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Setting up a home office

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Setting up a home office

Making a home office work involves more than deciding where to plug in the computer. Other issues include zoning laws, tax implications and the effect on your home's value. You should properly assess your needs. Determine whether you need storage space, a phone line or ways to accommodate clients or deliveries. If you have children at home, there are other considerations. The next step is to choose a location, be it a corner of the basement, a bedroom, the dining-room table or the garage. A proper location can make it easier to work. If mixed with other things, it will be hard to stay focused. It's hard to get into it mentally if you have dirty dishes next to you.

A homeowner's insurance policy probably won't cover the contents of a business office and any related liability, so your coverage would need adjustment. On the other hand, if you work outside the home and use a home office incidentally, losses probably would be covered. Before you hang your shingle, check local laws, including specific neighborhood regulations. Communities may regulate the number of employees and customers on the premises, parking, changes to the building's appearance, deliveries, hours of operation and kinds of occupations permitted. Local homeowners associations and small cities may have their own rules.

A study sponsored by the US National Association of Realtors suggested that selling prices are reduced by 5 percent on homes that advertise a "professional home office." But simply setting aside space for an office shouldn't hurt a home's resale value. It could even boost a home's value, if a buyer is looking for a home office.

These are some of the items and issues pertaining to the settlement of a successful home office:

Sound isolation from potential distractions in the rest of the house.

Clear rules as to who and when can and cannot come in the office part of the house.

Separation. Your job shouldn’t permanently disturb the rest of the family, and the family shouldn’t invade your working place and make it hard for you to work.

Computer equipment (separate and different from the kids’ computer or any other equipment in the rest of the house, and on a separate network).

Telephone equipment, especially if conversations will be held with customers. Obviously, you can’t provide the terrible image associated with the customers actually hearing home sounds of any kind, or family members taking the calls in a non-business manner, etcetera.

Ergonomic chairs. You will be working for many hours in that part of your home, so it should be at least as comfortable as any ordinary office. The same principle applies to monitors and other important parts of your equipment and furniture. You can’t afford to end up hating the workingplace.

Security. Depending of what your professional activity will be, you may need to install proper security measures covering both the office area and the ordinary residential part of your home.

Insurance. An ordinary home insurance won’t cope with the necessary expenses if something happens.


Comprehensive career education glossary. Definitions of career education and career builder terms.

Adult basic education.    Adult general education    Adult secondary education.    Adult student.     Apprenticeship.    Aptitudes.   

Assessment.    Attributes.     Career.     Career branding.     Career Carnival.    Career change.    Career cluster.    Career coach.   

Career counseling.    Career exploration.    Career development.    Career fair.    Career guidance.    Career-Interest Inventory.    

Career mentoring.    Career objective.    Career paths.    Career planning.    Career program certificate.    Career resources.   

Career Trek.    Competencies (proficiencies).    Competency-based education.     Community Education.   

Continuing Workforce Education.    Co-operative career education    Cover letter.    Curriculum-Integrated program.   

CV. Curriculum Vitae.    Degree Vocational Education Program.    Demand occupation.    Distance education.    Doctorate.   

Dislocated worker.    Employability.    Entrepreneurial skills.    Formation.    Foundation skills.    Freelance career.    Head hunter.   

Home-based careers.    Human capital.    Human performance technology.    Human resources.    Immersion courses.    Internship.   

Job satisfaction.    Job shadowing.    Life coaching.    Lifelong learning.    Mentor.    Mentoring.    Moonlighting.    Motivation letter.   

Non-traditional careers.    Portfolio.    Postsecondary.    Prerequisite.    Real Game.    Resume.    Sabbatical year.   

School-to-career program.    Self-employment.    Self-instruction.    Skills.    Undergraduate.    Work-based learning.   

Work exploration.    Work readiness.    Work study.    Workforce development education.    Youth apprenticeship.

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