If you’re working from home, initially it might have been a nice change of pace from driving to and from the office every day. But what happens if you’re trying to set up your technology in the dining room, and feel out of place while you work? Eventually, you’ll get tired of shuffling papers around to sit down for dinner. Plus, not having a designated work area makes it difficult to focus during the day. It’s important to have a space to work, that is completely your own.
Right now there is no better time to build a home office. Even though so many are working from home temporarily, it’s a good idea to create a functional workspace you can enjoy year-round. Whether you need a space to run your small business, or just need enough room to set up your computer screen and laptop, we have a few suggestions that can help you design a home office that is smart, comfortable, and functional.
Find the Right Space
The most important part is finding the right location for your home office. It needs to be a place where you can focus, and get the most work done, even though you’re still enjoying the comforts of home. Working in high traffic areas, such as your living room, dining room, or kitchen, are not ideal if you’re spending hours on the phone, or need total quiet to focus. Your kids are going to be running around these places, and even though it’s important for them to find you, it’s not ideal if you need to work for the next few hours, and they’re running around nearby.
Find a space that is functional, preferably a dual-purpose room, to set up shop. A guest room is a great place to work because it’s normally unoccupied for the majority of your time. If you have an unused storage space or a makeshift gym, rearrange a few things to make room for a desk and filing cabinets. If you don’t have a lot of room on the first floor, but happen to have a finished basement, take advantage of the additional square footage. The most important thing is to find a space that is quiet – this will help you stay on track during the day.
Think Comfort and Storage
A home office space should look appealing, and put you in the right frame of mind, but it should always be a comfortable place to work. If you’re not getting the right support or storage space you’ll be distracted and move around, and this will decrease your workday productivity.
While there is no perfect way to create a home office, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re creating the space. Building a home office should focus on maximizing space, and storage, so you’ll have enough room for all your file. Think about how much space you actually need, and consult accordingly with a remodeler who’s had plenty of experience.
A remodeler can help you craft the perfect home office with ease, and get your project done in just a matter of days. It’s important to decide a few different factors:
What are the ideal dimensions of your desk?
- Is this in a corner, or along a wall? Be practical about the size. Don’t undercut the space if you have a lot of monitors for work.
How many drawers or cabinets do you need?
- Your remodeler can help you find a common ground for how much storage you’ll need and can install top facing cabinets, and lower-level drawers, similar to what you would find in your very own kitchen.
Do you want to install open shelving?
- If you like the idea of alternating your desk cabinets with open shelving, be sure to tell your remodeler that’s something you’re interested in.
Designing a home office can be pretty simple, and affordable. You can have additional storage space for all your work files, and will never have to sift through papers again.
Another helpful tip? Don’t just bring up an extra chair from the dinner table as your office chair. Make an investment that is comfortable and offers you plenty of support. Working from home doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice on comfort.
Light Up The Room
Working from home might get a little difficult, but a way to make the space more inviting is having lots of lighting. You’ll feel more stimulated, and if it’s going to be an early morning, it’s essential to have enough lighting to jump start your day – no one likes to work in the dark.
If possible, pick a room with lots of windows. Natural lighting is going to be your friend, and windows provide a healthy distraction when needed. If it’s a little too bright, think about ordering curtains or a window treatment, to help filter out sunlight.
If you’re not in a space with lots of natural lighting, your remodeler can install recessed lighting, or pendant lights, to help brighten and illuminate the space. They can also install task lighting within your desk, if that’s something that would help you see all your screens. Lighting is important, so if you don’t have enough, be sure to consult with your local remodeler to see if you can create a better solution for your office.
Take the Time to Design Your Office
Even if you’re creating this space on a limited budget, it’s important to design the area properly. If you’re staring at a blank wall for hours at a time, you’re not going to feel motivated to get back to work.
Home design is important, so why not do the same to your office? Your work life doesn’t have to be spent looking at papers all the time. Making your office inviting and approachable is going to motivate you to get things done. Talk to a local interior designer and remodeler to see how you can improve the area. If you’re not loving the color scheme of your space, a coat of paint can do wonders! Find a color tone that is relaxing, and bright. Blues are always calming, or certain shades of grey could be equally soothing. No matter what the color is, just pick something you enjoy, and will help you focus during the day. Your contractor can paint your designated room in quick turnaround time, so you can start feeling at ease before you know it.
Once you have the right color scheme, hang up a few pictures of your loved ones and family. Keeping your weekly to-do list nearby also comes in handy, so you can check off things as you go. If you enjoy art and want a little bit of color near your work, find some bright prints and paintings to hang. Your remodeler can finish off the space by offering a few handyman services, like hanging up your pictures and frames.
These little fixes might not seem like much on paper, but they’re going to help keep you motivated in the long run.
Organize Your Space
All too often, we let technology, cords, papers, and pens run rampant across our space. If you have a disorganized desk, you won’t feel at ease prior to working.
Building enough cabinet space will remove the additional stress of clutter, so you can stay organized no matter what. You won’t have to leave papers around your desk, that could get lost in the shuffle of a workday. Also, if you have lots of devices that are essential for work, as your remodeler if they can cut technology outlets along the back panels of your desk. This way, you can still use all of your devices, and even run power strips below your desk. However, all of your cords stay tucked away, so they’re not out and about across your desk.
Most of all, arrange your space in a way that’s conducive to work. Don’t place monitors where the sun’s glare hits, and don’t have additional technology laying out that you don’t need – it’s a tempting distraction.
If you’re looking for more design and organizational help while you’re spending time at home, take a look at our small space hacks on organizing small kitchens and bathrooms. Ready to start crafting your home office? RJ Turner Remodeling can bring all your home renovations to life, for homeowners throughout the Piedmont Triad.