As more people have begun to telecommute or work from home, the home office has become increasingly common. Having a home office offers a number of benefits, such as financial savings, privacy and organisation.

Benefits of a home office

If the home office is used exclusively for work it may be possible to offset various costs against tax; for example, mortgage interest, rent, utilities, insurance, painting and repairs. Consulting with an accountant is recommended in order to establish what specifically can be deducted and what cannot.

Even if tax benefits are not available, there are other advantages that make creating a home office worthwhile. The single biggest plus is that it provides a place where work is the primary focus, completely separate from the home environment. This enables the worker or business owner to establish a strict division between work and family/relaxation time. A home office also offers privacy, allowing work to be finished more quickly, away from the distractions of the outside world.

Five great home office ideas

  1. When it comes to business marketing, the branding and image of a company should be reflected in the design of the home office. Even if clients are never entertained there, it is important to have office furniture and equipment that is contemporary and evokes the brand to customers.
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  2. Productivity can be greatly impacted by noise, either by its volume or by the type of noise. Even low levels of office noise can have an adverse effect on performance. Adding carpet, curtains or office dividers can often reduce the noise level significantly.
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  3. The sterile and cramped atmosphere of an office can have a negative effect on health and productivity. Having a view of the outside from a home office will help to counter this effect. If possible, place the desk near a window and have at least one comfortable chair apart from your desk chair, or perhaps, if space allows, reclining sofas, which will help create a relaxing seating area. Framed family photos and some landscape prints will help make the home office a more enjoyable place to be and the addition of some plants will add fresh oxygen into the work area.
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  4. Having a home office and working from home means keeping your work time and family time separate. Choosing a specific room, with a door that closes or a closed space in a low-traffic area of the house, will allow the creation of a home office that encourages productivity.
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  5. Finally, selecting appropriate furniture for a home office is vitally important. It can have an enormous impact on productivity; prevent tension injuries due to repetitive actions, such as typing, and strains from improper posture, as well as contributing to overall health for the individual. Chairs and sofas, particularly desk chairs, should allow for a slightly reclined posture when seated. This position helps to reduce pressure and pain in the back. The location of the computer monitor is also critical when it comes to reducing neck, back pain and eyestrain. Choose a desk that positions the top of the computer monitor at, or just below, eye level.