Adding a home office to your space is a great idea, especially today when many people are forced to temporarily work from home or switch to remote work until further notice. So no matter how much time a week you’re going to spend in your home or where your home office will be located, you need to follow a few basic design tips that will ensure you can work comfortably and productively. Here’s how you can create a home office that will fit all your remote work needs and make you feel motivated and empowered:
Start with a good location
There’s no one right size and shape for a home office—you can design it in a separate room, set aside one quiet corner in your home or even dedicate a kitchen counter to your work. The secret to picking out a good location is knowing when and where you love to do your work. For instance, if you’re a working mom, a desk in your kitchen might be ideal since it allows you to keep an eye on your house at all times. On the other hand, if you’re an aspiring business professional, it’s best to select a space that won’t distract you (spare room, bedroom or even your garage).
Invest in quality setup
This is the most important thing—your setup. Start by selecting a desk that is wide enough for your laptop, reference materials and other necessities you use every day. Ideally, it should be at least 120cm wide and 70-75cm tall. While an adjustable-height desk is great for offices, they are not very practical for home settings. Next, pick out a good chair that’s completely adjustable and comfortable—your neck and back will thank you.
Storage is essential for cleanliness
Many people often neglect storage when designing a home office, but the clutter you will inevitably create will affect your productivity in no time. Include plenty of shelving, a sturdy filing cabinet and some cupboards for supplies. When storing, consider your workflow—how you work, what you need, how you can grab necessities and where they will end up when you’re finished with them. Your current work should be easily reachable at all times and your most-used manuals or books should be stored nearby.
Personalize your space
One of the best things about working from home is that you have complete control of how your office looks like. If you wish, you can match your office to other parts of your home or create a completely different vibe that will evoke productivity instead of relaxation. Think about what inspires you, but make sure to also include plenty of greenery and natural elements—they boost energy, focus, memory and productivity. If you’re not a natural-born gardener, you can buy a long-lasting preserved rose for your desk. This flower will grace your space with so much beauty while requiring zero maintenance. A piece of artwork that inspires you will always have a place in your home office as well.
Organize a meeting place
If you regularly need to see clients or customers, the most professional move you can make is providing them with a comfortable place to sit and communicate their ideas to you. Your home office should have a place for a quick meeting—one or two chairs and a coffee table for refreshments. People will not expect anything fancy from your home office so relax.
Provide plenty of light
Every home office needs lighting, so if possible, locate your office in a spot with plenty of natural light and outdoor views. To prevent the sunlight from blinding you or interfering with your screens, you can put up translucent shades or blinds—these won’t darken the room too much but will prevent glare. You also need overhead lighting, but a desk light is also necessary as shadow-free task lighting.
Tame your tech
Lastly, nothing clutters your home office as quickly as wires, so make sure to tame them with grommets that will lead them under your desk and along the walls. Loose wires can be tidied up with simple cord tamers, but if you can, it’s best to invest in wireless technology to half the amount of wires you need to deal with.
Designing a home office is a very fun process and one that can do a lot of good for your career. If you follow these tips and adapt them to your situation, you will have a home office worth your effort in no time.