If you’re like many people these days, you work from home and need an office. You need to get your papers and computer off the kitchen bench and get serious so what’s the first step in designing your home office? Where to set it up would be the first thing to think about. Do you have a small corner of a room, an annexe, or a small bedroom, even a studio out the back where your parents stayed on visits? Wherever you locate it, there are a few essentials to consider. One would be whether or not you will spend the full working week in your home office or only a few hours. But however long, it’s important that you can work in comfort and that your home office is a pleasant and creative space in which to work. The following tips might help you organise your home office.
Tip 1 - Location is Key
A home office can be in another room, or corner or even in a non-busy part of the kitchen. The trick in choosing the best spot is to consider carefully when you’ll be working. If you happen to be a busy mother, an area in the kitchen with a desk might be ideal as a central headquarters. But if you’re a professional, you’ll need a space that’s far from household distractions.
Tip 2 - Give yourself plenty of room
Make sure you have enough space so that you can work in comfort and don’t feel cramped. Check to make sure you can easily stand up and move around, and sit back down again without knocking things flying from your desk. It’s really easy to underestimate how much room you actually need while working. Professional designers laying out a workstation allow at least 150 cm for the width and 210 cm for the depth.
Tip 3 - Choosing a Desk and Chair
It’s hugely important that you choose the right desk and chair for your home office, for ergonomic and comfort reasons. Buy a desk wide enough for your computer and any other necessities. thing else necessary to do your work. Your desk should be 120cm wide at a minimum, but if you’ll only ever need a laptop you can go with less. A desk with adjustable height setting is good, but if that’s not possible
let it go. Your desk shouldn’t be too high, try for 70 to 75 cm. Invest in a good quality, comfortable chair that can be adjustable if you can.
Tip 4 - Shelves and Storage
Don’t forget to include some shelves and storage so you can tidy your desk and enhances your productivity. Include cupboards, shelves and a filing cabinet, and if you need more money to set your office up it might be worth checking your borrowing power with your bank so you don’t have to skimp on essentials like a good filing cabinet, a quality, ergonomic chair and a proper desk. You need to feel professional, and if you
interview clients you will want them to feel that you are professional as well, so investing in your home office will serve you well.
Tip 5 - Will Clients Visit?
If your office is large enough you could hold meetings with clients in there, but make sure there’s room for extra seats so plan for this in your home office design to allow for meetings. This can be as easy as providing one or two comfortable chairs that are simple to pull up to your desk. If not, you will need a room or meeting area, which is ideal.
Tip 6 - Natural Light and a View
For any office space whether at home or not, good lighting is crucial, so select a location with some natural light filtering in, and if possible one with a view. Place your desk facing a window or a spot where the light won’t affect your computer screen. Pearly or almost see-through blinds or curtains can help lessen the glare but won’t make the room dark. Include a mirror to improve the natural light. If you have no view, then put a lovely piece of art on the wall to rest your eyes.
Tip 7 - Unclutter the Technology
Cords draping from your desk and trailing everywhere will make your home office look cluttered and your creativity will suffer, apart from looking unprofessional. So, follow these simple tips:
- Use a wireless router to reduce your cords by half
- Buy a wireless printer and mouse
- A grommet in your desktop will lead cords from desk to floor
- Tape cords underneath the desk
- Gather loose cords on the floor with a cord tamer
Tip 8 - Personalise your Space
The best part about working from home (1) is that you decide on how you want your office, so don’t skimp on style. You can match the home office with your home’s style. Add your favourite piece of artwork or collections. Include important personal touches when planning the design of your home office, so you feel at home in it.
Tip 9 - Devise a Floor Plan
Now that you have all the essentials under control, it’s time to design your home office with a floor plan, which is a great tool to help you organise your thinking and ensure you have all your bases covered. There are plenty of online tools for sketching out floor plans (2).
Tip 10 - Make it Yours
For a home office don’t be lazy and paint it beige unless your home is beige and you really want to match the style of the rest of the house. You need a colour that brightens you up ready for work; something cheery such as golden yellow, lime green or zesty orange. For a calming hue choose botanicals, greens and sea blue. Set up a little shine full of things you cherish, that will motivate you to create.