This is a guest post by Will Sandford, who specialises in creating beautiful spaces that improve motivation and productivity.
With technology being at its highest point yet, the way we do business has changed. One of the areas we can notice that the most is the increased number of people who work from home full-time. This means that the old idea of a workspace where holding a laptop in your lap while you are sitting on an uncomfortable couch should be obsolete. If you work from home, you deserve a real home office that will fit your work style and your needs. Designing an office layout can be challenging. Here are some design ideas that will help you create a productive working environment in the comfort of your home.
There is nothing worse than working in an environment where you are always interrupted by other occupants passing by, asking you questions or talking loudly. That’s why it would be best to have a closed dedicated office space. If this is not an option for you, you can at least make sure that you are settled in a room where there is not much traffic (e.g., bedroom), or to place a room-divider and use noise-cancelling headphones in your living room. If you are designing an office nook within another room, you should try to blend it seamlessly into the environment, design-wise.
Keep ergonomics in mind
A lot of us are in search of a pretty office desk and chair that look Pinterest-worthy, to give us the work desk inspiration we need. However, we often forget that comfort and convenience should be our primary goals. The chair should give support and adjust to your back and neck. Your feet should be able to rest on the floor. The desk needs to be positioned in a way that allows your forearms to be parallel to the floor. The top of the computer screen must be at eye level, to avoid eye strain.
Natural light brings some very positive effects on our productivity and focus. Placing your workstation in a room with large windows could, therefore, benefit your work performance. This doesn’t mean you won’t need other light sources too. Lighting is all about shining it from the right angles, and it is highly likely you will need more bulbs, which requires some adjustments, such as re-wiring. It is essential to combine overhead lighting with task lights, such as a table lamp. Also, the temperature of ambient light sets the mood for the entire room, so make sure it is pleasant and well-balanced.
We’ve already mentioned the need for re-wiring to improve productivity at home, but this goes beyond lighting. Your workstation should have access to high-speed Internet service, sufficient receptacles in the room for all your office equipment, one or more landline phone jacks, and a dedicated circuit. This is not something you should do on your own, but any experienced Sydney electrician could do it for you. Plus, you would probably get some great tips for making your office more efficient and energy-saving.
Provide enough storage
Storage is the most important feature of any efficient home office, and it is particularly significant if your workspace is situated within another room. Fortunately, it is also a feature you can get creative with when designing the office. You can use library-style shelves for storing files, magazine-type racks for wall storage, labeled bins and boxes for items you want to keep out of sight, floating shelves, a desk with drawers, wall-mounted baskets, bulletin boards, etc.
Make it home-like
Finally, you need to be aware that you don’t call it a home office for nothing. You have the opportunity to elevate your working area from a corporate cubicle and transform it into a place you actually like spending time in. You will achieve this with personal touches (e.g., family portraits, kids’ drawings, and travel souvenirs), home-like accessories and details (e.g., soft rug to land your feet on, cozy armchair for breaks…), and houseplants which can improve your mood and focus, and purify the indoor air.
These tips will help you design a home office where you can be productive and motivated throughout your workday. Just remember that your primary goal needs to be to create a balance between the office and home design.
Will Sandford is a Sydney based wood architect, blogger and contributor on interior design and ecology blogs. Besides that, he is also interested in home improvement combined with green technology. In his spare time, Will enjoys surfing and rock climbing. He is also a regular contributor to SmoothDecorator. Connect with him on Twitter.