Whether you work from home full time or part time, or just need somewhere private to carry out all of your household admin, a home office is a space that can have a huge impact on your ability to work productively.
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing more companies to rely on a remote workforce, it is no surprise that creating a calming and creative home working environment matters to a lot of people. The lines between work and home life have never been more blurred and therefore creating a home office can make separating the two a little easier.
However, not everyone understands just how important it is to design your home office in a way that is conducive to productivity. So, let us discover 5 tips to keep in mind when designing your home office.
- Pick a Location Carefully
If this is your first time working from home, or if you have recently moved to a new house, then you might not yet have established a location for your home office. First of all, home offices come in various shapes and sizes.
Try to think about where you want to work and the times of day when you will be carrying out your duties. Although the kitchen might be the perfect solution if you need to work somewhere central in the hub of your home, if you are a professional, you might instead want to consider selecting a space that is removed from the high traffic areas of your household.
- Think About Space
Working comfortably is all about having enough space. Can you easily move from side to side, and can you get up from your desk without encountering any obstacles?
It can be surprisingly easy to underestimate how much space you might need for your home office, especially if you need to work on more than one computer monitor. Ideally, your workstation should be at least 60 inches (150cm) wide and 84 inches (210cm) deep.
- Choose a Good Quality Desk and Chair
As above, it is crucial that your desk is wide enough to accommodate your technology as well as any other necessary equipment. For instance, you might want to add an in-tray, a printer, or space to take notes or make sketches.
If you are going to be working from home full time, then investing in a chair that is comfortable and supportive will prevent any potential neck or back pain issues further down the line. You might want to test out a few different seating options to find the best chair for your needs.
- Storage Solutions Should Serve a Purpose
When working in a home office your storage solutions can have a huge impact on your productivity. No one wants to have to sort through endless drawers and cupboards to hunt down a document and therefore you should aim to have enough space in your office for everything that you need to get your job done properly.
Thinking about your workflow can make finding the right storage options simpler. Ask yourself about how your documents come in. Where do they need to stay when being worked on, and where should they go when complete? Accordingly, current projects need to stay at arm’s reach and reference materials such as books, manuals, and folders should also be close by.
- Examine Your View
Where possible your home office should be located somewhere with easy access to natural light. Position your desk so that it faces a window while making sure that your screen will not be affected by glare.
Correspondingly, mirrors can enhance natural light and translucent window shades, or blinds can deal with any distracting or bright sun. If you are going to be working in the evening, floor lamps and desk lights can be worthwhile investments to provide extra light as the sun goes down.
Alternatively, if you cannot locate your desk near a window, then try to position yourself so that you can face the door, some artwork, or a pinboard. Giving your eyes a rest and something else to focus on apart from your screen is essential when working long hours.
Ultimately, whether your home office is located in an annex, in a spare bedroom, or in the corner of another room in your house, there are always going to be design factors to take into consideration. Regardless of whether you work from home full time or part time, you need to know that your home office is a private, comfortable, and tidy place to spend time so that you can work efficiently and productively.