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Creating a home office

Daily Staff Writer

Tip of the Week.BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESSWhen creating an office at home:1. If you’ll be working in a room that you share with others, discuss when you’ll be using it as an office and when you’ll be there for other purposes. “Sometimes a good home office requires solutions that are negotiated rather than constructed,” says home-office designer Neal Zimmerman. “Not everything can be solved by dry wall.”2. Lighting should be ample, but make sure there isn’t glare on your computer screen.3. You may need to add electrical outlets or use a power strip to plug in office equipment and chargers for portable devices such as cell phones, laptops and digital cameras.4. Using a combined copier, printer and fax machine saves space and money.5. Make sure you have good cellular reception if you’ll be using cell phones and other wireless devices.6. To limit distraction, only sign onto instant messaging services when necessary. Instruct friends and family to send all personal e-mail to a single address and only check that address at limited intervals throughout the day.7. Home office space is deductible on your income tax return only if it is used frequently and is exclusively for business. “The exclusive part is the tricky part,” says small business tax expert Keith Hall. “It needs to be dedicated to the office work. It shouldn’t have a bed in it, and it shouldn’t have a TV that the kids hook their Nintendo up to.”


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