What is your home office setup like?
Thread poster: Audra deFalco
Audra deFalco
United States
Local time: 16:22
Italian to English
+ ...
Mar 28, 2013

Recently I've been thinking about renovating my little office area. What is yours like? Do you have a particular filing system? Since I work on the computer all day, I like to actually file info about my clients on actual paper (it breaks up the monotony).

Do you give yourself a set 9-5 workload or do you basically work whenever you want?

Freelancers, tell us!


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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:22
English to Polish
+ ...
Since you asked Mar 29, 2013

Honestly, you'd die if you stepped a foot into my office. In fact, this might not even be a true metaphor because anybody with less than a 6'5'' frame would be hard pressed to make it through the stacks of paper. I have a way of not tripping and breaking my limbs here but I worry about visitors.

Anyway, I work farther there, behind the regals and closer to the window, where I have an austere, very bright and warm Ikea desk, two completely different LCD monitors on it (placed on a Latin dictionary and some technical dictionaries to lift them up a bit) and a set of large, some Louis Armstrong CDs, a still wrapped copy of Dirt 3... there are actually three computer mice on the desk (2 of them connected), and a couple of conkers mixed up with some coins. On the wall are old JVC columns (one of them's actually connected via what used to be a LAN cable, long story, oh, and my cat pulled it down from the wall yesterday, so it's on the desk now), the St. Francis prayer on the wall, a Virgin Mary statue my father carved in wood, a WW2 resistance flag, a law school trinket (plush owl in a toga). Suffice to say the place is quite unique.

Right on the opposite wall of the window I have a nice photo wallpaper shot starting at the floor level, it shows a park, jardin à l'anglaise kind of style, which I like. The rest is pretty much just the way it is, but I really like the wallpaper. It really creates a nice atmosphere when the room is tidy. Oh, and the rug and the curtains are LatAm style, and the chandelier is from a stained glass atelier (the chains on which it's suspended cast large shadows all over the ceiling at night).

Shall I continue? ;P

No 9/5. I'm rarely up at 9. Usually work till night hours, not always client work, sometimes it's marketing or legal stuff or tech stuff I need to for my sole-prop. Whatever files I could outsource are with the accountants three hundred yards away, I try to go paperless and avoid digital paperwork too as far as I can anyway. I hate paperwork so much it gets me depressed.


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 05:22
Chinese to English
Laptop is my office Mar 29, 2013

Blimey, Lukasz, that was... unexpectedly intimate. I feel like we're married. Though our marriage would be a disaster, because I hate admin as much as you

I don't have a set office space at the moment. I work on a laptop wherever I please. Today, I'm on a little computer table in my bedroom, sometimes I'm in the boys' study (we have a weirdly shaped house), sometimes I sit out on the landing, which gets more light. Sometimes I work in bed all day!

I try to maintain something like a 9-5 because I have young children. I would spend all day with them if I could, but failing that I will at least make sure I'm with them in the evening.


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564354352  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:22
Danish to English
+ ...
A completely clutter-free study Mar 29, 2013

I have a dedicated study with a large, convenient desk and a low filing cabinet with a printer on top of it. A laptop computer with an additional 22" screen and ergonomic keyboard, cordless mouse. A three-tier filing tray, a desk lamp, a document holder to the left of the screen (on a movable arm so that I can pull texts closer) and a double-page text holder sitting on the corner of the desk, which I used to use for proof-reading. A large Mexican mug filled with a variety of pens and 'stuff' and a funny little Mexican fish-shaped ornament that holds paper clips.
My desk is completely clear of work stuff when I end the day, no effort whatsoever, that's just the way I work.

At the other end of my study, there's a low bookcase and a sofa bed for relaxing and staring out of the window across the cove. Completely clutter-free window sill, too, don't want anything to obstruct the view.

I've recently stopped printing everything and am trying hard to go 'virtual' in terms of filing client materials, both for practical reasons and to care a bit more about the environment. I aim to print only the things I am under legal obligation to print, i.e. bookkeeping records.

On the issue of working hours... have a look at the recent poll on this issue, and you will see that there's no rule of thumb. People work as and when it suits their lives.


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Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
My office Mar 29, 2013

I have a room dedicated to translation work, it's 10' x 14' with deep blue walls and a white ceiling, though most of the walls are covered in white boards, maps, certificates, pictures and a few weird knick knacks I've picked up during my travels (my piranha is my pride and joy).

I double as a carpenter, so I have all custom made furniture, the most recent addition being my new monster of a desk. I try to make everything out of mahogany and cherry, which looks great with my dark walls and the lighter hardwood floor (also my handiwork). I have a bunch of small indoor trees in the corners as well (better feng shui?).

I have a couple large book shelves filled with dictionaries, school books and video game props (gifts from some of my favorite clients), namely a goomba (the ant/mushroom things from the Mario series), a brotherhood of steel helmet from Fall out 3, a two headed dog demon from World of Warcraft, and Guilty Spark from the Halo series... plus a couple of skulls, but I made those... and the zombie in my closet...

As far as my computer, it's set up with the tower under the desk, two 19" flat screen monitors, and room on the desk for the laptop when ever my wife decides to work in here too. I do print out my invoices and client details, including project details, which I keep in a set of binders that float between the desk and the shelves.

I've been to the rain forest, a coatí tried to bite me, so I'm done trying to save it.

I try to keep it clean, since my wife teaches English support classes online, but the rest of the time my messy nature kicks in. I always know exactly where everything is, it's after some one cleans it that I get disorganized.

I love my "ofi," there are still more improvements that I would like to make to it, and maybe put a couch in here, but it's a great place to hide when ever family comes to visit, and I can close the door at the end of the day and relax with my wife and dog.


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asia20002  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 22:22
English to Polish
+ ...
My study Mar 29, 2013

The room where I work is very simple. I don't have any pictures on the walls, just a desk with my laptop and a monitor, a printer nearby on a cupboard. Sometimes a heap of papers with notes is becoming higher and higher so I just have to clean it up from time to time. I would say that this room is rather ascetic one

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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 22:22
English to Czech
+ ...
My "office" Mar 29, 2013

I have a home-based office, consisting of one room with a large desk and my home-based server with two screens.

I like working out, so I often take my laptop (which is my main working machine) and work while enjoying a cup of coffee at some of the WiFi-enabled coffee shops.


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Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 22:22
Member (2011)
English to German
+ ...
Winery Mar 29, 2013

My office is the upper part of the ex-winery of our small farm house. The wine was removed and now I am working here on a huge, dark, old, inherited desk which I like very much. I try to keep it fairly clean and succeed better every day. There is always a cup of tea to keep me going. Behind me is a shelf with dictionaries I rarely use and a whole mess of papers, the important mixed with the unimportant, which I hope will sort themselves and partially disappear one day.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Avoid clutter! Mar 29, 2013

Although I mostly work in a proper office environment during the day, in the evenings and weekends I work from home and my most important advice would be that you actively seek to avoid clutter. Anything you don't need in a normal working day must be stowed away in drawers or closed cabinets.

When you see that your space starts to get eaten away by clutter, make sure you stow away any additional object after you use it, and actively put away at least two objects a day until all you have on your desk is your computer and your telephone.

About reference materials: If you regularly use dictionaries on paper or other reference materials, keep them out of reach so that you have to stand up and walk some steps in order to use them. This way you will be forced to stretch a bit during the working hours. If you have the opportunity, get a bookcase whose top is at counter height so that you stand while checking your dictionaries, instead of sitting down again.


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Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:22
English
+ ...
There was a similar thread a while back, with photos Mar 29, 2013

of different members' workspaces... Maybe someone else remembers when?

This thread also has some good ideas.

http://www.proz.com/forum/health_and_lifestyle_for_language_professionals/243835-translation_work_place_suggestions_needed.html

Like Tomas and Gitta, I try to avoid clutter and aspire to a minimalist desk and workspace:

http://www.missminimalist.com/category/office/ (great photo here)
http://unclutterer.com/2008/03/12/creating-a-minimalist-workspace/

Photos of workspaces:
http://unclutterer.com/category/workspace-of-the-week/








[Edited at 2013-03-29 09:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-03-29 14:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-03-29 14:30 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-03-29 14:31 GMT]


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Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:22
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
Share your Workspace gallery Mar 29, 2013

Suzan Hamer wrote:

There was a similar thread a while back, with photos of different member's workspaces... Maybe someone else remembers when?



It's here:
http://www.proz.com/share-your-workspace


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Khwansuree DEROLLEPOT  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:22
Member (2012)
English to Thai
+ ...
Green space :) Oct 25, 2013

My office is simply a desktop computer in a corner by big windows in the West side of my apartment. I get warm sunlight coming in at 4 PM as natural clock to state the end of the day/time to go for a walk.

I work best in the morning so I usually start at 6 AM and finish around 4 PM with a big lunch break in the middle where I watch BBC NEWS or Thai series. I sometimes extend my working hours until 6 PM if I feel like working more or until 8 PM if I really have exceptionnally urgent cases.

I also have a couple of chilli plants on my desk. I like their green color but they have now become a bit too big and start hiding the sunlight. I have all my project files, project history, clients base and accounts stored in my desktop computer. But I also keep track in a couple of notebooks on my less busy days as I love handwriting.

[Edited at 2013-10-25 09:39 GMT]


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Monika Rozwarzewska  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:22
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Thanks for the link to "unclutterer" website! Oct 25, 2013

Suzan Hamer wrote:

of different members' workspaces... Maybe someone else remembers when?

This thread also has some good ideas.

http://www.proz.com/forum/health_and_lifestyle_for_language_professionals/243835-translation_work_place_suggestions_needed.html

Like Tomas and Gitta, I try to avoid clutter and aspire to a minimalist desk and workspace:

http://www.missminimalist.com/category/office/ (great photo here)
http://unclutterer.com/2008/03/12/creating-a-minimalist-workspace/

Photos of workspaces:
http://unclutterer.com/category/workspace-of-the-week/








[Edited at 2013-03-29 09:45 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-03-29 14:01 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-03-29 14:30 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-03-29 14:31 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
As clutter-free as possible! Oct 25, 2013

I recently moved to a new office and after the move I noticed how much clutter and useless little things I was keeping. I moved to the new office with the bare essentials, and am working perfectly well.

I encourage everyone to actively pursue a clutter-free environment, since clutter eats up your mental space --and physical space-- and keeps you from growing new ideas. You worry too much about all the little things you have to maintain, clean, and protect, and become a slave of things. The best way of achieving a clutter-free environment is to think thrice before you bring in --or let anyone bring in-- a new object into the office (or your home, for that matter).

Just one example: why would I bring into the office a sound system if I can listen to any radio or CDusing my computer's speakers? One object for several functions is better than several objects.


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Jessie LN
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:22
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dining table Oct 25, 2013

At the moment, my 'office' is set up on the dining table at our bay window. Good views but not the best set-up. We're about to move and I'll have an entire office space. I'm also a hater of clutter so it'll be neat, practical and aesthetically pleasing, probably including a simple desk, shelves and maybe some drawers. Oh yeah, and perhaps a laptop and some reference books...

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