A home office is a good addition to every house, even for people whose workplace is outside their homes. You will appreciate this quiet and functional corner every time you need to revise your work, or to continue dealing with a project off-schedule.
The big question is: how to make a functional home office? It means you need a place which serves your needs, but looks pleasant and comfortable at the same time, and that’s not so easy to achieve.
Once you start planning how to setup a home office, you will face all possible challenges (from space and location to proper furnishing), just the way you did in all other rooms. In order to make the process painless, we’ve gathered a list of most important tips for setting up your home office:
The first critical decision is placement. Even if you can afford to choose between various rooms, you need to make sure you’ve picked the right one to complement the productivity of your work.
We recommend a place that is very quiet, ideally far from your children’s playrooms or the living room. Outlets are an awesome idea because they will make your office accessible for clients to come over.
For people who are working like this full-time, the office is just as important as any other room in the house. They will be spending plenty of time inside, which is why they should devote it proper attention, rather than treating it as second-class accommodation.
The office will also preserve valuable materials and work information, and you have to keep it locked while you’re not using it. What you certainly don’t want is for your children to make paper planes with your annual reports.
Being aware of the hours you’re about to spend in your office (including the ones following ‘official’ working day), you mustn’t let comfort slip away from your attention.
Proper ergonomics will help you prevent usual physical problems, and stay safe from repetitive injuries such as posture, back pain, carpal tunnel syndromes, or eye fatigue.
The first thing you need to bring inside is a comfortable chair. Choose one that will not stiffen your body after few hours, and will let the back lean pleasantly and the feet rest solidly on the floor while seated. Armrests are also a great idea.
Remember that the chair has a decisive say on the consequences work could have on your body, so don’t hesitate to purchase the best one (skipping it will save you an arm-and-a-leg price, but buying it will save your entire body!).
The best ergonomic chairs are supposed to be padded, large, with a compulsory backrest and an adjustable height mechanism.
If possible, situate the office close to a source of rich natural light. Bright working spaces are the best in terms of productivity, which is why you have to do everything possible to let light come inside (enlarge the windows, remove the curtains, etc).
On the other hand, rooms that have limited or no access to daylight at all should be reinforced with strong overhead lights, desk or floor lamps that illuminate particular work areas.
The position of your computer screen is also important, and you have to turn it in a way that will prevent glares from occurring. Light has to be balanced all the time, because this is the only way to ensure you’re doing the best you can to preserve your sight and your health overall.
Let’s make one point clear from now: A cluttered office is not a functional office! The place has to stay airy and clean all the time, and you must know where every object is stored so that you won’t lose precious time trying to find it.
Assuming that your workload doesn’t allow constant organization of files, you can dedicate 10 minutes after-work time to clean the office on a daily basis.
Storage is critical to every home office-you need to keep the place well-organized, packed with drawer cabinets or large shelves to help you accommodate and display all important files.
Still, there are those among us who love their chaos, and that makes even shelves behind doors sound like excellent ideas.
Full-time home workers know exactly how important their office’s style is: they use it over 40 hours per week, which basically means they are in the office much more often than any other room back home.
This makes the office a top personalization priority, and should motivate you to make it beautiful, entertaining, and inspiring.
Obviously, décor can go all the way from repurposing old pieces to buying expensive sets of modern ones, it all depends on your budget. The truth is that you don’t have to spend top dollars in order to make it beautiful: chevron wallpapers and mid-century antiques are not compulsory!
In order to make a decision, think of the things that inspire you the most. If its books, get a cute bookcase and paint it the way you deem suitable.
If you’re a movie fan, purchase a collection of avant-garde posters and hang them in modern white frames. If your passion is to work in a ‘coastal’ environment decorate with shells and beige cushions with sandy textures. See? Everything goes! You just have to keep it personal!
Don’t forget greenery:
There is no cheaper solution to keep brain cells steady than bringing plants inside your office. Greenery refreshes the air with more oxygen, and it makes people relaxed and happy by only looking at it. If you think you have no time to take care of plants, you can choose such that require little attention to look marvelous and fresh.
Dedicate a phone line to your business:
Yes, you’re working at home and that’s awesome because you don’t have to worry about dealing with huge teams, traffic jams, or break schedules.
However, having an office at home means you’re sharing your workspace with the entire family, and that involves busy phone lines, slow connections, or even serious distractions that can’t wait.
While you’ll certainly struggle to make children understand you have no time to play, there is one thing you can actually do to make life easier-you can install a legitimate business line.
Doing this will do miracles for your work: you won’t be afraid that somebody is occupying the line while you’re waiting for an important call, and you’ll inspire clients to trust you which is not that probable with a normal home line.
No one will have access to your voice mail, and customers will never be confused as to why they had to arrange an appointment with your five-year old son. If this is not an option to make your business credible, we recommend a cell phone or an internet-based one (VoIP).
That’s true; you need an office to work, rather than to relax. But did it cross your mind that you need a place to read, or simply to lean on while taking a break?
This is why every office can make use of comfy chairs, especially those with feet ottomans and cute coffee tables nearby. Colorful throws and rich-pattern pillows are great to enhance creativity, and you will certainly look forward to every second you have available to use them.
Being surrounded by colors will definitely help you think and come up with innovative solutions-don’t you think that best ideas come when they’re least expected? Make your office comfy and give this theory a try!
Functionality is your main concern:
Let the office be what it actually is: an office! The same way people with insomnia are recommended to avoid bedrooms when not sleeping, you’re advised to use the home office to work and nothing other than that.
Define the place properly, and it will function: even a small desk in the kitchen can be a lovely office if you are not disturbed while working.
All it takes is to choose a corner and to repurpose it with nothing but a tall bookcase or a file cabinet that will help you to stay focused on your work.
Another thing to be taken into account is getting rid of clutter. Most people are not aware of the negative effect cluttered desks have on their productivity.
Therefore, keep it clean: remove all unnecessary papers, pencils, chargers, and candy wrappers; and start all over again. Keep the place properly lighted, because this can also sharpen your focus and effectiveness.