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A Quick Commute

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And, according to architect and author Neal Zimmerman, there's the freedom to shape your own working environment.

"When you're working in a traditional office environment, there are usually a lot of controls placed upon you about how you can organize your space. But when you're at home, you're the master of your destiny," said Zimmerman. "You've got a great opportunity to create space around you that is a reflection of who you are and what you like."

Zimmerman should know. He designed his own home-based workspace in 1994 and has been designing and writing about home offices ever since. His approach to building the perfect workspace combines pragmatism with the personal touches usually reserved for home design. His "At Work at Home: Design Ideas for Your Home Workplace" (The Taunton Press, 2001), features home offices that not only work, but work beautifully. From boldly-colored sunrooms to urban alcoves, Zimmerman's workspaces invite us to come in and stay awhile.

That's because he discards the dreary workaday design of the traditional office setting — that so many of us tend to duplicate in our home offices — and replaces it with customized solutions capable of inspiring as well as facilitating the work at hand.

Zimmerman encourages home-based workers to take a similar approach when designing their own office spaces. The key, he says, is to address three basic elements essential to the successful home work environment.

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