Whether you consistently work from home or it’s something you’re new to, having a dedicated space in your home where you can work comfortably is essential. You may be converting the spare room into a space for work and idea generation, a corner of a room in your home or transforming a shed in the garden into your dream office space. Wherever you chose to create your home office, here are some practical tips to make sure your design choices are as effective as possible.
Make the most of natural light
Natural daylight isn’t just great for the aesthetics of a room, it also makes us happier, lifts our mood and can help improve your productivity. Where possible, maximising natural light can help you create a home office that’s not just enjoyable to work in but also actively helps you to work in a more productive way. If you, like many people, place your home office in a spare room, you can position your desk and computer near the window to give you the benefit of the views and ample natural light. But if you don’t have that luxury, there are ways to cheat it through lots of artificial lighting with bulbs that mimic natural light.
Prevent the glare
Now you’ve determined where your light source will be coming from, it’s time to control it. Glare on your screen can make viewing your computer difficult and can strain your eyes, so implement ways to control this on sunnier days. Blinds are an affordable option but may not suit the interior design style you’re going for. However, concealed blinds are an effective solution. These blinds are tucked away into the window frame for a seamless look that can be pulled down or across whenever you need to control the light in the room. Blackout curtains are also effective, especially if you use the room as a spare bedroom for guests, keeping light out when it’s too bright.
Choose the right colour scheme
Just like music and images, colours have the power to evoke certain emotions in us. They’re more powerful than you may realise, meaning that the colour scheme you choose for your office can make or break the space. Cool colours like pastel blues and lilacs are calming and peaceful, but they’re not necessarily the best choice for an office where you want to be invigorated and inspired. Instead, choose purples, yellows or brighter shades that will stimulate your mind and get you thinking. Don’t fancy the brighter colours? Neutral shades like grey or cream will keep your office distraction-free.
Tame the tech
Long, tangled wires hanging from every device in the room is guaranteed to make your office look cluttered and chaotic, plus it makes it difficult to move items around or unplug devices when you need to. The good news is that you don’t need to suffer with tech mess, as there are ways to easily control the cords and cables. Firstly, using wireless devices such as printers, a wireless mouse and routers will drastically reduce the number of cables needed, while still keeping your office connected. A grommet in your desktop will help to lead wires from your desk to the area below, and loose wires left can be gathered together using a cord tamer.
Organise the clutter
Clutter is annoying in any room in the home, but it’s particularly detrimental in an office where you want to be organised. You need documents and paperwork to be easily accessible, and to know where to find things quickly, in order to work as efficiently as possible throughout the day. Home office storage is the answer, and something that every office needs to have. Shelving is a great option as it’s flexible and works for offices of any size, whether you’re tackling an entire room or simply converting a corner of a room into a workspace. But cupboards are also useful for hiding away items like printers or scanners, or boxes for smaller bits and bobs like USBs, chargers and other items. Consider whether you want these items hidden away or easily accessible, to choose the right type of storage solution.
Prioritise ergonomic furniture
When you’re working from home, you’re less likely to get up to chat to colleagues, attend meetings or go on your lunch break. This means that you’ll be sitting down for long periods, and that can wreak havoc on your posture and joints. For this reason, it’s essential that you choose ergonomically designed furniture that will support your back and neck, and prevent backache, trapped nerves and migraines from developing.
Ergonomic chairs should be used not just as a way of dealing with postural pain but also before those symptoms develop, so when you’re planning your home office set-up make sure you’re designing with yourself in mind – this means setting computer screens to the right height, supporting your back while you’re working, and stretching and moving around regularly to keep yourself mobile.
With more of us working flexibly, there’s an increased need in homes around the world for practical office spaces. You need your home office to be a joy to be in every day but also functional and conducive to a good day’s work. Hopefully, these tips will inspire you to create an office that looks great and allows you to work comfortably, whatever role you’re in.