Creating the perfect home office is more challenging than it might initially seem. You have to find the right mix of comfort and functionality to ensure you can remain productive over the course of eight hours. After all, the rest of your home and its many distractions are just a few steps away. Whether you’re new to working from home or you’re looking to spruce up your existing workspace, we’ve assembled some home office design tips to help you.
Select the Right Location
We can’t stress enough how important location is when setting up a home office. You’re going to spend a lot of time here, so you don’t want to pick a cramped, windowless corner. If you can, choose a quiet place with minimal distractions – consider traffic flow, too! How often will your spouse or kids be walking by this space? And if you can set up next to a window with a nice view, even better.
Maximize Your Space
Just as you don’t want to feel claustrophobic while working in a tight space, you should also aim to get the most of the space you choose. Before furnishing, consider which items must be readily accessible and determine how they’ll fit in your home office.
Match Your Home Décor
This isn’t some soulless cubicle you’re designing. Let your established style be reflected in your home office! If your home features traditional furniture, warm, wooden finishes will look great in your office. A more contemporary office might feature metal furniture and some striking art. Feel free to add homely touches as well, like a cute mug to hold your pens and pencils or a comfy pillow nearby to put in your chair as needed.
Find the Perfect Desk & Chair
When shopping for a desk, make sure it’s big and sturdy enough to support everything you need on it. If you have a dual monitor setup, keyboard, and laptop, you’ll want plenty of space for those items, as well as leftover space for other items like notebooks, a mouse, coffee mugs, and other miscellaneous things you might keep on your work desk. Of course, if you’re using significantly less, you can get away with a much smaller desk.
Finding the perfect chair is arguably more important. Nobody wants to walk around with a stiff back because they sit in an uncomfortable chair for dozens of hours each week. Material – leather, nylon, etc. – is up to personal preference, though you should try to get one that’s adjustable if possible.
Personalize Your Space
If corporate gray and beige tones rev your work motor, then by all means, surround yourself with them. Otherwise, take steps to personalize your home office in a way that inspires you. Paint the walls with your favorite color, hang up art or pictures of your family, display memorabilia at your desk; whatever it takes to keep you motivated throughout the day.
Storage & Shelving
An often-overlooked part of home office design is storage. Take stock of paperwork, books, supplies, and anything else you might need to keep track of, then give yourself enough shelving and storage space to safely secure it all.
Avoid Harsh Lighting
Bright overhead lights can do a number on your motivation. Keep that in mind when setting up your home office. If possible, set up shop near a window to take advantage of natural light. Soft lamps can be a great alternative if you’re unable to find a good window. Good lighting can also help cut down on headaches and eye strain.
Keep Video Calls in Mind
Does your job require you to be on video with clients or colleagues? If the answer is yes, keep that in mind when setting up your home office. Distractions in your background can quickly and easily derail an important video conference. Many video conferencing platforms also allow for custom or blurred backgrounds.
Make Your Tech Convenient
Try to go wireless as often as you can. Keyboards, mice, printers, and more common office gadgets come in wireless styles and can help reduce unnecessary clutter. Use zip ties, cord winders, tubing, or a wire organizer to corral your unavoidable cables into manageable forms. You can even dress up your cables with pretty fabric covers for an extra splash of personalization.