How to Create and Lay Out Your Home Office Space
Working from home can be a freeing experience, particularly when it comes to setting up your office space. Where an office away from home can lack inspiration and creativity, an at-home office can make up for any drab atmosphere by incorporating your own style and personal needs.
If you’ve made the decision to work from home, you might be wondering how you’re going to make your office space habitable. Surely you want it to feel like a genuine office, but you may be wondering how you can turn a part of your home into a real working environment. Here’s how…
Choose the location that’s best for you: It’s likely you’ll be spending a good chunk of time in your home office, so choose an office space that will allow you to be productive. Do you work best around the hustle and bustle of activity or do you prefer a quieter atmosphere? Keep these preferences in mind as you determine the space that’s best for you.
Some suitable office locations include:
- A spare bedroom: For a larger and more private work space, a guest bedroom is an ideal office area, especially if you plan to conduct meetings from home.
- A closet: Remove the door from a moderately-sized closet and replace it with a curtain. Situate a desk up against a wall and use the available shelving to store office supplies.
- A hallway or entryway: If you can concentrate around distractions, working in the midst of a hallway, where there tends to be many passersby, can be a simple yet effective home office space.
- A corner: Taking up the corner of a living room or den can make for an expansive work area. Using a spacious corner desk along with plenty of storage cabinets, you can turn a simple corner into a functional work area.
- The kitchen: A kitchen nook can provide a smaller work space for paying bills and doing office work. An out-of-the-way countertop with some storage cabinets overhead will keep you organized and productive. You can even purchase a stool that fits underneath the countertop so as not to intrude on any kitchen space.
- An attic or basement: Like a guest bedroom, a completely sectioned off room will provide the privacy you may need in a home office. Attics and basements are great options for wide-open space at your disposal. Conduct meetings, conferences calls and other office duties in your own secluded area.
Furnish in a way that complements your home: You may be tempted to make your home office stand out in an attempt to separate work from home, and although that distinction has benefits, a jarring transition may be detrimental to the overall style of your home.
Unless your home office is completely roped off from the rest of your house, consider a paint color and furniture style that blends with your home décor.
Furnish in a way that complements YOU: On the same token, your home office should represent your productivity level and design tastes. Ensure comfort while you work by investing in ergonomic furniture or choosing cabinets with wheels that keep important files within arm’s reach. Both horizontal and vertical shelving are also important as they allow you to move around and keep productivity juices flowing.
Make sure you have something to look at: Having comforting artwork or a view outside will allow productivity to come easily. Position your desk near a window or door, or choose soothing artwork that makes you feel good about spending time in your office.
Light up your work life: Lighting is also key. You may not have the space to sit near the natural light that a window provides, but task lighting and other lamps will keep your eyes from straining and prevent headaches while you work.
Add Tchotchkes and personal items: Pictures of family and close friends, as well as trinkets, toys and other memorabilia work to make your office space personal to you. By glancing at your office’s decorations every now and again, the atmosphere at work will become more enjoyable.