The popularity of working from home has been rising steadily for years, with no end in sight. If you work from home you know the importance of having a dedicated, functional office space. Let’s take a look at how to best organize your space to increase productivity and focus.
Before starting any home project, it’s important to have a plan. While you may not have an entire room to dedicate to an office, there is likely an unused corner, nook or space that you can use. Once you have found your dedicated area, remove everything from the space so you can clearly see what you’re working with.
Now that your space is cleared, envision what your ideal work environment looks like. A clean and efficient space is key, so consider what is important to you and incorporate that into your plan. For instance, if you prefer a standing desk, space for multiple monitors, or if you need additional outlets or lighting you will want to work those into your plan at the beginning.
If an expansion or remodel is on the agenda, be sure to get multiple estimates from reputable contractors. Cheapest is not always best, and at the end of the day you should feel comfortable with the contractor you choose. This relationship requires trust, so be sure to choose a professional who puts you at ease.Furnishings
Buying new decor can be expensive, but you don’t need to break the bank to brighten up your work area. A small area rug or high-quality carpet remnant can bring a new look to your space and set it apart from the rest of the house.
For furniture, first look to pieces you already have that may be repurposed or refinished. Restoring an old desk with a fresh coat of stain or paint can be an easy weekend project that is cost-effective.
From a functional perspective, you’ll need to consider storage and organization for any office and work supplies. A clean and ordered space will go a long way toward keeping your focus on your work. Additional pieces you might consider are a file cabinet and shelves with baskets or bins for storage. Don’t assume that everything can fit neatly into your desk.
You may also need an additional seating area or work surface. Consider where outlets and lights are – or can be – when arranging your furnishings to avoid unnecessary cord runs.
Upgrading your lighting from incandescent to LED will not only make your space brighter but also more modern. A small desk or floor lamp can provide ample light if no overhead lighting exists.
Windows are key to introducing natural light that is easier on our eyes. OSHA recommends directing light away from our line of sight in order to reduce glare on monitors. If possible, orient your workspace to run alongside windows rather than putting your monitor directly in front of or behind a window.
Nobody said a home office had to be boring. In fact, research indicates that design and aesthetics impact productivity and creativity. Consider adding decor that reflects your personality and makes the space your own. Paint color, furniture material and artwork can all change the feel of a space.
Additions like plants or throw pillows can soften the room and make it feel more comfortable. A desktop calendar and decorative whiteboard are practical items that can also add a bit of personal flair. While personalization is important, you want to be sure you don’t go overboard and clutter the space. Limit items to those that are useful or meaningful.
Personalizing your workspace is key to designing an office that is comfortable and encourages creativity and productivity. No matter how big or small your renovation you will end up with a thoughtfully designed space that is also functional.