This subject may not seem too important, but actually it really is. Just because you work at home, doesn’t mean that you don’t need your own office. Actually, this is a very important step that requires special attention. After all, your home office is your private work place where you will spend most of your time during the week (and sometimes on the weekends too). Now the question is: what does it need to look and feel like?
The answer is very simple: It needs to look like you, in your own way and it must have your style. Although there are no rules to build a Home Office, I would like to share some thoughts about it and maybe help you to have some of your own ideas to start building your home office.
1. Desk and Chair
These are the two main items for your home office. It is very important to have a good desk and a comfortable chair. The desk does not need to be fancy or full of drawers. It needs to be the one that will supply your needs. A standard desk needs to have enough space for your computer or laptop, telephone, keyboard and any other utensils you may want to put on it. It is also important to take a closer look at the height. You really need to feel comfortable and avoid uncomfortable positions while seated. By the way, the chair is another item that needs to be well chosen. Sometimes it is better to spend a few extra dollars to get a good chair instead of trying to save money and end up with a terrible backache. The chair needs to have back support, and it is also important to regulate the height. You certainly do not want to sit down in a position that is too low or too high.
2 . Keyboard and Mouse
The keyboard and mouse can make your life easier…much easier. All you need to do is choose the right one, and it really does not matter if you have a laptop or a desktop. I have a desktop and a laptop, and each of them has its own keyboard ( I do not use my laptop keyboard). I recommend buying a “silent” keyboard with soft tactile keys. If you do not want to have wires everywhere, it is good to buy a wireless one too. Things are not different with the mouse and mouse pad. It is good to keep in mind that a good mouse and mouse pad can avoid tendinitis and tension pain. Remember: the keyboard and mouse are your “everyday and every time companions”.
3. Additional Table and Shelves
You may want to have an additional table to put your printer, scanner, fax etc. As a translator, you may need to get a shelf to put all your books, dictionaries and educational literature. I know that everything is now online, but doesn’t it feel great to deal with hard copy books ?
It is good for your health and for your work to have your desk in a bright spot with both natural and artificial light. Don´t be afraid to buy a nice desk lamp and to open the window. Your eyes and your health will be very thankful for that.
Home Office is where miracles happen!
Yes it is, and we translators are very well aware of that. That is why it is important to have one. You may need it to have a place for yourself, or whenever you seek for silence to concentrate and do a good job. The home office also has another important role in our lives: it helps us in the hardest task of a freelance translator – getting away from work. When you close the door in the end of a busy work day, you will be able to “tune out and turn off” and enjoy your leisure time. Well, this can only happen if your mind lets you do that, obviously…and make sure your home office has a door 🙂