The increasing trend of office staff being based at home more than in the office and the growing rise of micro and small businesses means that more and more people are working from home. This often means that the dining room table turns into the office desk for the day. But I do think that it’s important to have a ‘zone’ somewhere in your home that’s just for work.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Psychologically, when you sit down in the ‘work zone’, your brain knows that it’s time to work, time to produce and create.
- Secondly, you can get started a lot quicker if all your work gear is neatly stored and ready to be used.
- Finally, and quite importantly, if you have children or a spouse around while you are working from home, then you can have a discussion with them saying that when you are in the ‘work zone’, you’re not to be disturbed. Setting this boundary will help everyone understand that the ‘work zone’ is exactly that – a space for working.
Choose a zone in a room, a room in your home or get a small shed for the garden. It doesn’t need to be big, being functional is the key here. If designed well, a small functional space can be very productive.
So, let’s get onto the fun stuff, your home office doesn’t need to be too functional and boring though. Just because it’s about work and productivity, it doesn’t mean you have to throw design out the window. In fact, quite the opposite, as you are in your own home, you can let your creativity loose. A workspace is also very personal to you and the way that you work. I argue that to have a beautiful inspiring workspace is key to producing inspiring work – whatever the task is that you do.
Here’s some tips to help you make the most of your home office.
- Seating is so important in a home office. If it isn’t comfortable, then you won’t be sitting there all day, you’ll quickly migrate to the living room. Look for seating that is comfortable and supports you properly. But try and get it in a fabric that’s bright and exciting, preferably patterned. Something exciting for you to look at when you enter the space, but not be distracted while you’re working.
- Your desk needs to be large enough for you to work on comfortably, but not too large that it attracts clutter. Your workspace should be free of clutter, and you should only be able to focus on the tasks that you have set for the day.
- Use clever storage solutions for your accessories, simple boxes and trays are so useful to gather similar bits and pieces. There’s also no need to have a printer on your desk anymore, the new wireless printers are cheap and work well. I have one hidden away on a shelf at the back of my office where nobody (including me) can see it.
- Ensure you have sufficient lighting, it’s fine to have overhead lighting, but when you are sitting at your desk, you may be casting a shadow over your work. The general lighting in our homes isn’t designed for working. You need to get some task lighting in the form of a desk lamp. Adequate lighting will help to reduce the strain on your eyes.
Working from home and occasionally working in creative hubs is the future for a lot of people, so it’s going to be very exciting to watch new products/designs for home offices over the next few years.
As always, if you would like some help with designing your home office, please do get in contact with me.
Image Credit: DM1340 Desk by Danish Modern available from Wharfside