Jeff of ChiefHomeOfficer wrote us on Christmas Eve with a story and photo of one of the most thought-out and organized home offices I've ever seen. I have to post it along with his detailed email because I am quite
jealous baffled that someone can be that organized and have such attention to detail. Thanks Jeff!
Greetings and salutations from South Florida. I'm Jeff Zbar, a two-decade veteran of the work-at-home experience. I thought I would forward you an image of the home office from which I work as a freelance writer and business expert.
Trust me, this office is NOT the stuff of some Ikea Winter 2007 catalog. My current home office - my fourth since I started working from home in 1989 - is the result of every other space from which I've worked, including loft condos, townhomes and our former quaint, starter home. The desk itself it was borne of my own designs and years of experience. No Home Depot kitchen-counter-turned-office-desk here, as was the case in one of my first offices. This baby was designed by me and custom built with attention to a variety of otherwise "little" detains. At 10 feet long, it has plenty of room for both working at the PC or writing on and reading paper materials. At the left side, the corner angles away from the wall, so my monitor can rest the requisite 18 inches from my face (ergonomists everywhere would appreciate that). Among the other features any work-at-home dad would appreciate are locking cabinets and drawers to keep my then-toddler and preschooler fingers out (today, I'm not as concerned about where my 10-, 13- and 16-year old kids' fingers go; the less they bug me for office supplies or use of my printer, the better). The desk includes an under-desk CPU cabinet with doors that close and latch (originally designed to keep our then-little kids' fingers from pushing those enticing green buttons or pulling on all those wires and cables in the back). The doors both have cut-aways at the top to ensure sufficient air from an under-desk fan blows through to cool the CPU. It also features grommets leading to a wirechase that runs the entire 10-foot length from the CPU cabinet all the way to the enclosure at the other end that houses my color printer and other supplies. A task lamp has been fashioned as part of the desk itself, and my phone is mounted to the wall to clear additional space - including two inches for the four-port USB hub so I can stop reaching under the desk to plug in accessories. The Broadband fax machine [a VERY cool device, if you haven't written about it in the past] actually sits on a pedestal, designed just wide enough to slip two plastic inbox trays under it for even more storage).
In my closet, I have a scratched-and-dent discounted Hon four-drawer file cabinet, and built shelving to add additional storage. I also installed two shelves above my desk to get other accessories, knicknacks and momentos off my workspace. The walls also are like a quilt made of my kids' art, pictures of family life, and a few lithographs of distinction in my feeble attempt at culture. To my left while seated is a large window, providing a view of the front yard, my kids at play, and passersby all (after all, home officers should be the workday eyes and ears of the neighborhood, no?). To might right is what I consider the power tool of any home office: My doors leading to the home itself ("power tool" because when I'm working and the house is haywire, I can close them in a feeble attempt to stifle the ruckus, and when my day's done or the weekend's come, I can close them again, in a feeble attempt to keep myself from reading just one more email or filing just one more article).
A black leather loveseat sits behind me for when my kids return from school and want to chat - assuming, of course, the terrier has vacated his space and agreed to the intrusion. And, of course, my drum kit rests mere feet away. Some execs have their treadmill. I have my kit. Hey, if you're gonna work from home, you might as well work from a space that's efficient, comfortable - and fun.