Furniture for a home office

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Now that you're working at home, it's time to choose your home office furniture
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As the number of home office workers increase, furniture manufacturers have introduced a wide array of home office furniture.

Where Will You Be Working?

So you've decided to join the growing number of those who work from their homes. Good for you! Now you have the important and often perplexing decisions regarding how to furnish your home office. So much depends on how much space you have. Can you devote an entire extra room to your endeavors, or, are you going to transform a small area of your kitchen, den or guest room?

Taking Measurements

Of course, if you have an entire room to use as your office, it makes your decisions a little easier. However, you still must measure very carefully if you plan on installing a wall-to-wall furniture system since every inch will be critical to fitting your space. Make sure to measure where your windows are including the height from the floor to the sill. Also, don't forget to measure you doors and closets. Since you will probably require electronic equipment, note where your electrical outlets are positioned; and if you have prominent baseboards, crown molding, or heating ducts, it is also important to measure these features.

Thinking About Office Equipment

Whether you are going to devote an entire room or a portion of one, you must also address your equipment needs. How big is your monitor? Do you have a horizontal or vertical CPU? What are the sizes of your key electronic equipment such as your printer, scanner, fax machine, speakers, or telephone? Your office furniture must be adaptable to your needs.

Built-In Furniture

Many people who decide to integrate furniture into their home office feel that built-in work surfaces, storage cabinets, and file pedestals are the best way to go. There's no question, built-in furniture can be beautiful and can fit your workspace perfectly today, but what about in a few months or years? That's why most people find modular furniture preferable to built-in units. Built-in furniture is almost impossible to modify it or move it without considerable expense when your needs change. It offers very little flexibility to meet changing work needs. The desk you need today may be dramatically different from the one you'll need in the future, given the rapidly changing nature of office technology such as computer monitor and CPU sizes.

Modular Furniture

Modular furniture is constantly evolving. If you have specific furniture need in the future, you'll be able to plug in the appropriate piece of modular furniture that might not even exist today. In fact, the best modular furniture manufacturers are constantly adding pieces to their extensive home office furniture collections as computers and other electronic equipment evolve. A good way to check out what's available in furniture for a home office is to go online.

Considering Future Events

Another consideration when deciding between built-in and modular furniture for a home office is that when you sell your house, you will likely have trouble finding a buyer who will appreciate your investment in built-in furniture. In fact, a remodeling magazine revealed that built-in home offices offer the lowest return on investment of any major home improvement. On average, the magazine found that people realized only a 42% return on the money invested in customized home office furniture.

Economical Decisions

In comparison, investing in high-quality modular furniture makes good economic sense. High-quality modular office furniture systems present a much lower initial investment than their built-in counterparts. Furthermore, when you move, you'll be able to take your modular system with you and re-use it and/or re-configure it. People buying your home will likely find greater value in an empty room rather than one outfitted with built-in office furniture that doesn't suit their purposes, especially if they don't even plan on putting a workspace into the area that has your built-in office furniture.

Manufacturers of modular furniture for a home office are prepared to give you the best product at a reasonable cost. Their mission is to create ergonomically sound, convenient, and durable furniture that combines both form and function and can be easily modified when your needs change.

Your desk and chair should take top priority. Currently, 80%-90% of all work done in the home or commercial office is from a seated position. Therefore, the single most important piece of work furniture is the chair. The well-designed chair can improve posture and circulation while decreasing fatigue. The shape of the chair should permit most of the body weight to be transferred to the seat through the buttocks rather than the thighs. When shopping for furniture for a home office, check out all the ergonomically designed chairs and other products available online, but always try out the chair yourself.

Seat height should be adjusted so that your thighs are horizontal, the lower legs vertical and the feet firmly on the floor. The front of the seat should be of waterfall design to relieve pressure on the thigh's blood vessels. A five-footed seat base is preferred for maximum stability.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety, a federal agency concerned with the work environment, advises that your chair should have adjustable heights and backrests. The backrest should adjust in the lumbar region to provide adequate support. Well-designed chairs include independent controls for back support and seat-front angle as well as seating height. You should be able to lean backward or forward without tilting the seat and be able to make adjustments from a seated position. Casters that roll freely are also a must.

Finally, armrests can be useful because they support the forearms reducing fatigue and strain on the shoulders, neck, and upper body. Armrests also provide leverage or support to help a person get in and out of the chair. However, if the armrests restrict you in the performance of your tasks or are uncomfortable, they may not be practical for you.

Remember you will probably spend about 80,000 hours of your life doing work while sitting so it's well worth your time to find a comfortable chair. Deciding on furniture for a home office need not be complicated; just do your research.

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