If your home office serves as a designated space for running a business, remote workspace, or simply a corner of the house to sit with bills and schedule organizers, then it deserves more than just an ugly desks and extra chairs shoved in. A home office where the design and comfort level reflects those of other aspects of your house is a place you’ll want to stay in the late hours of the night.
Here are some tips for creating an office at home
1. Form over function, always
Be practical in your decisions about what furniture you buy. Be strategic and consider how items on the desk will affect your workflow before investing. Look for pieces that work well aesthetically and functionally without veering into the cumbersome or impractical territory. You want your office to look nice, but having a desk that’s too big or an armchair that forces you to hunch over will lead to more stress than a comfortable, well-designed desk.
Good home office furniture should look like it belongs in the house. The best home office furniture should have some kind of visual cohesiveness with the rest of the house. This isn’t just an aesthetic choice either. If your home office has a contemporary designed decor, feature artistic pieces or minimal modern furniture. If you live in an old, traditional house with wood paneling and sofas that invite sinking into them, you should pick a desk and home office furniture that reflects the old-fashioned feel.
2. Find your spot
Ensure your home office is comfortable and spacious, don’t force yourself in a tiny space. Make sure it’s a room with natural light and that you have enough space to move around comfortably.
Consider how you work best. If clients routinely stop by your office, then a private space with ample seating is probably best. If you have trouble focussing on your work, find a quiet place inside your house that is away from traffic, tv, or other distractions.
3. Make the best use of space
In many homes, square footage is at a premium. Maintain that efficient flow by utilizing all space available.
Use the wall space for everything in your office that doesn’t need to be on a desk. File important papers and reference materials right next to your workspace.
Keep on top of things by using either vertical filing folders or large, hanging shelves to keep you from reaching around piles when looking for important documents. Are you someone who stacks their papers all over their desk? Try this idea as an experiment and see what benefits it offers!
Once you start making piles, it’s hard not to make more. But it is possible to tame the chaos with a well-designed storage layout. Place a mailbox on your desk that will keep things organized and tidy, if you use one compartment for mail and another for notes and papers – just make sure they’re clearly labeled. Have fun finding out how many ways these spaces can be put to good use in your home!
4. Invest in good furniture
Your desk chair needs to be just as ergonomic, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing as the rest of your home office. You don’t have to spend the big bucks on an expensive ergonomic desk just because it has all those cool features. However, investing in a desk chair that will be comfortable and supportive over the long term is worth the money. Here are some recommendations:
5. Embrace Technology
Invest in proper equipment. Buy a solid monitor, laptop or mouse, and keyboard for your home office. It’s worth investing in a good computer and monitor for your office because how you interact with it can affect productivity levels.
There’s not much you can do to beautify your equipment, but you can minimize the cords that show. Start by ensuring that your cables will be close to nearby outlets if desired, and are reachable should they need unplugging. To tidy up the floor, you’ll need cord winders (also called cable ties), tubing, and wire organizers– which allow you to raise power cables off their original position on the ground with ease – so they’re out of harm’s reach.
6. Keep it light
Make sure your office has plenty of natural light to reduce eye strain and headaches. If you’re using a computer monitor to work on, make sure it isn’t facing directly at any windows or overhead lights. This will save you from headaches and eye strain. A desk lamp is also helpful for creating different levels of lighting. Swing-arm lamps are great because they can be directed at the task you’re working on, rather than creating one type of lighting for the entire room.
7. Create an inspirational environment
What type of environment you work best in can be affected by a range of factors – from the amount of noise in your home office to the level of light. The most important thing is that it should suit the individual and their needs for creating and retaining inspiration. Hang a piece of art, adding personality to the room and make you want to get work done. Add framed photos or an inspirational message on your desk.
8. Give yourself a view
Position the desk where you can stare at something other than a blank wall when glancing up from the computer. Window light is ideal, but if not, hang a pretty picture above the desk or place your chair to face the door. This will serve as a distraction from the computer screen, creating an alternative focal point.
Don’t be afraid to rearrange things. If you’ve set up your office and find some way it needs to change, don’t be afraid! A home office is supposed to suit your individual needs for working productively – so if that means moving furniture around, do it!
9. Accessorise your space
Your office may just be the only part of your house that doesn’t have a cohesive design, but if you make it enjoyable for yourself to work in then you’ll spend more time there.
Choose extras that enhance the comfy feeling of your home office, like a pretty mug for a pencil holder, trendy notepads and sticky notes, and a decorative wastebasket, unless you’re going for that contemporary look.
If you need some extra inspiration for your home office or desk, then we have a whole category dedicated to desk setups by real users.