ease of maintenance, resistance to insect infestation and transpiration rate (loss of water from plant leaves into the air).

    If you’ve ever felt like you couldn’t breathe in your home office, maybe you should reassess your air quality and surroundings. Or maybe you are prone to allergies or asthma? Whatever your state of being, this is an important, informative read.

    8. Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007 Step by Step by Joyce Cox, Curtis Frye, Joan Preppernau

    Even Mac users at one time or another will have to work with something from the Microsoft Office Home suite. Work from cover to cover--but you set the pace. Here you'll read about the fundamentals for working with Excel 2007, OneNote 2007, PowerPoint 2007, and Word 20007 including creating attractive documents, good presentations, organizing data and performing calculations, and digitally managing your notes. A companion CD is included.

    More best books for inspiration and self help for home office workers on page 3.

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    These top 10 best books for inspiration and self help hit all the topics you might consider when setting up a home office for yourself. The last page of this article by Andrea Campbell introduces you to two of the top best sellers in among home office workers, teaching you how to manage home office drudgery as well as your time.
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    10 Best Home Office Book List: Numbers 9 and 10

    More best books for inspiration and self help for home office workers:

    9. I Hate Filing: Everything You Need to Get Organized for Success and Sanity at Home on the Run and in the Office by Sharon Mann

    Probably more oriented to a woman reader, Mann had to recreate her life and go back to work after a divorce; she moved into an apartment with a baby and worked a business. "Filing" in the title is a metaphor for work and the drudgery of work.

    Mann is one of America's leading organizational experts and known for her 'Ask Sharon' column. National recognition as the Mother of Organization, she leads the I Hate Filing Club with more than 100,000 members. Yes, she also teaches at Pendaflex Learning Center and is an advocate of office supplies, but you just may learn something here.

    RelojDespertadoralarmclock 10. Time Management: The Busy Person's Guide To Planning A Well-Organized Schedule: Organize Your Office, Organize Your Home And Organize Your Life With These ... Even With A Very Tight And Busy Schedule by Cheryl D. Latham

    It seems time management escapes even the most anal-retentive of us home office workers. Management = Results; and time management can make you rich. The book starts with time tracking. And it has short chapters for easy-to-digest pieces.

    Latham says, “…for many people motivation isn’t a prerequisite to action…it is the result of it!"

    Learn what’s urgent and what is not and knowing what to do when. If you can figure out those things, that’s plenty. You'll find ommon-sense simple rules we all need to read, if not the first time, then over again.

    *If you have your own list of the best books for inspiration and self help for home office workers, please leave your recommendations in the comments area--we'd love to hear them.

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    Reference

    Varone, Linda. The Smarter Home Office: 8 Simple Steps to Increase Your Income, Inspiration and Comfort. Great Meadows Publishing, 2010.

    Barty, Phillips. The Home Office Planner. Mitchell Beazley/Chronicle Books, 2000.

    Hren, Stephen and Rebecca Hren. A Solar Buyer's Guide for the Home and Office: Navigating the Maze of Solar Options, Incentives, and Installers. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2010.

    Landers, Jeffrey. The Home Office From Hell Cure: Transform Your Underperforming, Time-Sucking Homebased Business Into a Runaway Success. Entrepreneur Press, 2008.

    Gerber, Michael. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It. HarperCollins, 3rd ed., 1995.

    Menter, Marcia. Office Sutras: Exercises for Your Soul at Work. Red Wheel, 2003.

    Wolverton, B.C. How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office. Penguin, 1997.

    Cox, Joyce; Curtis Frye and Joan Preppernau. Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007 Step by Step. Microsoft Press, 2007.

    Mann, Sharon. I Hate Filing: Everything You Need to Get Organized for Success and Sanity at Home on the Run and in the Office. HCI, 2006.

    Latham, Cheryl D. Time Management: The Busy Person's Guide To Planning A Well-Organized Schedule: Organize Your Office, Organize Your Home And Organize Your Life With These ... Even With A Very Tight And Busy Schedule. CreateSpace, 2010.

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