Working from home is a life choice which has become very popular in the past couple of years (especially this pandemic), as the internet became the default way of communication in the business world. For many of us, our homes are places where we sleep, eat and conduct our business.
There are a lot of ways to design a home office. Most of these do not involve ruining the distinct features of your home. After all, a home office is just another part of your actual home. As a result of this, you can have the freedom to decorate it based on your needs and preferences.
One of the biggest drawbacks of a home job is that it is often hard to ignore all the distractions and reach maximum productivity. This is why it is important that we have a dedicated area in our house/apartment which will serve as an office.
The way you design your home office will somehow affect your workspace. Specifically, unfavorable physical arrangements of your documents, computers and other work belongings will impede your pace. Moreover, if your home office is full of clutter, then don’t expect that you can pour your focus fully.
In this article, we will try to give you a couple of useful suggestions on how to best optimize this space and finally start doing some real work.
How To Design Your Home Office
Prepare before you start
When you decide to create an office space in your home, the preparatory phase is very important, because this is where you will consider your priorities and think about all the things you might need.
Our suggestion is that you should actively search the internet for design ideas, but you should also keep both feet on the ground and not think bigger than necessary. The web is full of examples of great design, but often the thing that looks great on the photo is not that great in practice. Keep in mind that this is an office you are planning and remember that in the office utility always comes before design.
So ask yourself the right questions. What type of work will you perform in your office? Are you going to have clients or colleagues visit you from time to time? What equipment do you need? These are all the questions that will practically design the office instead of you.
1. Your Workplace Should Not Invade Your Home
One of the benefits of bringing your work in your home is that it can be pleasurable. You won’t experience the same stress and pressure the same way in your office. Because of this, there is a tendency that you will eventually mix up your home office with other parts of your abode.
To prevent this from happening, you should determine the exact boundaries of your workplace inside your home. It is better to create a division for your home office. Moreover, dedicate a room for it. In this way, you will clearly know that it is not invading the comfort zone you call home.
Of course, it is also a good idea to remove any distraction inside your workplace such as game consoles and leisure books. After all, an office inside a home should be conducive enough for you to concentrate on your errands.
Every person is different, however, not many people can say they are at their most productive when their family is all around them. No matter how considerate the members of your family are, they are bound to be distracting at one point of another. Plus, if you are working with clients, you will not want to look unprofessional – work privacy is essential. This is why it is necessary that you separate yourself from the rest of your house/apartment as much as possible.
2. A Good Seat Means Productivity
Pay special attention to the most important piece of furniture in the office – your chair. The chair is where you will be spending most of your time and you should not try to save money by making compromises in chair purchase. Instead, make sure it’s comfortable enough (but not too comfortable, you don’t want to fall asleep in it), and ergonomically designed.
In a study published by the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is one of the most common reasons why employees missed work. It is also the third most common reason of visiting a doctor. So to avoid such conditions, you should pick a chair that will support your lower back and at the same time, take a minute or two to stand up and walk to avoid it.
Choose your desk wisely. Your desk needs to be spacious and have enough storage space for stationery; a filing cabinet or two, a tea table with a couple of arm chairs for receiving clients and colleagues (or for taking a break from work) and other things you consider to be necessary.
It is quite obvious that your work will slow down if the environment is dim or too bright. When it comes to your office, there are a lot of ways in which you can provide sufficient illumination. You can attach an overhead lamp or LED bulbs just enough to cover the entire room.
However, do not forget that you can also get illumination naturally. If your home office has windows or seams, the sunlight can be a good source of lighting. It does not cost you anything, plus it is healthy to your body!
Alternatively, you can also install a desk lamp that generates the right amount of lighting. Too much brightness can hurt your eyes. That’s why it is good to choose a desk lamp that has the right number of lumens (brightness measurement). If you are planning to work during the night, you should also equip your office with enough lamps to create light which will not give you headaches.
Light is an often neglected during the planning phase, which is why it is only after we set everything up that we notice our eyes are straining. Having a well-lit office should be your absolute priority so don’t hesitate to do everything from moving the furniture around to hiring some industrial builders to put another window in your wall in order to achieve that goal.
5. Your Workplace Should Be Tech-Savvy
Almost everything today is automated. The presence of technology simplifies most of our errands–from cooking our meals down to getting entertainment. Your home office should never have an aura that setbacks to the Stone age. If you really want to amplify your productivity, having a responsive, fast-working computer is necessary.
Aside from that, you should always check if you have a speedy internet connection. Check if other working amenities such as printers are working (or present). If you miss any of these devices, then expect that your work pace will be slow,
Also, try to consider to upgrade your current devices. Do not settle for less just because you are afraid to spend for an update. Remember that it is more costly to have constant maintenance rather than having a single purchase. Of course, we will be wasting opportunities if you don’t have a reliable support system in your home office.
We also recommend that you augment devices depending on what work you are doing. If you are a graphic designer, try to consider adding a new monitor or a pen tablet to make your life easier.
6. Simplifying Your Workplace
Nobody wants to work in a cluttered work environment, simply because it is too distracting and annoying. Sometimes, all of these mess came from over-designing your home office. Putting too many things can consume space, after all. We all know that not all of us have the luxury of having a vacuous home office.
Moreover, a disorganized office will prevent you to move freely. It can make the simple task of finding documents as hard as looking a needle in the haystack. Therefore, there is a need to simply your workplace. Keep only what is necessary.
Choosing the right physical layout of your home office is the first thing that you should do. Select an appropriate area to put your tables, chairs, and computers. Have an organizer for your documents. Also, keep a storage for small office tools like pencils, pen, and clips. Of course, it is necessary that you have a trash bin to keep the rubbish away.
To sum up, you should always bear in mind that functionality of each object in your office is much more important than the look of it. Furniture needs to conform to this philosophy and provide you with enough comfort and support (your back will thank you later) and you should make sure your office is private enough to maintain the level of professionalism which is required for your productivity. By following those simple rules, you will create a space which will provide you with the atmosphere in which you will be able to give your best and have a successful career.