Calm Working Spaces

Calm Working Spaces

by Lorrie Mack



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780688174620
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/28/2000
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 9.46(w) x 11.76(h) x 0.82(d)

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In the space of a single generation, communication technology has revolutionized our lives completely. It's difficult to remember a time when it wasn't possible to dispatch the printed word across the world instantly, access information on any subject, order goods and services at the touch of a button, and communicate with people and organizations around the world.

Of all the social changes this revolution has brought about, one of the most significant is the huge increase in the number of people now working at home, either full or part time. And as computer technology grows in capacity and sophistication while shrinking in size and cost, working at home will become a viable option for a growing section of the population. Certainly, compared to the traditional pattern of daily commuting, this way of life offers vastly increased freedom, flexibility, comfort, and control, and a dramatic reduction in traveling time, career pressure, and corporate regimentation. And — an important factor for many people — working from home gives people the opportunity to spend more time with their families.

Quality of Life

In addition to convenience and autonomy, working at home has as much to offer in emotional terms, providing insulation from many of the principal irritations of office life — the politics and personality clashes that can fray nerves and shorten tempers. For some groups of workers — the disabled, sitters, and single parents, for example — the opportunity to work at home can totally transform their lives. And it's not only workers who benefit. Many employers, too, notice that productivity is oftenhigher, and overheads lower, when their staff — salaried or freelance — are not all assembled in uninspiring, expensive commercial spaces.

Working at home also allows you to spend your days in an environment you have created specifically to suit the job you do and the way you want to do it. You are completely free to express your personality by surrounding yourself with colors, styles, and design details that you would never encounter in a business context, where often the concerns of a wide variety of people and disciplines have to be addressed. (If their employers encourage individual creativity, those who work in a conventional office can make use of the ideas in this book to define and personalize their own space.)

New Markets

To fill the phenomenal and rising demand, the home-working revolution has given birth to a whole new retail sector: the SOHO market (small office, home office). Where once the only office furniture and equipment you could buy was intended for commercial use, now there is a wide choice of affordable lines specially designed and scaled to suit a home setting.

The burgeoning popularity of working at home has also influenced the housing sector, where more and more new homes are being built with a designated study or office included in the original plan. And one of the most significant areas of growth in the property market involves what are known as live/work units. This term describes conventional houses or apartments constructed (or converted from industrial or commercial buildings) to include an integral but full-sized and self-contained work space, often with its own entrance to provide a professional separation between home and business.

A Private Place

It's not only home workers who benefit from a well equipped office area; every household runs more smoothly when its members have access to a purpose designed place in which to tackle correspondence, administer accounts, and pursue special interests and hobbies. And remember that people who perform these tasks by hand-writing letters, writing checks, and finding information in books and magazines have just as much need for a calm working space as those who send e-mail, transfer funds electronically, and spend hours tapping into the Internet.

Whichever category you fall into, this book will help you to achieve your ideal work space — one that meets your needs, reflects your personality, and blends gracefully into the rest of your home. Practical advice on everything from floor planning and security precautions to choosing the most ergonomic chair and flexible lighting system will mean that working from home can be a productive and comfortable experience. A section on style will show you how you can introduce elements such as inventive storage, color, and scent to personalize your space and create a stress-free environment. Stunning photographs and a series of case studies will guide you through the design challenges and fire your imagination.

Whether you are starting from scratch or overhauling an existing work area, Calm Working Spaces will make it possible for you to create an environment that represents the ideal balance between your business and your personal life: each one complete, independent, and successful, but close enough in space and in spirit to overlap and interrelate to the enrichment of both.

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