- Homes are not designed to meet office wattage needs
The electrical supply in office buildings is much better than that in homes, especially in older homes. Office equipment’s power draw can quickly add up. For example, a laser printer will draw about 400 watts while in use, in addition to any power used by your computer, phone, modem, shredder, etc.
When setting up your home office, add up the wattage of all office equipment. If the wattage exceeds your voltage, consider ways to decrease your power draw. Place occasionally-used appliances like the scanner and printer on a separate power bar, and only run them one at a time. Keep extra fuses on hand.
If you have a chance of losing work in the case of a power outage, or a power surge, invest in Uninterrupted Power Supplies (UPSs). Based on a similar device to that used in vital government buildings, a UPS allows battery power to kick in as soon as the current from the outlet drops, allowing your devices to remain on as if nothing had happened.
- Home offices become hot
All electronics produce heat, and offices tend to be small and poorly ventilated. This issue becomes even worse in shared living situations, where you will tend to keep your door closed to avoid distractions. As the heat builds up, your productivity and even your computer performance will suffer.
To manage heat, choose a room with large windows or central air. If neither are available, purchase a small air conditioner to run when the office is in use. Power this air conditioner with an extension cord to an outlet outside or in the hall, so as to avoid blowing a fuse.
- Clutter costs
Clutter on your desk hurts your productivity directly, by making it difficult to find papers or files that you need. Clutter elsewhere in the room is also a serious problem.
When your surroundings are cluttered, your thinking gets hazy. According to the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, clutter overloads your brain’s visual processing center, suppressing important activity like reading comprehension and retention. In addition, the negative stimuli of feeling bad about clutter stresses the parasympathetic nervous system, making it difficult to relax and leading to restlessness and depression.
Take early action to control clutter in your office. Instead of allowing the rest of the household to use your office as a dumping ground for their clutter, actively remove junk from the space. Use a filing cabinet for your papers, in and out boxes for your desk, and an effective organization system for your cords. Put large items and boxes of junk into storage. Choose minimalist furniture with clean lines. You’ll be surprised how much better working is in a clean room.