As more people than ever work from home, opinions remain divided: some people love it and can’t imagine returning to their cubes, while others hate it. Regardless of where you fall on the love/hate spectrum, you’ll still need to carve out a productive little corner of your home for work. But that can be easier said than done! For just a couple of days, setting up shop at your kitchen table may suffice, but long term WFH stints require a dedicated office space.
Here's a quick guide for designing a comfy home office:
Choose your location wisley
Let’s face it: you’re going to spend a big portion of your day in your home office. Something in the ballpark of eight hours a day, five days a week (or more). That means you'll need to choose your new space wisely. In other words, don’t cram yourself into a tiny, windowless nook in your house, or set up shop at the breakfast table where you have no privacy and no reprieve from distractions.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing the location for your new home office:
- How much privacy do you have?
- Is it a high-traffic area?
- What’s the noise level like?
- Do you have enough room to work?
Depending on your home, you may not be able to check off all of these boxes, but your new office should fulfil most of these needs.
Lighten the mood
Light often gets overlooked, but it’s probably the most important feature after room layout. Without the right lighting, you'll end up with eye strain and headaches. Too-bright lighting can leave you struggling to see past the glare on your screen.
A few helpful rules of thumb:
Angle your computer monitor away from the window to prevent glare.
You may have to make some adjustments at first., depending on the direction your office faces. East-facing windows will have the worst glare in the morning, but western windows will only get bad later in the afternoon.
You’ll want a good solution for task lighting. A desk lamp is perfect for evening work hours. Unlike overhead lights, you can move your desk lamp around to adjust for glare.
And if your office is particularly large or shadowy, you may wish to pair your desk lamp with a floor lamp to lighten the atmosphere.
Colorize your space
Don’t be afraid to change the color of the room--even if your new office was once a guest bedroom, storage room, or even a converted garage. Now it’s your office, and you deserve to spend time in a room painted a color you love!
This is where “mood” comes into play.
Do you need something bold and exciting to get yourself going in the morning? Then try a vibrant color like electric yellow or lime green. But if you find yourself in need of calm during the stressful workday, opt instead for a tranquil shade of seafoam blue or leafy green.
This can be a tricky one, especially if your new office is light on square footage. But it’s important to get an organizational system in place so you know exactly where to find what you need when you need it. Vertical file folders, desk organizers, and small bookshelves are all excellent choices for keeping your papers, office supplies, and technology organized. Floating shelves are a lifesaver if you don’t have a ton of floorspace to work with.
....with a comfy desk and chair! You might feel the urge to nab a chair from your kitchen table or dust off a folding chair from the garage. Don’t do that just yet! Keep in mind that you’re going to spend forty hours a week parked in this chair, so you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by getting one that’s comfortable and ergonomically correct. Even if you have to shell out some money for a fancy office chair, it’s totally worth it and certainly cheaper than a chiropractor!
Above all, be sure to have fun and get creative when designing your home office. It's your space! It's where you'll think of some of your brightest ideas and accomplish your proudest career milestones. You deserve to have a working space that's comfortable, productive, and most of all, fun!
Did we miss any tips? Let us know in the comments!