Modus Operandi is Latin for saying “Mode Of Operation”. Modi Operandi (plural meaning “Modes of Operation”) was a way that law officers would use to establish certain habits or characteristics that would define a criminals behavior. Observers of any kind can use someones MO as a manner to see how they function, and actions they take.

Office Operandi is my attempt to plot out the top 10 pitfalls or bad habits people make when selecting, buying, and organizing their office furniture for new home office. I will also explain why its a pitfall, which in turn will present a clear and simple solution for a Top 10 List, so listen up.

1- Office Budget: It may sound like a no-brainer, but I still have to mention it – with any project for the home or office, write out a budget. By establishing a rough estimate of what you have to spend it will establish guidelines for the project, in this case an office for the home.

2- Office Space: Map out and measure the space you have for your office. The space you have will influence what you buy. People many times will buy a desk or a chair that does not fit right in the space of the room. Always measure the room before anything. It gives you an idea what you can get and how much breathing room you need to work comfortably.

3- Office Essentials: Make a list of the things you really need in your office. Keep in mind at the core an office is a place to work and be creative or just simply buckle down. Fancy paperweights or other attractions that snag your attention are not essentials.

4 – Buy Smart: When buying your office furniture, please keep in mind that you dont need the most expensive nor do you need the cheapest. Look for furniture that is built to last, by going with a trusted name. Stay away from dumping your budget into a $1200 office chair if you only have a $1500 budget. Remember to buy smart.

5 – Compare and Contrast: When you find the brand you want of a particular piece of office furniture – shop around. You would be surprised the varying degrees you can find the same item in a different place. Dont buy in a rush or on impulses. If you are buying online check return policies and for things like free shipping. Dont settle on the first thing you see when it comes to price but instead take a little more time to research it. In 5 minutes you may save $30 on the same office chair – Its worth the double check for any product, especially online.

6 – Office Design: Buy furniture that is consistent. Having an office that looks the part goes a long way when youre in it. If it looks professional, you feel professional. Always keep that in mind. Its a common mistake to mismatch here and there; the end result is just that, a mismatched feeling for a place to get to work.

7 – Office Accents: This is the where you can place the left over money from your budget, and the most enjoyable part of building a home office. Weird lamps, interesting paperweights, hologram clock, or retro radio – anything thats not a necessity but down right cool. Here is where you can go crazy to give it your personal touch.

8 – Do a Double Take: After you have all your pieces of furniture – Dont open a thing! Measure the room again quickly and double check the items you purchased. Its a common mistake people make when they open up a chair or a desk to find its the wrong item or they measured wrong. Sometimes the retailer may have made a mistake as well; it does not hurt to quickly go over things. It will not be fun to have a shredded box and put together a desk to realize you have one thats 5 inches wider and wont fit. Always, always, always take a recap.

9 – Putting it together: Two heads are better than one. If you have another person to help you assemble, then ask for their help. Lining up a desk and putting it together can be done with one person, but a lot of times less handy people end up with a desk that slightly rocks, or draws that dont close all the way. Its better to have someone holding on to whatever is being pieced together. It will also pay off if you get lost on the instructions. There is nothing bad about having a helper, especially when lugging a desk around.

10 – The Home Office: Now that everything is done make sure you use it. The last step seems like common sense, but most home offices collect junk and paperwork but never see any real use. Enjoy the hard work you put into piecing together your home office. Enjoy!

So that sums it up, Office Operandi is a perfect observation of the bad choices people make when investing time and money into a home office. Follow this easy 10 step process to keep fresh some good things to think about to avoid the common pitfalls. Step 11 is for you to step out the door and get to work. Good luck and enjoy your new home office!

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Copyright 2006 by Damon N. Burgess