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Home Office Design Ideas: Tips for Creating an Efficient Home Office Workspace

written by: M.S. Smith•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 5/22/2011

Are you looking for information on home office design? This article accumulates some of the best home office design ideas in one easy text.

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    New Home Office Design Ideas

    Do you have a home office, or will you soon have need of one? If so, you should consider some new home office design ideas. These design ideas will result in an efficient home office which is well organized and easy to work in. For more information, check out the home office design ideas below.

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    The Basics and Tax Considerations

    Before you become too eager to go for broke (or simply go broke) on your home office needs you should think about the basics of what you already have. Even if you don't have a dedicated home office yet, it is likely you own at least some of the equipment required, such as a computer, a desk, etc. You need to decide how you will put this existing equipment to use, and while there are some complex ways in which you do this, simply becoming more organized is a good place to start.

    You'll also need to consider tax deductions as you expand your home office. The fact that an area of your home is considered your home office doesn't mean that everything in your office is game. There are also some rules on what, exactly, can be considered a home office for purposes of tax deductions.
    For more information on these considerations read our article Home Office Design Tips and Considerations.
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    Essential Items

    Home Office Design Essentials While different ideas may result in home office designs which are visually very different from one another, there are always some basic tools which every home office needs. Things such a phone, a computer, and other necessities are a critical part of every home office. Before you start thinking too much about how design ideas will make your home office unique you should think about these essential items and where you will place them in your home office.

    For a complete list of ten essential items you need for your home office read our article 10 Essential Items in a Home Office Setup.
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    Interior Design Tips

    Once you have the basics of your home office covered - equipment, taxes, etc - it is time to start thinking about the actual design ideas behind your home office. This includes items in your home office which you might not immediately think of as being part of a working environment.

    For example, consider the lighting in your home office. The best home office design ideas include lighting as a major element. You don't do anything for your work with a light bulb (unless you're a electrician!) but purchasing the proper lighting can have a major effect on your overall productivity. Poor lighting can cause eye strain, resulting in headaches and a generally unhappy home office experience.

    This is just one example of how different designs can change your home office. To learn more, read our article Interior Design Tips for Your Home Office.
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    Limited Space?

    Home Office Closet Space is often an issue in a home office. When you start your home office you need to convert part of your home to work, but unless you build an extra room in your home you are trying to squeeze more stuff into the same space!

    This results in some obvious conflicts. One way to conquer these problems is to make better use of the space you have. For more information, consult our article Building a Complete Home Office...In Your Closet!
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    Keeping Organized

    Folders For Organization Organization is a very important part of every home office, and all home office design ideas should consider organization. A home office which is poorly designed for organization will run into problems as it grows and as your home office needs grow. Files can pile up over time, and what do you do when you need to find critical information but you can't because your home office is poorly organized?

    Solving organization problems is, thankfully, easy. You simply need to consider organization in your initial home office design ideas. Being proactive can result in a little more time spent now, but it will save you a lot of time later. Read our article Home Office Organization to learn more.

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    Going Paperless

    The concept of the paperless home office is design idea which is gaining popularity. Going paperless can be a bit of a challenge at first, and it requires that you become familiar with a new way of doing business. Instead of keeping detailed paper records, you have to keep detailed digital records, which has a different set of challenges.

    However, going paperless has big advantages. It can save you money over time because you will no longer be spending a great deal of money on paper and printer ink. You will also have the peace of mind granted from helping the environment. If you're interested in the idea of a paperless office read our article Software to Support a Paperless Home Office.
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    Keeping Track of Your Time

    Timeclock It is easy to lose track of time when you are working in your home office. Losing track of time can, however, make it easier for you to become distracted. Conquering this problem requires that your home office design ideas be oriented towards keeping track of time from the very start. Once you have a system for keeping track of when you're working and when you're not, you'll find that the habit of punching your own time card is easy to keep.

    To learn about how to keep track of your time read our article Best Time Tracking Software for Home Office Workers.
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    Using Multiple Computers

    Most people know that they are going to need a home office computer when they are forming their home office design ideas. But what about using two home office computers? Is this an idea you have considered?
    For some, having a second home office computer isn't required. However, some professionals will find that the work they do often keeps one computer completely occupied. For example, a graphics designer may often have their computer doing complex graphics work which makes it difficult to also advertise or check e-mails. In these situations, it is important to incorporate a second computer into your home office design ideas. For more information read our article The Multiple-Computer Home Office.