8 top tips for creating (or refreshing) a home office
Now that we are hopefully through the worst of Covid lockdowns and office shut downs – the world seems to be returning to normal. All except our ways of working, which seem to be changed, perhaps forever.
With hybrid working, flexible freelancing and remote work now more common than ever, commutes have lessened and time at home has increased – giving us more opportunities to soak up life at home.
While this improvement in work-life balance is welcomed by all, it does mean you’ll need a functional space from which you can work effectively and maximise your productivity. Here’s 8 ideas to consider when creating a home office.
Your home is full of different spaces. You have your obvious ones like a bedroom, a living room and a kitchen, but there are also less obvious ones – like a small space under stairs, cupboards or hallways.
Sometimes these unexpected spaces can be the perfect places for a home office. Why? They maximise the space you have, if in cupboards they can be tidied away easily, and they can even create a stylish feature in what is otherwise a dead space.
When choosing a location for your workspace, try to place yourself somewhere with access to natural light. It’s widely acknowledged now that access to natural light is a key contributor to a healthy circadian rhythm – our body clocks which regulate sleep and our natural processes. All of which affect our daily productivity!
In a similar vein to natural light, being comfortable at our desk is key to keeping productive. If you base yourself near a window, you can always regulate your temperature on the warmer days, and it keeps you close to a natural light source too! We say - make it a key consideration when deciding where you’ll be creating a home office.
Once you’ve chosen where you’re setting up your home office, it’s time to start defining it. Definition helps create boundaries, it not only signals to you that you’re at work – but also to any partners / family members who may be prone to distracting you through the working day. It also makes the space look better from a design perspective!
You can define your space by differentiating the wall and even the floor from its surroundings. You could use a colourful rug and a complementary paint colour on the wall, or a feature wallpaper if your tastes are big and bold!
An especially important one if you’re using a smaller space – make sure you make use of your walls. This could be through full height storage solutions, or even mounting your desk on the wall, much like a shelf. This will save floorspace and make the space itself work harder!
One of the most important factors to consider when creating your home office – it has to be appealing! You want to design a place where you’re excited to go to start work each morning. Style, personal trinkets, comfort – these all tie into your enjoyment of your office.
Even if you’re on a budget – investing in some personal prints, photos, an ergonomic office chair and some well-curated bookshelves will make the space that much more personal.
It’s being more widely recognised in workplaces now, the benefits of employees having access to multiple spaces. And these benefits are no different in your home.
Whilst setting up a designated home office is definitely required, giving yourself a branch out space is almost as important. Whether this is a quieter corner of your home where you take calls or a space in your kitchen where you can do some reading over coffee – mixing it up from time to time is good for your mood and productivity alike.
This isn’t a corporate office – this is your home! A place curated to your taste, where you enjoy life, gather, recharge and celebrate all that you’ve worked for. Your home office should be a reflection of that too.
So throw out all the expectations you have of standard workplaces and treat this as you would, any other room in your home. Make it stylish, interesting and make it yours!