Designing a Home Office
According to a US census, around 8 million people worked from home in 2017– that’s a 5 percent increase from 2016, and the demand for this option continues to grow. With the advancement in technology, it has never been easier to work from home, so it has become more important than ever to have a dedicated space to maintain your focus and creative flair which is separate from your domestic space.
Location Location Location
When choosing the right area or room to use as a home office, it is important to consider that you may very well be spending a vast amount of time in this space, so it needs to feel right. Determining your work based needs should help with this; for example, will you need to hold meetings or will you just be working on the household finances? This will dictate how much of a separate area you may need; or is it just a cozy corner for a table and a laptop? Another issue you’ll have to consider is noise levels. Do you thrive in a noisy energetic environment or do you need peace and quiet? What about a window view? Does this matter to you or will some space carved out under the stairs do?
Fighting for space on your desk is never fun. Make sure that you can maintain order by getting those troublesome wires under control–which can be distracting at the best of times. ‘Desk grommets’ may be an ideal solution to keeping the tangle of wires at bay.
Think about the positioning of those computer peripherals–printers, scanners, etc. Investing in Bluetooth peripherals is an easy fix to eliminate the risks of tripping over too many wires on the way to the coffee machine!
Don’t Forget Your Back
In fact, not only your back, but your eyes, repetitive strain injuries, and the list goes on. Take care of yourself in this space. Just because you are not in a work office with risk assessments, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it just as seriously at home. You don’t want ergonomic issues coming back to bite you in your home office environment.
Choosing the right chair will need to be one of the more considered choices, as we all know your back support is key. Don’t scrimp here, as whether you know it or not, this will be the most important piece of furniture and can play a big part in your health. Research has suggested that sitting for long periods of time can impact your physical condition, so consider looking at an ergonomic height adjustable ‘sit and stand desk’. This will allow you to change from a seated position to standing with ease.
Be Inspired by Color
The color of your office can be as wild or tame as you please–no rules apply. The only thing you really need to consider is whether you will need to conduct professional meetings out of this space–in which case, a multi-colored fluorescent polka-dotted wallpaper to host an accountancy meeting may not be the way to go. However, if this space is just for you–the world is your oyster! Color is completely subjective, so whether vibrant pinks or subtle greens bring out your creative flair or allows you to maintain focus, then go for it.
Lighting the Way
Depending on whether your space has natural light will depend on the artificial lighting you introduce into your home office. As well as wanting to give nice ambiance, you also have to keep in mind that this is a working environment, so you’ll need a functional ‘task light’. This lighting is an important feature to help combat eyestrain and headaches. Think of it as layering your room. The ambient light sets the mood, whilst the task light layered on top adds the functionality.
Bring the Cozy
Yes, it’s an office, but the office is all yours. Better yet, it’s under your roof, so feel free to make it as cozy and personal as you can.
Bring life–flowers from the garden or even a plant can make a beautiful addition bringing with it oxygen to get those brain cells working.
Add some inspiring art pieces to bring out your creative flair. If your office is short on space, you can even consider rotating some of your favorite pieces. Just don’t forget those family pictures!
A coffee station for those late nights and hard deadlines… need we say more? You can even make this a separate station if you have enough room to play with. This is a good way to step away from work and provide you with those much needed regular breaks.
The most efficient home office works as a cockpit, with all you need at arms reach allowing you to seamlessly work through your tasks.
As your business grows or changes, so will your office. Don’t be afraid to change it up a bit to match your work needs and keep it fresh–especially if you feel that your productivity is waning. Overall, remember that this is a place to be productive, inspired and may be the start of bigger things to come!