A Designers Thoughts On The Best Things For Your Home Office In 2021
Making the transition from working in the office to working at home has been a bit more difficult for some than expected.
Although it's nice having the freedom to work in pajamas or grab a snack from the fridge as you please, there's a lot more self-discipline required when working from home. Not only must you rely only on yourself to stay focused and motivated, but you must also rely on yourself to create a functional and productive office space.
Do you have the necessary home office essentials to ensure you can design an ideal home office setup?
Home office essentials don't only include desk items and electronics. These essentials also include ways to transform the office into a space where you can be successful. Remote working is beneficial for several reasons, but when the kitchen table no longer produces the environment you need to work productively, it's time to start designing your home office.
As a remote worker, you've got what it takes to create a home office even better than your regular one. Here's what you need to get started!
1. The Location
Before you can begin designing your new office space, you must first choose a location. The location of your home office is essential if you want to be productive and focused throughout the entire day.
Do you know where in your home your office should be?
- Use a built-in home office if available
- Find a quiet space away from high-traffic areas
Some homes have designated offices built into the home's design. They're made with doors that help isolate you from anything going on inside the home. If your home doesn't have a home office built into the layout, then you'll want to create your own space using the same qualities.
For example, choose a location in your home away from high-traffic areas. A quiet space is best to eliminate distractions. You should then make sure the location you choose has a door for times when you need absolute silence.
Did you know that staying organized can actually increase productivity? It can! The more organized your office is, the fewer distractions you'll have throughout the day.
- Organize all papers and files
- Organize all office supplies using a silverware organizer
If you're sitting at your desk and have papers scattered about and office items not in a specific place easy to find, then your brain can begin to think about all of these items instead of the task at hand. Make sure your home office setup is organized by using a filing cabinet, shelves, and bulletin or whiteboards.
Use any available wall space for storage, as this will save space. You can hang bins or metal filing folders on the walls.
3. Greenery and Fresh Air
Before you become a remote worker, did you often find yourself wishing you could step outside the office to get some fresh air?
- Install windows in your home office if it doesn't already have some
- Large windows that open with a garden bed on the windowsill are best
Being coupled up inside a small space for an extended period of time is exhausting for anyone. Adding greenery and options for fresh air is a great way to stay alert and in a good state of mind while working. If possible, choose an office with large windows that can open.
When needed, you can open the windows and let in some fresh air. You can even bring in a fan to use on the warmer days if needed.
Choose indoor plants that help purify the air. English Ivy, Aloe Vera, Snake Plants, and Spider Plants are just a few choices you have.
4. Lots of Natural and Artificial Light
You want to have lots of natural and artificial light in your home office. Natural light is good for mental health, so be sure to open those blinds and curtains and let it in! You also want to have enough artificial light.
- A good balance of natural and artificial light will give you ideal office lighting
You should have a ceiling light and some task lights as well. A floor lamp and a small desk lamp are ideal. When the sun is shining too brightly into your office or when the sun's not out, you'll rely on these lights to help you get your work done.
Try to find lights with adjustable settings or dimmers on them. This then allows you to adjust the lights depending on the amount of natural light shining through.
5. The Right Color Choice
The colors you choose for your office design will have a big impact on your productivity levels as well. You want this space to be something you love. You want to enjoy waking up in the morning and heading into your office.
- Don't be afraid to be creative
- Avoid harsh colors like red
You didn't have much say regarding what your office space looked like in the workplace, but here in your own home, you have all the say. You can make it whatever you want it to be so have fun and create a welcoming environment. Part of doing this is choosing colors that get those wheels in your brain going.
Different colors have different effects on the brain. Be sure to be selective when deciding which colors will be best for your office space. Warm colors like blue and green are excellent choices.
6. An Ergonomic Work Station
Is your workstation made to keep you comfortable for several hours?
- Alternate between standing and sitting throughout your workday
Remember, you're going to be sitting in that chair and at that desk for an entire day. It's important to use an ergonomic office chair, standing desk, sitting desk, and foot mat. When you combine all of these together, you can rely on a fully supported neck and back.
An ergonomic office chair that adjusts the height and offers back support is ideal. Make sure your feet sit flat on the floor when in your chair. A foot mat allows your feet to rest comfortably on the ground.
Herman Miller Aeron Chair, image courtesy of Design within Reach
A standing desk is beneficial for those who have been sitting most of the day and want to complete some work standing up. Your sitting desk should have a section specifically for your laptop or computer monitor that adjusts as well. Make sure your screen is at eye level.
7. A Reminder of Your Motivation
What keeps you motivated? Why do you get up each morning and go to work?
- Motivation reminders can be photos of your loved ones and pets
- Motivational quotes can help motivate you as well
Reminders of your motivation are essential to have in your workspace. Find a place to put these reminders where they'll be in plain sight. You want to be able to look up from your computer or turn and see the reasons why you work so hard each day.
Motivation reminders don't have to be photos or quotes either. Do you have a goal at work you want to reach? Do you have a financial goal you want to reach?
Use these are motivators too!
8. The Functionality
Don't sacrifice style for function in your home office. What does this mean?
- Your home office shouldn't make your work life more difficult
- Purchase home office supplies and equipment that'll simplify your workday
Let's say you find an amazing office desk. It'll go splendidly with your home's design, but it doesn't office storage space or ergonomics.
Is it still worth it to make the purchase?
It might not be. As beautiful as the desk may appear, you might find yourself frustrated and overwhelmed when you have nowhere to file your papers to store all your office supplies. It might not look as pretty to you either when it causes your neck or back to ache.
This is true for all areas of your home office. Ensure it works for you and makes working easier, not more difficult.
9. The Right Temperature
Why does the temperature in your home office matter?
- You want to be as comfortable as possible when working to keep your mind from becoming distracted
- Consider placing sweaters and blankets in your office closet
If you're too cold or too hot while working, then this could prevent you from being productive. If you're shivering from being cold, then this makes it hard to work. Find a temperature that's best for you.
Then, place sweaters and blankets in the closet just in case. You should also have a fan for days when you feel a bit warm.
Don't Forget These Home Office Essentials When Planning Your Design
Planning a home office design is a lot of fun! You can be much more creative with your home office than you can with your office at your place of work. Keep these home office essentials in mind when creating your layout and design.
With these helpful tips, you'll have a productive and refreshing workspace in no time.
Interested in more helpful design advice?
Contact me today to see how I can help.