As growing numbers of us start working from home, the home office is becoming an ever-important room in the house. Even for those who don’t work regularly from home, zoning off a dedicated work area can be useful to keep work and life more separate and help achieve a better ‘balanced’ lifestyle. If you are wanting a more work-friendly and productive space, we explore five things to consider when creating your ideal home office.
You need to make sure that your home office is designed to meet your needs. Quite often, it isn’t a case of transforming a spare room into a suitable office — you may not have the space, money or time. However, you can create an office space in any room of your home.
Where to locate your ideal home office space
The location of your home office is important, especially if you want to optimise your productivity. When you are deciding where to locate your office, you need to consider factors such as how you work, where power points are located and what impact your work will have on others who live in your home.
If you require a quiet and isolated office in which to work, you may decide that a loft conversion is a good idea. However, if you want to be able to listen out for your children while you work, you may decide to create a space in the kitchen or central living area.
When you are deciding where to locate your office, do not forget to take into account space requirements. You need to decide how much surface space you need to work on, whether you need boards or items up on the wall and find an area where as many as possible of these needs are met.
The right furniture to create your home workspace
If you want to be productive when you are working at home, comfort and space are primary considerations. You need to choose the right office furniture.
Your desk needs to be big enough to accommodate all your equipment and for you to comfortably do your work. It should also be shaped in a way to make the best use of the space that you have. Ideally, your office desk should be adjustable; for instance, many people, especially those who have problems with their back, prefer to have a standing desk.
Check out the article on setting up your ergonomic home office in The Homeworker: The Complete Guide
Creating a healthy home office
When you are designing an office for your home, it’s a good idea to include a number of natural elements, such as plants. This is because they provide benefits for your health and wellbeing.
According to the team at Stonehouse Furniture; “While spending some time outside every day is ideal, it’s not always possible, which is why bringing the outdoors in is so vital to good health.”
As Jodie of Moakes Health & Safety explained in The Homeworker magazine:
“Adding plants to interior spaces can increase oxygen levels. As plants release roughly 97% of the water they take in, they increase the humidity of a room and decrease incidences of dry skin, colds, sore throats and dry coughs.”
This great infographic from Ambius also shows the beneficial properties of having plants in your workspace for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
The right light for your home office
It’s best to use as much natural light as possible when creating your ideal home office. This is because natural light helps to improve mood and increase productivity.
However, you need to ensure that there is no glare on your screen, as this can be irritating, distracting and bad for your eyes. There are several measures that you can take in order to reduce screen glare such as monitor adjustments, lighting angles and using products such as anti-glare monitor covers.
Organising your home workspace
Good organisation helps to improve productivity in a home office space. Investing in functional but attractive storage keeps your office clutter-free but also means it stays in keeping with the rest of your home.
In addition to buying storage units and cabinets, use a notice board to keep your goals, aims and to-do lists together. This helps you to remain motivated and focused as you can see everything that you need to do right in front of you.
There are lots of creative ways to display items on your wall apart from a corkboard. Options include magnetic boards, attractive fabric boards or using a collection of picture frames to form a wall gallery.
Check out our feature on how to create a home office or workspace in any room of your house in issue 2 of The Homeworker and in the printed Homeworker Guide. For regular tips on creating your ideal home office, subscribe to The Homeworker magazine.
Ruby Clarkson is a guest contributor to this blog. She is an emerging freelance writer with an interest in property and interior design. When she isn’t writing, she can be found either scrolling through Pinterest or shopping around for the latest trends.