So, you haven’t yet made it to the Caribbean. You’re not telecommuting from a sunny, tropical beach.
I hear you. I’m not there either (so don’t look for me just yet).
Despite not having the beach and palm trees outside your window, you can still like the place you work. You might even grow to love it — particularly with the help of these clever, savvy and useful writings on creating a super-cool home office environment.
The categories are: general tips and improvements, building a home office, DIY projects, Zen stuff, uncluttering, design, productivity and organization, low impact and tax.
General tips and improvements
1. 10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Home Office
Buy a plant. Get a recycling system. Tidy up the wires. Add a filing cabinet. Organize your desk. Get some color. Get a clock. Get a USB cup warmer. Improve the lighting. Add a calendar/wallpaper/whiteboard.
2. 12 Ways to Pimp Your Home Office
Showcases some innovative home office art, design and products. Very expensive stuff, but nice to look at.
3. Home Office Life
Lisa Kanarek is an author and ’speaker’ (?) who’s created a website dedicated to home office tips, home office design and home office resources.
Building a home office
4. Getting to Done: The Ultimate Home Office
Lifehacker’s associate editor D. Keith Robinson shares his guide to creating the best possible home office.
5. Nine Steps Towards the Home Office of Your Dreams
INC.com’s guide. Great home offices come from self-knowledge. Pay attention to light. Think vertically. Think ergonomically. For chronic back pain, try working at a standing desk. If you can’t find it, you can’t use it. Buy the most memory you can afford, and back up habitually. If you’re building a home office from scratch, wire smartly. Consider the management of your home office as much of a business issue as much as the management of your regular office. Unless, of course, your home office is your regular office.
6. Advice for setting up a home office: group interview
Non-intuitive home office tips from well-known bloggers.
7. Designing a totally new home office
Scott Hanselman walks us through his complete home office building process.
8. Set up a healthy, usable workspace
A healthy desk. Take regular breaks. Set up an ergonomically friendly desk. Set up a usable desk.
9. The Killer Home Office for Under $2,500
Assuming you like gadgets.
10. Computer Chair Buying: a Step-by-Step Guide
Freshome’s in-depth guide to picking the perfect computer chair.
11. What home office points should I remember?
Offices and Operations mentor Mie-Yun Lee reminds us not to forget certain important aspects of setting up a home office.
12. Create a practical home office space
Real Simple’s guide to building the perfect home office.
13. Declutter your desk with an MDF pegboard
Van Mardian’s clever solution to cable clutter involves wiring all your external electronics and cables to a pegboard attached to the underside of your desk.
14. Top 10 DIY Office Projects
Wine cork laptop stand. Nightstand recharging station. Thief-proof pen bouquet. Letter tray network rack. Box charging station. Under-desk power strip. Door as desk. ABS pipe monitor riser. Binder clip cable catcher. Pegboard gadget mount.
16. Staying Productive + Sane While Working from Home
Web work guru Leo Babauta on his top thirty tips for successful home-based work.
17. Computer Workstation Ergonomics
Jeff Atwood’s characteristically colorful guide to taking care of your body in the home office.
18. How to manage kids in the home office
The question of the door. Make it their office too. Pass on your old computer. Adapt to their schedule. It can be a learning experience. Be up front with customers. Don’t be afraid to set limits.
19. How to work from home
Matthew Stibbe of Bad Language shares his tips. Separate phone and fax. Keep work and home separate. Stay green. Office stuff. Business class IT. Everywhere is your office. Be businesslike. Be like a small big business (I like this one). Build your network. Insurance and tax.
20. Ten Ways to Relaxify Your Workspace
Guru Steve Pavlina’s tips on creating a Zen home office. Make your workspace look attractive to you. Clear out clutter. Add plants. Make it smell good. Play relaxing music. Get a decent chair. Add a portable fan. Add a fountain. Establish uninterruptible periods.
22. Hack Attack: The Cordless Workplace (sort of)
Lifehacker’s guide to hiding jumbled workplace cords.
23. 10 Tips for Keeping Your Desk Clean and Tidy
Use a system to manage paper. Banish Post-it notes. Trash those print-outs. Keep blank file folders and a label marker at your desk. Ritualize your reviews. Throw away pens. Say no to schwag. Limit photo frames on your desk.
24. Getting to Done: Down With Piles!
Tips on processing those piles on your desk.
25. 8 Ways to Cut Back on Computer Cables
For cable clutter haters. This does not describe me — I just don’t look under my desk often.
26. Unclutterer Workspaces
A Flickr gallery dedicated to uncluttered and zen-like workspaces.
27. 50 Practical Home Office Feng Shui Tips
“By including the key elements fire, water, earth, and wood, you’ll have a work space that maximizes your productivity and energy while nurturing a calm, soothing balance.”
28. There’s No Office Like Home
“A look at how four entrepreneurs designed unique home offices to meet their specific needs, personal tastes, styles of work and physical limitations.”
29. Writer’s Rooms at guardian.co.uk
Home office write ups and pictures for Ronan Bennett, Eric Hobsbawm, Judith Kerr, Barbara Trapido, Raymond Briggs, Kate Mosse, Julie Myerson, Will Self, Sarah Waters, Alain de Botton and many other authors.
30. IKEA Hacker
A blog dedicated to IKEA modification projects, many of which can be applied in the home office.
31. Working Colors
Home office decoration tips, with a focus on what colors you paint your home office.
32. 10 Seeeriously Cool Workplaces
Not all home offices, but some of them might inspire your own design efforts.
33. How to Light Your Workspace
Very in-depth article on workspace lighting. What — the light of the computer screen isn’t enough?
40. Home Office? It’s in the Yard
Wired’s coverage of funky outdoor home offices. I’d love one of these if my garden wasn’t smaller than my desk.
Productivity and organization
41. Productivity Tips for the Home Office
Write goals down. Get up early. Turn off phone and IM. Exercise. Tidy office. Music. Daily schedule. Just start. Outsource. Close your door.
42. How to organize financial documents in a filing cabinet
Trent from the Simple Dollar shares his tips on using a filing cabinet to keep documents in order.
43. Extreme Makeover: Filing Cabinet edition
Lifehacker editor Gina Trapani’s suggestions for getting the most out of a filing cabinet. Give your paperwork a spacious place to live. Allocate one file folder per hanging folder. Choose an accessible naming scheme. Use a label maker. Purge what you don’t need. Archive closed files.
44. Creating a Productive Workspace
This guide from Steve Pavlina recommends: imagine your ideal space, and make it.
45. The Green Office
Online office supplies store selling environmentally friendly products.
46. Extreme Energy Makeover: Home Office Edition
“Replacing equipment and changing some habits makes a big difference to the author’s energy usage — and wallet.”
47. Claiming your home office deduction @ WWD
US based info on how to deduct home office expenses from your tax return.
48. Deduct those home office expenses
Wisebread on how to make the most of your home office tax deduction.