When it comes to reading directions, I’m stubborn. I know I’m wasting valuable time trying to figure out something on my own, but I still insist on plugging away. This is one quality that I hope my sons don’t inherit from me.

Some people I know feel the same way about setting up their home office. They would rather flail around, than create and follow a home office plan. Your plan can be as simple or elaborate as you like, depending on whether you’re going to upgrade your furniture and equipment, remodel an existing office or create an entirely new home office from the ground up.

A simple upgrade
A furniture or equipment upgrade is a project you can handle alone. Take a close look at your computer, computer programs and your all-in-one (printer, scanner, copier and fax) and decide whether all of this equipment and software is helping you save time or causing frustration. You may need to spend a bit to upgrade your computer and replace other equipment, but the amount of time you’ll save, may be worth the investment.

Bring in the experts for bigger jobs
When you start looking at built-ins or new construction, you’ll need to consider bringing others into the mix. A contractor, interior designer or architect can give you good ideas about what you can do to improve your home office. A few good places to get inspiration for your new home office are  www.architecturaldigest.com architectural magazines and  www.designsponge.com design sites.

How you use your home office matters
Think about how you will use your home office. Without a clear picture of how you’ll use your office or even how many people will be in that space at one time, your office may not fit your needs. Will you be meeting with clients, packing and shipping products, or Web surfing? After you decide what you’ll be doing in your home office, design the space to meet those functions. Also, if an assistant or even a small staff will be sharing your home office, you’ll need to add furniture and extra file space.

What does your home office say about you?
The beauty of a home office is that it can reflect your personality and the way you work. You can add fabrics in the colors and patterns you choose. Also, you can display personal photos, awards and anything else that inspires you.

Your office doesn’t have to be a traditional workspace
If you enjoy working early in the morning, you can arrange your home office to capture every ray of sunlight. If you’d rather work somewhere other than at your desk, add a comfortable sofa, or chair and ottoman, and pull up a lap table to hold your laptop while you work.

Whether you set up a traditional home office in a spare bedroom or carve out a corner of your family room, make your home office a space where you want to work, even if the commute is only ten seconds away.