How to Design Your Home Office
Businesses have been forced to pivot and rethink their WFH policies. Suddenly we were asked to leave the work office and head for the safety of a home office.
Apart from working in our pyjamas (go on, admit it!), working from home definitely has its benefits. There are no more long commutes, you can snack when you like and you’re home when the online shopping arrives. You’ve also become a dab hand at technology – with Zoom, Teams, Sharepoint and Workplace becoming part of everyday life.
Sure, all this new tech and being at home was difficult at first, but now you’re getting used to it. Many people say they are actually more productive working from home as there’s less distractions. And meetings are quicker and more focussed when conducted online. No more awkward small talk – bonus!
One of the drawbacks of working from home has meant working in less-than-ideal spaces. The kitchen bench, couch and bedroom don’t cut it when it comes to productivity. Not to mention the aches and pains you’ll get from not working ergonomically.
How to Create the Perfect Workspace
Depending on the size of your home, you can set up a specific space for your home office. Such as a quiet room away from the rest of your family members (and sneaky pets who’ll vie for your attention!)
However, not everyone has a dedicated room to use. If you’re tight on space there’s always the option of a study nook.
It’s easy to up your work-from-home game with the following tips on how to create a functional and comfortable work space.
Choose a Room or Zone that Offers:
Location, Location, Location
It’s important to choose the right location for your home office – study nook or a space that is only used for work. Try to keep work out of the bedroom or living room if you can! This will mean you can ‘switch off’ from work more easily at the end of the day.
Find a location that allows you to get as comfortable as possible. After all, you could be spending the whole day there.
Get some space
Probably the most important aspect of your custom home office: SPACE. Think about how much you need (it might be different from the space in your employer’s offices). Some people don’t need a lot; just enough room for a laptop and a flat white. In this case, a simple desk with drawers may suffice.
Other people work with more printed materials and paperwork. An L-shaped desk is great in this scenario as you can spread out and have multiple screens and devices. U-shaped desks offer even more room for printers, scanners and other items.
Clever use of space means you don’t feel too cramped and you’ll have everything nearby, instead of having to store work items in different rooms.
Finding a quiet place means less interruptions so you can focus on work tasks. Being in a private space away from noise and distraction ensures you get work done faster (and better). And a room with a door allows you to shut yourself away and concentrate.
Having a quiet setting is very important if you are on Zoom meetings. It helps to reduce the amount of background noise if you can’t use the mute button. You don’t want to be *that guy*!
Let there be light
Having ample light in your home office will keep you alert, reduce eye strain and help you see what you are doing – online and offline.
Try to get as much natural light as possible into your home office by positioning your desk by a window. It’s also good to have some artificial lighting too, which can be overhead lighting or the addition of a desk lamp. There’s lots of lighting available from the leading home furnishing and office supplies stores.
Some Like it hot
Many work place tiffs happen over the office temperature. Ever had a well-meaning colleague who constantly fiddles with the air con controls? Well at least you don’t have that problem when you work from home!
The ideal working temperature varies from person to person, so working from home lets you decide (it’s usually around 24 degrees). You may have ducted or reverse cycle air conditioning at home. If not, consider additional small space heating or cooling to keep you warm or cool.
Opening a window to let the fresh air in is a luxury of working from home. If you have a quiet neighbourhood, keep a window partially open for air circulation and keep you alert.
Take a Seat
Seating is a really important aspect of your home office. Invest in the best office chair you can afford (remember it will be a tax deduction). You need to focus on work, not on how uncomfortable you feel!
There’s lots of choice when it comes to office chairs, from swivel chairs that are height-adjustable, to those with lumbar support, armrests; all made in different materials.
Expecting guests? Visitor seating and an additional meeting table are recommended; depending on the amount of space you have available.
We all know how important good storage is around the home. And the home office is no different. You’ll need to keep your work space organised to ensure everything you need is close at hand. Cupboards and shelves ensure work clutter won’t take over your house.
White boards, corkboards, moveable drawer units and lockable cabinets are additional items to consider for storage in your home office. If your workspace is in a living room, dining room or kitchen, it is important to pack your work away at the end of each day.
Set your home office up as close as possible to your wifi router to reduce the chances of drop outs or patchy wifi coverage.
The fewer walls between your work space and the router, the better your connection will be. You want to be able to take and make Zoom and Skype calls from your home office without the wifi dropping out or having to relocate to different rooms mid-meeting.
Let’s Get to work!
Ever been distracted by what’s on your colleague’s bookshelf rather than focussing on the actual meeting? The new work-from-home trend has allowed us to peek into our colleague’s homes, often with surprising discoveries (least of the all the décor!)
Avoid WFH shame and make yourself a functional, attractive and comfortable home office. You’ll be the envy of your (virtual) workmates!
Get in touch with our Flexi Home Office Designers who will help you create a work space that makes working from home feel less of a chore whilst adding value to your home for years to come.