With more and more people telecommuting or working from home at least part-time, the home office concept is on the rise. Technology is driving this trend, with desktop computers now requiring a whole lot less space and easy communication channels, it’s little wonder why more households require a dedicated work space. You might be running a business, starting a side venture, or, just need the ability to get something done here and there for your job. Whatever the reason, you need a functional home office; the trouble with it is, all too many people take the wrong approach.
How to Create a Functional Home Office
Not only do you want it to be an aesthetically pleasing space, you’ll definitely put function at the top of your list. When most people begin to piece together their home offices, they nearly inevitably find the arrangements don’t work. The reason for this is simple — they are putting aesthetics first, not function. To create a great home work space, you’ll first have to consider what you use, how often you use it, and therefore, where it would be most convenient.
“Working from home is exciting because it offers an opportunity for real comfort and efficiency, but if the office is too casual, or isn’t effectively separated from the home environment, peak productivity may be lost. A distinction has to be made regarding the physical boundaries of this working space. The most effective way to do that is with the design of the space itself.” —Entreprenuer.com
For instance, if you do a large amount of work in the cloud and hard copies are rare, an all-in-one fax, copier, printer, placed right on your desk probably isn’t the best option because you’ll need as much space as possible. However, if you’re an interior designer, you probably have quite a bit of use for such a peripheral device. The point being, you ought to plan to avoid having to rearrange things time and again. Here are some smart ways to create a functional home office:
- Don’t skimp on desk size or space. While you might be tempted to go for a medium or even small-sized desk to keep it from dominating most of the room, remember that it will be your most used piece. Sure, it should definitely go with the decor and not take-up the entire room, it should have plenty of work space or it will only serve to frustrate you trying to work in a cramped area.
- Remember to keep the view in-mind. When planning your home office, you’ll probably think about putting the desk in the corner — after all, it will save space. While that’s certainly a good thing, it might prove to be a mistake if you find yourself constantly contorting yourself to look at the beautiful landscape outside.
- Get a really comfortable chair. You need a chair that complements the desk, but, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your own comfort. If you do get an uncomfortable chair, you’ll spend more time regretting the mistake than actually getting things done.
- Be sure to include plenty of light. One of the biggest necessities in a home office is plenty of light. You’ll need it when the sun goes down or before the sun rises. It’s also quite helpful to have adequate light when you’re setting-up your computer and peripherals.
- Choose colors that promote productivity. The paint will also be a big part of how productive you’ll be in your home office. So, stay well away from red, yellow, and orange. All of these colors either excite to stir emotion and make it difficult to concentrate. Stick with toned-down greens and blues to create a warm and more relaxed environment.
Finally, to finish it off, include some homey accessories and don’t forget to wrap-up and hide all those unsightly cords. When you take the time to plan, you’ll get the right results and have a productive space when it’s needed.