Working from home has become increasingly common for many years now. Even before the current global pandemic made home working the only option for many businesses, the home working model was being adopted by many companies. The benefits of working from home are clear for both employers and employees—less time and money is spent commuting, office distractions are often reduced, and flexibility is increased.
Despite the advantages of working from home, there is still an important task involved; designing and arranging a home office space that allows you to work most effectively and enjoyably. Unfortunately, your boss is unlikely to help you with this, and it is down to you to design the perfect working space in your home.
Knowing where you should start can be very difficult when it comes to planning and designing a home office space that meets all of your needs. Whether you are working for a company or are self-employed, the space in which you work is highly important to the quality of your work and your ability to work to the standard that you need to. While many people are perfectly happy to simply open-up their laptop while sitting at the kitchen table or on the living room couch, a specific home office room can allow you to work to the best of your ability and can also help you to keep your work-life balance in check!
In this guide, we have compiled some top tips for decorating a home office space that meets all of your needs.
Before you can work on the visual design aspect of your home office, you will need to work out the basics. After all, there is not much point in having a visually stunning home office space if it is not also an effective working space that enables you to carry out your daily tasks!
How and When Do You Work?
Your working hours and working methods are very significant in how you can best design your home office space. For example, if your daily work simply involves sitting at the computer and typing, you may not need to consider factors such as noise. However, if you spend a lot of time in meetings or discussions, you may need to consider some form of soundproofing if you live with others. For most work, this will not be an issue, but if your work entails creating noise and you also work nights, you may have to consider your neighbors when choosing a room to set up your home office in. Attics and basements can make good offices if they are converted.
What Do You Need to Do Your Work?
Most home working jobs can be done simply with a desk, chair, computer, internet connection, and a cell phone. This means that a home office should have enough sockets available to plug in the equipment you need. If you have to use a room with few sockets, you can set up extension cables.
You should also consider other things that may help you with your work. For example, a bookshelf with books that you use to carry out work may be useful, or a filing cabinet to store and sort important documents.
How to Choose Furniture
When it comes to choosing office furniture, you will most likely want to strike a balance between furniture that is useful and furniture that does not take up too much space. For example, a desk with space for a dual monitor setup and plenty of drawers may be useful but may also take up most of the room and leave you working in a cramped space.
One of the most important yet overlooked pieces of furniture for an office is the computer chair. The optimum level of back support and posture correction that a good quality chair provides will have a huge effect on your work and your general health! This does not mean you have to shell out a lot of money on a brand new ‘top of the range’ office chair—you may be able to find a good quality chair second-hand that simply needs a bit of work. Even damaged chairs can often be repaired using tools such as a welding rod. With the right tools, a battered old piece of furniture can be made new.
Use Color to Create a Calming Space
Although color is not the most important factor when choosing office furniture, color is an important aspect of interior design. If you want your furniture and décor to match the color of the room, consider repainting the walls in a light, neutral tone such as white, cream, or beige. Not only do these tones go well with almost any other color, but they can also have a calming effect that reduces stress and is psychologically conducive to effective working.
Find Art and Decoration That Inspires You
Although you will probably want to be calm in your home office and avoid too many visual distractions, this does not mean you should work in a bare cell of a room! Most work involves at least some degree of creativity, so it is important to use décor that stimulates your mind and provides inspiration. This could be stylish wall art, holiday snapshots, houseplants, or ornaments. This is where you can really personalize the room! However, bear in mind that your office may be seen by co-workers or clients if you use video conferencing software such as Zoom—so keep the space tidy and avoid any visible artwork that may offend anyone or give a bad impression!
Other Home Working Tips
A well-designed home office can not only increase your productivity and the quality of your work, but it can also help you to enjoy working more. After all, this is a space where you will likely be spending many hours of the day and probably alone.
It is important to make sure that you can be in “work mode” in your office even though you are at home. Remove distractions from the room and make sure that you are always reachable during working hours by co-workers or clients.
Another benefit of using a designated home office instead of working in the living room, kitchen, bedroom or other room is that you can separate your “work” and “home” life more. When you are in the home office you are in “work mode”, and the second you leave the room at the end of the day you are not anymore. This can help keep your work and personal lives separate so that neither affects the other.