8 Tips for Creating an Office at Home

office
Source: smemon87

Whether you are running a business out of the guest room, working from home in the den, or paying your bills in a corner of the family room, constructing a comfortable, professional space is critical. Use these eight tips for creating an office at home.

 

1. Design an office that meets your needs

The first step in crafting the perfect home office is to settle on its purpose.

  • Will you have sole access, or will it be shared with family members?
  • Will you always work alone, or will you need seating for vendors and clients?
  • What shelves, baskets, filing cabinets, and desk space will you need for storage and organisation?
  • If you will claim your home office as a tax deduction, make sure you meet the Internal Revenue Service guidelines.

 

2. Create a floor plan before making purchases

Before you bring new furniture into the space, you must confirm that it will fit. The same principle applies to wall accessories like bulletin boards and dry erase boards.

The simplest method for fashioning a floor plan is to draw your room measurements on a piece of graph paper, cut out coloured paper to match the scaled size of the items you want, and then try different configurations to until you find the best combination. If you prefer a high-tech approach, you can built your floor plan with a spreadsheet, CAD software, or an interior decorating application.

When you are developing your plan, remember to about one foot of extra depth for open file cabinets and desk drawers. More importantly, make sure you have enough electrical outlets and amperage to accommodate all of your equipment. You do not want extension cords wrapping around the room, and you do not want to trip a circuit breaker every time you switch on your desk lamp.

 

3. Define the space

Separating your office into a professional space will help you stay in a work mindset and remain productive. If you will be using only part of a room, consider designating your space with some type of barrier. Some inexpensive options include a Japanese Shoji screen, painted bookcases, adjustable curtains or fabric panels, or even a row of potted plants or trees.

 

4. Pay attention to the furniture

You will get little work done sitting in an uncomfortable chair for hours. You also risk aggravating back problems. Choose a chair and desk that will maintain your good posture. According to Cleveland Clinic, having a proper sitting position means the following:

  • back straight and shoulders back
  • knees at a right angle, even or slightly higher than your hips, with feet flat on the floor and legs uncrossed
  • elbows and arms resting on your chair or desk with your shoulders relaxed
  • shifting to a different position at least once every half hour.

 

5. Avoid bad lighting

Poor lighting can cause eye fatigue and headaches. Move your monitor to a position that will prevent glare. Take advantage of natural lighting whenever possible, and use soft, ambient light bulbs to complement the space. Keep in mind the placement of task lighting for reading and manual work and the general level of room light for other activities.

 

6. Keep the office fun and inspirational

Surround yourself with pleasant colours, motivating artwork, creative toys, and gallery-like accessories. The items in your office should be calming or thought-provoking but never distracting. Live plants, soft tunes, and aromatherapy products can help form a relaxing environment.

 

7. Keep the office clean and tidy

Do not be tempted to pack items into every nook of your office. Leave some open space, remove unnecessary trinkets and piles, and use creative storage units to keep unattractive cords and clutter out of sight.

 

8. Reduce the noise

Locate office noises and take steps to quiet them. Add a door to the furnace, install carpet or wall hangings to absorb echoes, seal door frames, close windows during peak traffic periods, and let your family know your office schedule so they will control interruptions.

 

With a little planning, you can create a perfect environment for your business activities. As you are pulling together your ideal furniture, equipment, and accessories, keep in mind these eight tips for creating an office at home.

6 years ago

How to Create Business Cards with InDesign

This guest post was written by Phil Boyd, of InDesignTemplate.Com.

The business card is one of the most important ways for young designers and entrepreneurs to locally promote themselves.

If you have already started doing freelance work or are thinking about doing it in the near future, I highly suggest having a business card to hand to potential clients.

Why?

Credibility

For a young professional, having a business card adds a ton of credibility to your cause.
If you claim to be a designer-for-hire but cannot easily give a business card to your client, it will seem unprofessional and you will probably be forgotten.

However, if you can back up your claim by giving them a card, it will give the impression that you are professional and dedicated.

Nobody wants an inexperienced kid working for them. Show them that you are serious about your work. It goes a long way, trust me!

Ease of Contact

Your business card holds all of the most important ways to contact you. Your phone number, e-mail address, and anything else which is important to you.

The business card lets you give all of this information to somebody directly and easily. No more searching for a pen and a napkin when you see the opportunity for work.

Your potential client will be much more inclined to contact you if you make it easy for them.

Remember – if you give a personal phone number, answer the phone professionally! No “Hey”s and “Yo”s!

To Showcase your Talents

If you are a designer, why not incorporate your design skills into your business card?
Your business card is often moulds your client’s first impression of you, so take the opportunity to win them over on the spot by showing them your work.

Are you a graphic designer? Create a personal logo for your card! Web designer? Make it look like a website!

Keep it creative yet professional.

Creating a business card

For this exercise, we will be creating a simple business card using Adobe InDesign. This is the best program for bringing together text and images, as well as preparing your document for professional print.

1. Open a New Document in InDesign
indesign new document

Go to File -> New -> Document

Make the document 1 page. Width 3.5 in, Height 2 in. Make the margins 1/8″ (0.125 in), as well as the bleed.

Press OK.

2. Create your text.

insert text

Click on the text tool or press “T” on your keyboard. Draw a text box.

Write in your name, position, and essential contact information.

3. Import your logo or graphic
insert graphic

This should be created as a vector image in Illustrator, however a 300 PPI jpeg will be sufficient.

Click on the ractangle frame tool or press “F” on your keyboard. Draw a frame.

Go to File -> Place or hit Ctrl+D (Command+D on Mac). Browse for your image, and hit OK.

Right click, and go to Fitting Options -> Fit Content Proportionally. Your image should now fit your frame.

You can adjust the frame size and keep fitting your content proportionally, or you can adjust the image inside the frame by hitting the direct selection tool (A).

I want my image to appear to continue off the business card, so I will ensure the graphic continues until the red bleed line.

4. Choose your color theme.

change color scheme

Do you want the background to be white or colored? White will generally be cheaper to print, however professional printers should have different colored stock – check ahead.

For this card I will use a lightly stained background, and use the two shades of green from my image for consistency.

First, use the rectangle tool to draw a rectangle that fills the entire bleed area. Next choose your background color. Right-click, go to Arrange -> Send to Back.
I chose a brown, which complements the green of the image, and turned the opacity down to 30%.

Next, I highlighted my name, chose the eyedropper tool, and clicked on the darker green color.

5. Perfect your layout

perfect layout

I selected the line tool and drew a green line from the bleed margin up to the tree stump. I right-justified my name and position (using the text bar at the top).

This symbolizes me, chopping down a tree. Suitable for a lumberjack, no?

I highlighted my contact information and made it 8 pt, to give focus to my name.

Finally, I added in the (fake) company name at the top, and gave it the light green color from my image.

6. Print

Now that the layout is complete, print your business cards!
I suggest using a professional printer, especially if you are using colors and images that bleed out of your document.

Trying to print out a large amount of these yourself will be a huge headache, and will cause more problems than good.

Invest the money for professional printing!

As you can see, it is relatively simple to create a professional business card using InDesign. All it takes is a little patience to learn the program!

 

Looking for the best printing services to print your business cards for the holidays? Visit PsPrint Online Printing to get the best deals!

 

7 years ago