Home Office Furniture, II

No commuting, no fixed times, no office politics– working from home is everyone's dream. But the reality of working long hours in the same surroundings makes an inviting workplace essential. An unwelcoming room makes it hard to generate enthusiasm for work, so think about what you would like in your home office as well as what you need; after all, you are the boss.

Technology is what makes working at home a possibility, but as the list of must-have equipment grows, so does the pressure on living space.

If you have a study, the problem is solved, but if you have to adapt space elsewhere, consider all the implications. Before you opt for the obvious – a spare bedroom, say – try to visualize yourself. Will it be a welcome retreat or will you feel shut off? If so, is there a more central place where you could – work a conservatory or a dining room? Or would you prefer to sit with a laptop and cordless phone where the mood takes you, keeping the printer in a cupboard or under the stairs?

It's difficult to think of any business that does not need a computer, for accounts and data if nothing else. Unless you opt for a laptop, which is not ideal for full-time use, you will need a monitor, hard disk, keyboard, printer and possibly a scanner for sending images electronically. There is an ever-increasing range of clever workstations specifically designed for home use, which can store all the components of your computer. Try one out before you buy it, to make sure there really is enough room to use the keyboard and that the computer is at a comfortable height.