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Turn Your 'Extra Room' into an Office for Good ROI

Turn Your 'Extra Room' into an Office for Good ROI

By John Voket

In our last segment, I focused on a recent survey that asked visitors: What's the most important "extra room" to have in a house? Nearly half the respondents (48 percent) said an office or study would be their most important extra room, so we took a look at some ideas for creating a study.

In this segment we'll snag a few pointers about designing or comfortably integrating a home office into one's dwelling, which could also generate a good return on investment if you are using it for work, or a hobby that generates a few extra bucks.

Amy-Mae Elliott at recently interviewed home office expert Lisa Kanarek, founder of who said the first thing to do is decide where your home office should be.

Kanarek suggests considering obvious places like a spare bedroom, guest room or basement, as well as more unorthodox spaces like a dining room or formal living room, if rarely or never used.

One important consideration, she says, is making sure your office has a door, ensuring you can switch off when you're not working. Some other tips include:

  • Installing an L-shaped arrangement for a desk to double your work surfaces. Don’t waste the corner, Kanarek says!
  • Adding shelves above or next to your desk to gain more storage space and to reduce desktop clutter.
  • Or, using open shelves or a hutch that sits on your desk to increase your storage space.
  • Investing in some decent, surge-protected extension cords to install around the room where you need power most.
  • Considering a Wi-Fi printer, which can be kept further away from the computer
  • Greening up! Kanarek says it's been proven that plants in the workplace can reduce stress levels and increase productivity. Plants are also an inexpensive way to transform the look and feel of a room.
  • If you work from home full-time, you're going to be spending as much time in your office as you do in the rest of the house, Kanarek says. So don't treat your working space as a second-class accommodation—give it the importance it deserves.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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