A Must Know Guide For Setting Up A Home Office
With over 40 years in the renovation industry, we have done many home offices, for ourselves and our clients. Since Covid hit, the number of home offices we are converting has skyrocketed.
We know there are many things to consider when setting up your home office. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as moving the bed out and putting a desk in. The Electrical Embassy team have come up with a must know guide to setting up your home office.
Here are our top 6 electrical tips when setting up your home office.
1. Have A Plan
- If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Honestly, a plan will make it so much easier for you and the electrician. First, think about the home office layout you want. Then write a list of every electrical appliance that you want and will be using. This will help your electrician decide if you will need more power so you don’t overload the system.
2. Extra Powerpoints
After writing your list of all the electrical appliances you will have (for example, computers, printers, desk lamps, computer monitors, docking stations, audio appliances, televisions, etc), you need to think about where and how many powerpoints you currently have in your home office, and if you’ll need more. Also, think about adding some USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports to some of your new powerpoints. They come in very handy (you can talk to our qualified master electricians about them).
Yes, you can use power boards and extension leads. However, too many appliances in one power board can exceed the maximum amperage of the power circuit and result in an overload (tripping your circuit breaker).
Additionally, getting extra powerpoints installed are a lot safer than running extension cords and power strips across the room. You’ll also avoid cord clutter, trip hazards, overloading your power boards, and eliminate a possible fire hazard (and an unnecessary vet trip because your dog decided the extension lead looks like an excellent chew toy)!
If you don’t want a wall full of powerpoints, ask your electrician about installing power sockets in desk drawers, side tables, or even the cabinets. Or better still, call one of our qualified master electricians to discuss your electrical wiring needs and other electrical options available to you (like a dedicated electrical circuit for your home office).
After powerpoints, the next thing you need to think about is lighting. Since bedrooms don’t normally need as much light as a home office, you’ll probably need more lights or upgrade your lights. This will be an ideal time to look at your home lighting and upgrade all your lights with LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs for a brighter workspace and home. Furthermore, by using LED bulbs, you can reduce your energy usage on lighting by up to half. You can also look into dimmer lights and/or bluetooth controlled lights.
Good lighting design is key to creating a productive and also pleasant work environment. Another way you can improve lighting is by placing your desk near a window to utilise natural light or desk lamps.
Or, if you want to be really fancy and modern, ask our qualified master electricians about a lighting control system (in simple terms it’s like dimmer lights, but they operate on a sensor and can detect if more or less light is needed. These lights have huge energy-saving capabilities, so saving you even more dollars).
4. Air Conditioning
You also need to think about the room temperature for both summer and winter. Some rooms can get very hot, and with so many electrical appliances in one room you also don’t want them getting overheated.
Call the Electrical Embassy office to talk to one of our qualified air conditioning technicians about what size unit and brand would best suit your home office.
5. Internet Connection/Phone Data
The speed of your internet is an important factor (whether you’re setting up a home office or not). Faster internet speeds allows you to do more and faster. When downloading attachments, transferring files, or even better, no frozen screens during zoom meetings or right in the middle of a good movie.
Your Wifi might be limited based on how many devices are connected to the Wifi. Many homes are already set up with somewhat decent Wifi, whether through the cable provider or the internet provider.
However, hardwired Ethernet for your home office is faster and more reliable than Wifi. If you don’t want cables, an alternative would be to set up a network router in your office for faster internet connectivity.
Our qualified master data and master electricians are experienced and can incorporate ethernet and data cabling properly for you.
6. Safety Switches
Before getting into safety switches let’s just clarify, a circuit breaker is NOT a safety switch. Circuit breakers are designed to protect your household wiring. Safety switches are designed to increase the protection for you, your family, and anyone visiting your home from an electric shock. And as per the Electrical Safety website: ‘The risk is real. One safety switch may not be enough.’
The Electrical Safety Act also states, ‘safety switches must be fitted to all powerpoint circuits when a new electrical installation occurs, such as a GPO (General Power Outlet – powerpoint).’
There is also talk that all lights should be placed on their own safety switch. However, this is the law for new homes built after 2000 and home extensions. We are in agreement, with putting a safety switch on all lights but at this stage, it is up to you.
Your home office is considered to be a workplace under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 2011. So make sure your new home office is up to the WorkSafe Standards and all electrical components meet the Electrical Safety regulations.
We are more productive in an environment that is well-lit and comfortable. Let loose, have some fun with picking colours, and furniture for your home office. Your home office should be a place you enjoy going to 5 days a week.
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