Technology has made it easier for you to work from home, but how well has your home adjusted? Are you still using the kitchen table or trying to work in the middle of the living room’s distractions?
A well-planned home office gives you the right environment for productivity and organization, in an area to call your own. Here are a few home office design tips for creating a workable workspace.
1. Choose a quiet space.
A room with a door you can close is the ideal space for your home office, because you can separate yourself from the activity that doesn’t involve your job. If you don’t have a spare room to designate, consider a few other options, like apportioning part of your attic, basement, or garage, or converting a closet. You might also be able to steal space from a larger room. If you can’t add walls and a door, think about movable partitions, like a bookcase or privacy screen. Add carpeting inside and outside your office to cushion the noise.
2. Identify your power needs.
Before you start moving furniture, look to see where your outlets are. If you need to plug in equipment, add lights, or hook up to a phone or cable jack, plan it out first. Think about the equipment you need and where it should be. If your space will be more efficient by having someone run more lines, do it before you settle in.
3. Think about your work zone.
Do you roll around from a desk to a table to a file cabinet to the printer? Do you prefer to be encircled by your work zone? Try this, Sit down and envision your average workday. What do you reach for? Where would it be most convenient to locate that equipment? If you’re regularly accessing your printer, for example, don’t place it across the room where you have to keep getting up. And if you don’t keep hard copy files, use the file drawer in your desk for something that needs to be handier.
4. Create a relaxing ambience.
Your home office is a blend of both spaces—living and working. You don’t have to isolate work to a desk and chair. Incorporate design elements, like color, accessories, and innovative lighting. Bring in natural elements, like plants, which add oxygen to the room. Create an atmosphere that will give you a sense of calm, not frenzy, because you will be more focused.
5. Consider your office storage needs.
From office supplies to samples to files, you’ll need storage space in your office so you don’t pile everything on your desk. Determine what you will be storing and how often you access it in order to decide where it should be located. If you don’t need to take up space for certain files, books, or supplies, consider storing them in the garage or basement. Look for functional furniture like end tables and ottomans that also feature storage spaces. Consider mounting cabinetry on your walls or adding an attractive armoire.
6. Manage the climate.
Is your home office going to be located in a sunny area? Is it too sunny? Conversely, is it an easy space to heat in the chilly weather? Think about the climate and natural light in the room and how you can manage it by efficiently using window treatments, lighting, and flooring to stay comfortable.
7. Inspire yourself.
What gets you excited about work? What helps you focus? Be sure to integrate features that spark a more productive environment. Some people thrive with music, so installing a sound system is a good investment in productivity. Does color invigorate you? Bring it in. Hang quotes or images that ignite your passion.
Whether your office consists of an entire room or a nook, you’ll be spending a lot of hours in the space. Make sure you work in a space that is also working for you!