I’m cranking through a few more pieces, and would love to hear from people!
1. How to design a home office that works. If you’ve worked from home for years, what have you figured out works and doesn’t? I made sure to angle my desk in such a way that the view for video calls isn’t embarrassing…
2. Along those same lines…making a work office work. What can you do to make office space more functional and inviting, especially if a major renovation isn’t in the cards? I’d love to hear from some businesses with office space that they’ve made a little less like Office Space.
3. The sabbatical. Do they keep employees engaged? What are some ways to do them well to get the most benefit?
4. Making the most of internet fame. It happens: someone becomes an overnight meme. How can you make the most of the opportunity?
As always, please email me at lvanderkam at yahoo dot com.
4 thoughts on “Seeking sources: how to build the home office of your dreams”
A room of one’s own.
I think that having a door on it is the single most important thing you can do with your home office.
Let’s you define the same. For women (and I’d love to see an article called —
the Home Office, working woman’s Man Cave) A Man Cave is not a bad thing. Women just can’t away with calling it that in America or most other societies : ) and aren’t interested in doing exactly the same things in their Man Cave’s that men are. I just looked this term b/c I’ve been thinking about it since your playroom article.. and it is actually a title of a Viriginia Wolf novel? Interestingly I read a ton of Virginia Wolf in college and it was taught by old, tenured white men who quite frankly, completely missed the point.. oh the stories one can tell about how they miss the point… (separate topic)
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” is the whole quote… but the more modern take on it might be… “A woman – and probably men too — must have (her own) money — we called that FU $ in modern AMerican fiction — and a room of one’s own to self-actualize…. forget writing fiction… the home office/man cave is probably the new garage… who needs a garage? but who can survive without a man cave/room of one’s own.
the piece that is missing is the other side of the door… that there is this full life of child raising and just being on the non-work side of the door and most people need both… I need both and both make me happy.. without the door it is pretty hard to have both. Even with $ it is psychologically harder than you’d think for most folks to negotiate this place into their lives and it is a mistake to think it is just a female thing.. the man cave should have a door on it too.. men should have their space to do their things but there should be a door on their stuff and it should be contained…
@Cara – thanks for this. I love the image of having a life on both sides of the door.
I just bought my first house over the summer, and this was my first opportunity to have a real home office. I didn’t have much of a budget at all, but I did a few things to make it look inviting:
1. Display all of my colorful books, and add photos and knick knacks that remind you of great trips in front of them, for extra decoration. I have pictures of friends and family from great memories, along with seashells, a plaque where I climbed The Great Wall of China, a coke bottle from Mexico, etc.
2. I bought an inexpensive bright blue rug. Adding a pop of color on the floor makes the room a lot more lively.
3. I bought a 4 drawer filing cabinet off Craiglist (which I am ecstatic about). I then printed off a bunch of photos from over the years. and used brightly colored magnets to display them.
We just broke ground on our huge remodel/addition, so we’ve thought a lot about this. Hubby is intending to use his new office to work from home at least 4 days a week, and his requirements are:
1. Most definitely a door that closes, and possibly opaque so he doesn’t get distracted.
2. We’re having the Internet connection from outside the house come into his office so he can plug directly into the router, which is faster than wireless.
3. Wireless printer for the house will go somewhere *not* in the office so we don’t have to go in there and bother him to get a printout. He can still print but will need to come out to retrieve it. (he hardly ever needs to print anything.)
4. Regular size desk (none of this Pinterest tiny fashionable vintage table stuff) with 2 huge monitors, basically to recreate what he would get at the office. He can’t work well on a laptop for hours.
For my craft room, it’s obviously a different focus than information work, but here’s what I need:
1. Space for my gadgets so they can be out and visible. (die cutting machines, sewing machine, laptop space). If I have to move things around to set up, I’ll probably just skip using that thing entirely, which confines my creativity. (sometimes that’s good, though.)
2. In that same vein, “stations” for different techniques, esp the messy ones, so I’m not always having to clean up completely. A spot where I can do paint and chemical jewelry stuff, separate from where I pack and ship packages, separate from where I put my laptop.
3. Color – for me this is inspiring and makes the space feel like mine. For hubby, he needs his space to be neutral. Both of us like having lots of family photos, but he prefers an electronic frame and I like tons of stuff on the walls.
Hope that helps 🙂