Is it possible to create a home office free from distractions and a safe distance from the fridge? Yes, it is!
So, you’ve started working from home. Or perhaps you’ve decided you want an admin space that’s not a kitchen drawer. It’s clear: you need a home office.
But where do you begin? Read on for our step-by-step guide to creating that haven for all things ‘work’ at home.
Step 1: What do you need, and what do you NOT need?
The biggest challenge when working or running a business from home is freeing yourself of distractions. So, when planning a home office, start with listing the things you need to work – and only the things you actually need.
This ‘critical needs’ checklist will typically include a computer, a desk and a chair. But, think beyond the norm to your unique needs. Do you require a filing cabinet or innovative shelving? Does your home office also need to accommodate other people – such as clients? Will you be spending large chunks of time in the office and therefore require an ergonomic chair or a standing desk?
Step 2: Choose the right space
The size of your home office depends on your critical needs checklist. A small corner may suffice, or you could need to think of a larger, more secluded space where you can work away from the noise of family.
An often-undervalued feature of a home office is good lighting. Even if all you need to do is the occasional bit of paperwork, well-designed lighting will make the office a place you want to be in rather than one you try to avoid. To create a calming space, lots of natural light is critical. For your needs, overhead lighting may be enough, but we also recommend investing in task-lighting – such as standing or desk lamps – to reduce eye strain.
Step 3: Storage, storage, storage
There is nothing less conducive to efficiency than clutter, so invest in the right storage solutions. It’s easy to feel cramped in home offices because they tend to occupy small spaces. But, with proper storage planning, even a small area can host a well-designed home office setup.
Get creative! But, remember that things you often use should be easily accessible to enable you to work efficiently. And, rather than splurging on décor and settling for run-of-the-mill office equipment, we recommend the reverse. Now is the time to buy specialised – possibly multi-functional – office furniture and items that exist to make your life easier.
Step 4: Remember, you’re going to need power
To those in the know, electrical sockets are integral to any well-designed property. However, if you don’t have a background in interior architecture, this may escape your list of priorities for your home office.
Keep in mind that, even if you have the best computer or ideal task-lighting, all that is useless without conveniently located power sockets. Is the circuitry in your chosen space appropriate for your needs? If not, you may need to come up with a solution before you begin kitting out your office.
Step 5: Make it look good
While the right office furniture is a vital investment, don’t completely forget about décor. No matter what budget you have, an aesthetically pleasing design is always possible.
If cost is an issue, keep your home office’s décor neutral and simple, but hang a picture or two on the wall. This is an easy way of adding some colour and inspiration and avoiding it becoming a dull environment. Also, find an attractive wall clock. It won’t take up much space; it will be lovely to look at; and, most importantly, you can keep track of time – something which is all too easy to forget when working at home!
Need more advice on what to consider when choosing a home with space for a home office? Speak to us today.