Making your Home Office Work for You
Whether you work from home full time, catch up with work during your off hours from home or just need a place to keep your bills and personal documents organized, every home needs some sort of home office.
Finding the Space
If you are lucky enough to have a floor plan with a dedicated office, a spare room or an extra unused bedroom in your home then you will have a lot of flexibility in creating your home office. Having a room with a door that shuts can make a big difference in efficiency even if you don’t close it all of the time.
Not every home has the space for a single-purpose, self-contained office. Finding a space that will enable you to stay focused on tasks at hand is important. In a busy household setting up shop in a less utilized area of the home is best. Some ideas for this include: setting up some office space with a writing desk and some cabinets tucked neatly into an occasionally used guest room. Some people find that they can use a quiet corner of their master suite for a work set-up; while others find a way to incorporate a workspace into their living room, dining room, loft, basement, or kitchen. No matter where you place it, you can make the most of your space and your work time with some strategic planning and shrewd shopping.
Being able to maintain focus on your tasks or work is crucial to any successful home office space. Having the right seating, lighting and storage will facilitate that goal.
- Ergonomic chairs – the comfort and support of your seat makes a big difference in enabling you to concentrate and stay focused for extended periods of time. Whether you work on a computer or on paper, look for a chair that provides proper back support and adjusts to the right seat height. Padded upholstered or leather office chairs offer a cushioned seat that adds comfort when you are sitting for long periods of time. Many people also appreciate a mesh chair or other breathable material that help maintain a comfortable temperature.
- Great lighting – having a window near your workspace will provide substantial light on bright days; however, on overcast days and evenings, lamps are crucial. Even if your room has overhead lights, task lighting like a desk lamp can make an enormous difference.
- Keeping necessities within reach – effective storage and organizational structure can help you stay on task. Desks with cubbies and drawers like credenza desks or secretary desks as well as home office storage cabinets and office bookshelves all provide effective space to help you stay efficient.
Make the most of the space you have with a well thought out floorplan. Corner desks with credenzas offer extensive workspace and storage room and are designed to nestle into a corner of your room to keep floor space open. For smaller rooms, a compact writing desk or secretary desk will provide a work surface that won’t overwhelm the space. In a shared space like a living or dining room, efficient storage can be found in sideboard, buffet, accent cabinet, bookcase, or even ottoman.
For those whose work generates or requires access to lots of paper, an extensive filing system housed in filing cabinets is crucial. Organizational space for clips, staples, pens and sticky notes is helpful as well. Look for desks with shallow drawers for small items, or desktop cubbies keep essentials at your fingertips.
Some work solely on their laptop and phone, these workspaces simply need to provide a modest work surface with access to power and chargers. Computer desks with cord management are a plus.
Bookcases are helpful for more than just books. These pieces add beautiful visual structure to your space and provide an area for displaying your favorite décor. Use baskets, boxes, or bins to keep clutter, papers, and files contained on bookshelves.
Other extras like décor pieces can help finish your workspace. Depending on your work style and personality, consider options with either a soothing or energizing vibe to enhance your environment. An area rug can make your office feel more welcoming as well as help absorb sound.
Simple planning and strategic shopping can help you create a workspace that helps you stay on task and get your work done effectively.
For more on this topic, check out our related article: How to Create Your Dream Home Office.