Tips to design a functional home office you will actually use

  • 19.December 2017
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A home office is perhaps one of the most convenient workplaces one could ever wish for. No commuting, no stressful travelling and being master of one’s own work schedule. Once you experience it, you will find it can work exceptionally well.

Most especially if you learn how to keep work around the house separate from your office work so that you can extricate yourself from the chores in order to concentrate on the money-earning tasks at hand. Frankly speaking, the management of a home office can become somewhat chaotic if you are unable to organise it in such a way as to make it effective for you to work within its space. People around you may come to the erroneous conclusion that you ‘do not work’ simply because you stay at home a lot. Which means they will expect you to run errands and do ‘stuff’ for them on your ‘free’ time. Apart from making it clear to all and sundry that your work is your work, regardless of the fact that you can do it in your nightwear if you so desire, you must aid yourself to concentrate.

That is why it is imperative to locate a dedicated space for your office work within your home.

Kitchen table: not a good idea

You may well have started out on the kitchen table but this will not work well for long. Even if you live alone, the kitchen table will demand its own space for those loaded shopping bags, for your breakfast, lunch and dinner. and for the myriad things which typically keep kitchen tables looking busy. Your office paraphernalia will risk major damage in the form of drowning or soiling and that is most certainly not professional.

Find your corner: a table, a chair and an electric socket

Even if you live in a minuscule studio flat, find one corner, as far away from the bed as possible, where you can place a small table and chair, close to an electric socket. This will be your office base next to which you will need to organise a stack of wall shelving and under which you can place a two-level trolley with printer and stationery. Being next to a window or balcony door will help you immensely. This is the kind of breathing space that will help you de-stress when deadlines loom, or when you need a clear mind to think

Avoid cluttered storage rooms

If you have the luxury of a free and empty room within your home, that can be transformed as a home office, even better. Should this room have been a glorified dumping site where all the unwanted stuff of the household gets stowed away, you will need to clear it out before you set up office. Your office needs to feel your own, clutter-free working station. Distractions are unacceptable.

The corridor? Why not

If you can only make space in a corridor upstairs, partition the space with shelving around one or two sides of your desk/table. Alternatively use large potted plants in planters to screen your work station from the rest of the space in the corridor.

Basics to have at hand in your home office

  • Phone
  • Modem
  • Printer
  • Office supplies & stationery – writing material, printing paper, notepaper, envelopes, etc
  • Computer (PC or Laptop)
  • Filing material – files, organisers, boxes, etc. Try colour-coding your filing system for easy reference.
  • Waste paper basket
  • Shelving for literature related to your work – dictionary, phone book, catalogues, colour palettes, etc.
  • A comfortable chair to sit in – remember you have to sit in it for several hours a day.
  • Noticeboard – made out of cork or magnetic material to stick your mood board, memos, invitations, to-do lists.
  • Beautiful posters or paintings on the wall, close by, with images that inspire your work.

Start it from scratch

If you are in that moment of you life when you need to take a new step forward and move to a new home (bigger, smaller, newer, in a different location…) and set up your perfect office, visit the RE/MAX Malta website. You will also find a good sellection of furnished properties with nice studios ready.

Marika Azzopardi
Post by Marika Azzopardi

Marika Azzopardi is a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.