In this article, you'll learn
- How to choose the perfect space for your home office.
- What you should consider before starting your home office project such as lighting, storage, shelving, etc..
More and more people are working from home now; with freelance careers, remote work stations and start-ups on the rise, we get to enjoy the comforts of home… at work.
If you’re making the transition from office building to spare room, we have a few suggestions to help you with the process. And remember, just because you didn’t design your house around this work situation, doesn’t mean you can’t integrate your new opportunity into your existing living space.
Your equipment is somewhat secondary in the setup of your office, a necessity, but not the primary concern. The space that surrounds you will keep you on task, in focus and allow you to easily turn the work-mode on or off.
Choose Your Space
Your home most likely wasn’t designed around an office, or even to include an office for that matter. If it was, then you probably don’t need to read this section; but for those just starting their office, a few things to look for in your space include:
- Enough room to be comfortable
- Natural lighting
- Out of the way of heavy foot traffic
- A space with electrical sockets
Avoid setting up shop in a bedroom - doing so will leave you unable to leave your work environment. Having electronics in the same room that you sleep opens the door for interruptions in your sleep schedule and you may find it hard to rest easy.
Colors and Lighting
The color and lighting of your room will have a profound influence on your work. To keep the area well-lit and you wide-awake, try to find an area that is open to natural lighting. Natural light improves mood and reduces the amount of overhead light you will need. Watch that you don’t place a computer screen in direct light though, or else you’ll create glare on your screen. If you find that a bright area of your home, like a sunroom, is where you can find your work inspiration, consider adding shades to help reduce glare while still soaking in some natural light.
The color of the space should be inspiring and uplifting to you. It’s your choice, not your building manager, so pick that shade of blue that calms you or bright white to keep it fresh. Avoid dark colors that may make you tired, or uncomfortable.
Filing cabinets have come around from a dreary office staple to a piece of fashionable furniture. You can either buy a set of brightly colored filing cabinets online or up-cycle a pair of older filing cabinets with a few coats of spray paint, in your favorite hue. Other storage ideas include cube organizers with bins or lockers.
Build Shelving Units
If you aren’t left with ample space around your work area, think of creating extra room above your work station. Build shelving units to store files, bins, and supplies. You don’t have to be a carpenter to install shelves; you can find pre-made units at your local home improvement store that only need a few screws and brackets. Make sure to use a level though, you don’t want your books sliding off an uneven surface.
Sound Proof Your Office
If your space is in a high traffic area, or it’s surrounded by rooms that tend to be a bit noisy, you should look into sound proofing to minimize disruptions. Sound proofing can be done by using a wall finishing system that provides sound absorption.
Surround your walls with what inspires you. If you’re an artist, add the pieces that you inspire to work towards. If you’re most inspired when daydreaming, hang pictures of places you’d like to travel one day. If images don’t inspire you, maybe music does. If you worker harder with some music in the background, consider investing in a nice sound system that you would never be able to use in a structured office setting.
Also remember to minimize distractions. For example, unless you’re a sports analyst, you probably should avoid having a television in your space. And clutter? If your space is cluttered, you won’t be able to relax and will be inclined to spend time tidying up.
We would love to see what you end up turning your space into! Send us your home office before and after pictures and we might spotlight them in an upcoming post.