Money Power: Tips on setting up a home office
BY PATRICIA MERTZ ESSWEIN Money Power
Saturday, February 16, 2013
2/16/13 at 4:28 AM
Here are six tips for setting up a home office
1. Out of sight is out of mind. You want to work uninterrupted by family members.
2. Make it cozy but not claustrophobic. Before planning your layout, make a list of everything you'll want the office to contain. You can design a functional office for one person to fit in as little as 50 square feet, says interior designer Paul Bloom.
3. Set a budget for furnishings. Whatever your budget, don't skimp on lighting and a comfortable chair (a good one will run you about $200 to $500).
4. Get equipped. At minimum, you'll need a computer, Internet access and a separate phone line. If you often work on the go, a laptop will serve you better than a desktop PC. But when working at home, add a large screen and a keyboard or a docking station so that you can easily plug in the laptop and operate peripherals.
5. Get connected. Your employer may provide you with secure access to its system via a virtual private network, or VPN. If not, or if you're self-employed, you'll need a way to store files, such as an external hard drive, and a way to transfer files.
6. Take a tax deduction. If you're self-employed, you can deduct a percentage of your rent or mortgage interest, insurance, utilities, phone bills, repairs, and depreciation equivalent to the portion of your home that you use exclusively and regularly as your principal place of business.
Original Print Headline: Tips on creating home office
Patricia Mertz Esswein is an associate editor at Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. To send her a question or comment, go to tulsaworld.com/kiplingerfeedback.