Your home office should be a comfortable, convenient space to complete all your paperwork. If you dread a stuffy cubicle or bland office space at work, be sure your home office avoids common design issues that arise in a corporate environment. Find out how to create a personalized, trendy office that leaves you room for paperwork, meetings and storage space for your construction tools and important work documents.
Find the Ideal Space
Do you need a secluded office space or do you need to keep an eye on your surroundings while you work? For some professionals, an office tucked away in an upstairs room is perfect for isolation and concentration. Other professionals may need to supervise children or perform other tasks while at work, so a more central work space is essential.
Either way, when you’re looking for an ideal space you need to be sure you have all the features included. Here are common must-haves for an office space:
- Quiet atmosphere
- Ample desk and storage space
- Well-lit area
- Room for a meeting
- Personalized design
Think practically in terms of your existing home. You may have plenty of space in your garage, basement or laundry room, for example, but these atmospheres may not be the most convenient or comfortable for year-round office work.
Take a look at each of these factors and rank them based on your goals. If you only have a small space, you’ll need to think creatively about storage and meeting space. For an office in a central location in your home, think about a convertible desk or an office space that can easily be rolled into a corner and kept out of the way.
Keep It Comfortable
Don’t let your home office feel too sterile. While your office may be a place of work, it should also feel like home. Take time to make it a comfortable place that you enjoy spending your time in. This is particularly important if you work full days from your home office.
Focus on the Essentials
At minimum, a home office needs a desk, chair and computer. Some professionals don’t need paperwork or other tools for their work and can conveniently work with a minimalist desk design. Keep your work in mind as you design your office.
Consider splurging on the essentials. Most desks are between 28 and 30 inches high. Depending on the amount of space you have, you can consider an adjustable-height desk to stretch your legs and enjoy work while standing.
Your chair should be ergonomic and comfortable. Consider any equipment additions that will make your life easier, like a Bluetooth mouse, noise-cancelling headphones or an upgraded keyboard. These little features can go a long way in increasing your productivity. If you’re self-employed and working from home, slight increases in productivity translate into more income for the same amount of time.
Create Sleek Storage Spaces
Most home offices have paperwork. Architects require a range of digital devices and paper blueprints for their job. Other contractors send out paper invoices and receive checks, so all this paperwork needs to be safely stored and accurately organized. Some contractors need home storage for their construction tools.
Storage is another area that deserves your attention. Without a clear organizational system, you’ll spend unnecessary time and energy sorting, storing and searching for important papers and checks. Look for bookshelves, file cabinets and other storage solutions that fit your precise office needs.
Consider ordering or creating custom shelving for your paperwork. If you’ve been working from home for some time, you have an idea of the necessary storage needed to keep your workflow steady.
Make a Meeting Area
Some home offices are a secluded den away from the public and coworkers, while others are a hub for coworkers, clients and customers to interact with your business. Consider the type of office you want or need. If you have other professionals coming to meet you, you need to create a convenient meeting area.
Look for ways to incorporate an additional chair or two in your home office. Some meetings require everyone involved to look over an important document, while others are more of an informal conversation. Either way, incorporate the meeting atmosphere into your home space to make it convenient for individuals to stop by your home and join you in your home office.
Look for Lighting Inspiration
One of the biggest complaints of large office buildings is poor lighting. Don’t make the same mistake in your home office. Find an office space that has lots of natural light. Consider glare on especially sunny days and try to avoid direct glare on your computer or your eyes.
If you can’t find natural light, include ceiling lighting, floor lamps and even a desk lamp to prevent eye strain and to avoid shadows on your desk. Consider full-spectrum light bulbs for lighting that looks and feels light natural daylight.
Ideally, you’ll have a great window to face with a view. If this isn’t possible, look for a piece of artwork or other focal point. Focusing on your computer for hours on end can cause eyestrain, so find a pleasant object or view to look at as you daydream.
Balance Breaks and Productivity
There’s a reason companies offer 15-minute breaks. Most individuals actually perform better with scheduled breaks. If you’re in charge of your schedule at home it can be tempting to try to power through the day without any breaks. This may actually reduce your overall productivity.
Schedule breaks that work for you. A break gives you the opportunity to stretch, drink some water and spend time on a musical instrument, with a good book or with your family.
Make It Your Own
Just like the rest of your home, your home office should reflect your personality, values and sense of comfort. Whether you’re working with a designer or gathering your construction tools to remodel your own home office, look for the tools and equipment you need at Engineer Supply. Browse our furniture and tools today to prepare for a productive, relaxing and personalized home office.