Do you work from home or have dreams of doing so? Either way, you will need a welcoming, efficient, and productive space to get your work done. Here are seven home office ideas that will make you want to go to the office.
I work in a beautiful, historic, old home-turned-office that was built over 100 years ago. It’s in a section of downtown that’s mixed with residential and commercial properties.
My cozy little office is on the second floor and I have the perfect view out of my window. I can see what’s happening on the street, who’s coming and going, and nature and the weather at the same time.
One day soon, I hope to be able to work from home. It would be lovely to get my day started without that 40- minute commute and being able to end the day by greeting my kids when they get off of the school bus.
Thanks to Parrott Uncle, provider of the Web’s best selection of contemporary lighting, bathroom lighting, and dining room lamps, for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
In the spirit of putting what I want out into the universe, I thought I would share some home office ideas that would embody how I hope to outfit my space, when the time comes.
There are seven components I think are important: equipment, lighting, location, layout, ergonomics, comfort, and personalization.
What are the basic necessities you must have in your office? This would all depend on the type of work you do. If you have an administrative position or anything requiring a computer, I think this list would be sufficient. Here’s what I would need:
- White board
- Office supplies
- Post-it notes
- Natural – Windows often influence how happy employees are with their workspace. Lighting affects what and how well we are able to see and influences our mood, behavior, and even hormonal balance.“Natural lighting renovations have been shown to result in happier workers, less absenteeism, and fewer illnesses, and, because better lighting encourages satisfaction among workers, it also results in increased productivity.” (Source)
- Artificial – When sunlight isn’t available due to the weather or if you don’t have a window in your office, you’ll have to rely on artificial lighting. I tend to prefer lamps instead of overhead lighting because you can control it better. I would recommend two types of lamps:
- Tiffany lamps – These lamps were originated from Louis Comfort Tiffany, one of the most creative artists and designer in the late 19th century. Their art glass, copper base, sophisticated patterns and the use of color formed this unique style. These lamps are completely handmade and feature stained glass.
- Pendant lighting – These lighting fixtures are attached to room ceilings and suspended by a cord, chain or rod and the number of these suspension linings can come to two or more. There are plenty of shapes, sizes, colors and styles of pendant lamps, making them practical and functional in a great number of places.
Location / Privacy –
I know that some people are able to work from a common area in their home, but that wouldn’t work for me.
I would suggest turning an extra bedroom, den, or dedicated office into your home office space. You’ll need a door to create privacy and hopefully enough distance from the happenings of the house to have peace and quiet.
Layout / Organization –
Since you may be spending 40 hours a week in this space, make sure to give yourself enough room. Consider how others who may be home at varying points through the day may be moving around the house and how those distractions would affect you.
Do you work best in the midst of everything or do you need quiet space? The latter for me! Also, remember that if customers or clients may need to visit you, you will need private space with appropriate seating.
To stay organized, you’re probably going to need two systems: storage and filing.
- Storage – Consider what items you will need to store. Are you getting packages, books, paperwork, etc. that will need a temporary holding place until it’s processed?
- Filing system – Do you have paperwork that will need its own filing cabinet? Do you have reference materials that will need to be placed on bookshelves?
If you’re going to be in this space all day, be sure to set up your desk, chair, and computer in such a way that is comfortable for the duration of your work time.
Your arms should comfortably rest on the desk or keyboard tray, without causing strain. Your eyes should be directly in front of the computer, so there will be no eye or neck strain. Your feet should have room to rest under you or stretch, if necessary.
In addition to the ergonomic suggestions above, when selecting the following items, keep comfort top of mind. A pleasant workspace is one with a comfortable temperature (whether that is warm, cool, or somewhere in-between).
It’s also great if you have a window with an inspiring or tranquil view. When working on one of those frustrating or mind-numbing tasks, it’s great to have some natural inspiration in front of you.
If that’s not available, bring in a beautiful plant of fragrant flowers. Your favorite art pieces can make the room more visually appealing, too.
If the space is yours and not rented (unless you have permission), you could always personalize it by painting the walls and bringing in furniture and décor made from your favorite colors.
The family will love it, too, when they come to visit you in the “office” and they know you’re thinking of them by the photos you have displayed.
Another great way to stay motivated it to have a vision board to keep you on track with your plans, goals, and dreams.
So, when the time comes to furnish your office or renovate the one you already have, don’t forget these important home office ideas: equipment, lighting, location, layout, ergonomics, comfort, and personalization.