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Do you use your home as your office sometimes?

Although one high-tech company recently (and very publicly) did away with this practice, working from home at least part-time each week is popular with the U.S. workforce.

According to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau, almost one in ten workers in the U.S. (9.5 percent) did their job from home at least one day a week in 2010. During that same time, the percentage of the U.S. working population that worked exclusively from home increased to 6.6 percent of the workforce.

If you work from home, you know that doing your job away from the traditional workplace usually goes best when you have a space – no matter how small – devoted to business. It’s easier to act in a professional manner when:

– you’re working at a real desk (and not the kitchen table);

– when you can set up your computer and keyboard at the right height;

– when you’ve got a comfortable, ergonomic desk chair (not the folding chair from the basement or a chair hijacked from your kitchen);

– when you have enough space to store any work-related books, papers, folders etc.

At Showman Furniture, we understand the importance of creating that special home office space. When you come to our Maryland furniture stores, you’ll find just what you need to establish a functional and attractive work space at home, with desks, chairs, bookcases and even filing cabinets in a variety of attractive styles and convenient sizes. So whether your office space is tucked into a small corner of your bedroom, or you have a whole room to fill, you can find attractive home office furniture that suits your tastes and allows you to be more productive.

Selecting home office furniture

As you’re choosing the furniture to equip your Maryland home office, you’ll need to consider the following factors.

The size of the available space.

You may be able to accommodate an entire office suite – matching desk, file cabinet and credenza – or be limited to a single unit that includes a desk and vertical storage. Either way, you’ll want to plan your setup so that you and other members of your family can move through the room easily. Don’t overpower a room by choosing home office furniture that’s too large or too bulky; look for something on a smaller scale if necessary.

The style that fits with the rest of your home.

If you’ve filled your home primarily with Mission furniture, you’ll probably want to avoid creating a traditional-style home office. Fortunately, your choices are extensive when you shop at our furniture stores in Maryland. We carry office furniture lines from Woodcraft, Coaster, Ashley Furniture and Eagle, in styles that range from the cottage, Shaker, vintage and country to traditional, transitional and contemporary. You’re sure to find one that works for you.

The ergonomics of your home office setup.

If your computer monitor sits too high, your keyboard isn’t at the right height and/or your desk chair doesn’t fit properly under your desk, you may pay the price with stiff shoulders and a sore back, and even carpal tunnel symptoms. You’ll also be less productive if you’re uncomfortable.

You can find lots of office ergonomic guidelines online. The U.S. Office of Occupational Safety, for example, recommends the following computer workstation setup:

  • The top of your monitor is at or just below eye level
  • Your shoulders are relaxed and your head and neck are in line with your torso
  • Your elbows are close to your body and supported
  • Your wrists and hands are in line with your forearms
  • Your feet are flat on the floor

Working at home offers a lot of benefits to people who face long daily commutes, to parents who need to stay home with sick children and to people who just like the idea of working occasionally in a more casual atmosphere. If you’re one of them, stop by our showrooms today to see how the right home office furniture can help you become more productive on the days when you work from home.