Whether you’re working from home or starting your own business, having a designated work space is essential. It means you can separate your work and personal lives, and ensure everything is kept well-organised. However, designing an office is quite different to designing a room in your home, and it needs to be both practical and stylish. Here are a few tips to design a home office that will keep you productive, but also be a great place to work.
- Choose the right furniture
Your desk is the cornerstone of your office, and it’s where you’ll spend several hours a day. Don’t just choose a desk because you like the style. It needs to be comfortable and practical, with the right amount of space. A desk that’s too big will dominate the space, but most people want some extra room to lay out their paperwork.
Having a desk that’s the right height will help with a lot of aches and pains. An adjustable desk is ideal for those who spend long days on their computer. You might also want to consider a standing desk. These desks have either a manual or electric control, which allows you to switch between sitting and standing. They’re great for artists and designers, or those who simply want to avoid sitting all day.
Some other furniture that’s important includes:
- A chair – invest in a professional office chair to avoid back aches
- Filing cabinets
Having enough storage space will ensure an organised, clear environment where you can focus on your work.
- If possible, shut yourself off
Working from home can help you be more productive, but it’s so easy to get distracted. If possible, have a dedicated room for your work, whether it’s a loft space, converted garage, or box room. Most of us don’t have a spare room, but you can get creative. A large cupboard could be repurposed using fitted shelves and a desk, or you could add sliding doors to an alcove to close it off when you need peace.
It’s best to try and choose a part of the house that’s quiet. Having a home office next to the living room can mean distractions from the TV, and being too close to the front door can mean distractions from delivery people.
- Make sure there’s enough light
A lack of light won’t just affect your productivity. Not having enough light can give you eye strain, and also lead to headaches. Natural light is best, as it’ll make your home office look bigger and more cheerful, but if you don’t get enough sunshine then make sure you have different lighting options. A lamp can cause glare on your screen, so make sure it’s adjustable, and add freestanding lamps to brighten any dark corners.
- Add some personal touches
A great thing about working at home is that you can make the space your own. Adding some personal touches allows you to hang artwork that you like, put some of your favourite books on display, and put up some family photos. Why not make yourself comfortable? Get some big cosy cushions, and maybe even a blanket for chilly days. However, make sure you don’t overdo it, and have storage to put things away if clients come to visit.
- Plan the space properly
No matter what size the space, it’s important to plan the right layout. Think about what you’ll need to use every day, and ensure the essentials are close at hand. Nothing is worse than a room that’s badly laid out, and the right floorplan makes all the difference.
If you don’t have much floor space, store vertically. Get some fitted shelves which don’t take up much space on the floor, but let you use the space up to the ceiling.
- Get connected
Most of us use the internet constantly at work, so make sure you choose a room with good WiFi coverage, or get yourself a booster. You should also make sure you have enough plugs. Lack of outlets is annoying when you need to charge your phone, tablet, and laptop at the same time.
Trailing wires can be a real pain in the office, so use cord covers and wire organisers to ensure you have a neat and tidy environment.
- Choose the right colours
The colour of your office should match your work personality. Often stressed? Choose a calming seafoam green or turquoise blue. If you prefer a cosy environment, create a feature wall in red-tones or with patterned wallpaper.
- Enjoy the view
If you have a decent-sized window, position your desk so you can see outside. Nobody wants to be cooped up in their office, and even a view of your street will remind you there’s a world outside.
- Create a meeting area
When clients visit your office, they don’t want to perch at the end of your desk. Make sure you have a comfortable and cosy seating area where you can work with visitors. It’s important to have a quiet space to have meetings at home. This will ensure you don’t have any distractions from kids, and can take your time and go over the work.
- Pick a style you love
We spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else, so an office needs to suit your personality. Don’t choose contemporary if you prefer a rustic look, for example. Your home office should fit in with the rest of the house, and should therefore be a style that you like.
Creating the right home office is key to successfully working from home. Rather than being a soulless, corporate space like many offices, you can be a bit more creative with your space. It should feel cosy, but also be well-organised and tidy, so you can be at your most productive. With the right design, you can ensure you look forward to starting work every day, and enjoy your work environment.