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Ultimate office

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  • Ultimate office

    In the future I am planning to have a house built and I am starting to gather ideas for each space.

    For my ultimate home office I am not yet constrained by budget or size or shape of room.

    The only stipulation I have is it should be optimised for GTD, naturally; have a Herman Miller aeron chair, an imac and a view of the ocean.

    Can you help me with my vision of the ultimate office?

    How would you lay it out?

    What would you have in it?

    Links to any photos would be great.

    What lighting would you have, furniture, seating?

    How would you orientate the room & where would you position the desk?

    What would you hang on the walls?

    I have a blank canvas and am looking for inspiration.

    My goal is to have it optimised for high productivity & it must be visually pleasing.

  • #2
    No offense, but if this is your office, don't you want it to work best for your own tastes and productivity system? You don't want to work in my office, right? I think this is more a matter of your own preferences and system.

    That said, here are a few things I find important:

    Lots of light, both natural and artificial. The desk must be be oriented to face interesting, pretty things and at least one window (mine is actually sort of in the middle of the room, with one side against a wall, so I can see a lot of the room at once). I've covered the walls of my studio/office with artwork, inspirational quotes, my own photography, striking advertisements, etc.

    You can see my Getting Things Done video for a number of shots of my studio.

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    • #3
      My first thought is lighting -- you want a view of the ocean that is bright and beautiful, and, at the same time, you do not want to be squinting through glare on your screen. Perhaps the windows should face north?

      Great project!

      Rob

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      • #4
        As Rob said, north facing windows are the way to go to avoid glare. Also keeps the room relatively cool on hot days. Personally, I prefer not to have a window immediately in front of me when I'm at my desk. Off to the side is better: less distracting, and more control over lighting.

        For me, a sofa or other place to stretch out is essential. I use mine for essentially everything that doesn't require the computer. Choose with as much care as you do your desk chair.

        Katherine

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        • #5
          In addition to a sofa, you need a nice soft place for your dog to nap. Mine sleeps just to the right of my desk.

          Rob

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          • #6
            I'm going to second the dog napping area and the light glare. My large window faces west and I have to adjust the blinds twice a day. Once to remove the sun from my eyes and again to bring the light back in after the sun glare is gone. I have my monitor screen facing away from the window. Otherwise, I recommend a desk you can really enjoy working at and a strong bookcase fastened to the wall at the top. For feng-shui purposes, you may also want to consider a plant.

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            • #7
              You want windows that you can easily open and shut so that you can get a good breeze and the sound of chickadees in season, and can easily shut out the sound of your neighbor running a chain saw.

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              • #8
                Get wireless headphones for your telephone, so that you can have meetings while roaming all over your office, all over your house, or even out to the deck outside your office. Speaking of the deck -- set it up so that you can have virtual meetings there. I like to work inside, away from distractions, but meetings are different -- it feels very luxurious to kick back in a comfortable chair on the deck with your headphones on mute and particpate in various meetings. In season, of course.

                Rob

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                • #9
                  One last thought and I'll be quiet -- in the coming years, you will probably be part of many widely distributed teams -- from east coast to west coast in the United States, and out to Europe and Asia. You may very well be meeting before breakfast, during lunchtime or supper, or in the evenings. So, make your house flexible enough that you can take your laptop and your phone to various places with you, so that rather than simply enduring meetings at the most awkward of times, you can add them to your normal routine with some possibilities for enjoyment.

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                  • #10
                    There are some great ideas here thank you. Very inspiring. Especially ArcCaster - thank you Rob.

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                    • #11
                      Arm Waving Space

                      Speaking as someone who's home office is the size of a small shoebox...

                      I'd make sure you have plenty of space to walk/pace/wave your arms in - that will keep you energised whilst working, and will make any telephone conversations you have more fun and upbeat.

                      When I'm in work, I often stand up when on the phone, and wave my arms around (as if presenting, not in a deranged octopus sort of way) as I find it helps me keep conversations going - especially if it's a sales call. I miss not being able to do that at home.

                      Of course, having a shoebox office and then cluttering it up with junk...
                      (Note to self - must clear out my home office)

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