More and more of us are working from home, at least part of the time. According to 2014 census data, over 30 million Americans work from home while an additional 60 million telecommute. Having a dedicated home office space that allows for comfort, efficiency and productivity is key.
Here are tips on how to create a space that meets all of your needs.
Decide on the function of the space
Before you do anything else, you need to outline what functions this home office will entail. Is it a business space or will it be used primary for managing home items like paying bills or providing a place for a stay-at-home parent to run the household?
An office dedicated to business will require more square footage to allow for filing cabinets, shelves, printers, computers and enough space to conduct work. Make this work space pleasant-use paint colors that are uplifting and inspiring, ergonomic furnishings, multiple storage and organizational options as well as good lighting. An area for relaxing or thinking is also a great idea if space allows.
A home office used primary for managing the household can be a concerted pantry or closet, or can also be built into kitchen niches. This should also have storage and desk space but don't require all of the things a true business office space needs.
Other things to consider
Storage: If you have a lot of paperwork, file cabinets will be a necessity. Otherwise, choose drawers, bins, colorful baskets and boxes and cubbies to organize necessary documents.
Peace & quiet: To ensure your home office is minimally impacted by outside noise, add fabric decor such as area rugs, window treatments and fabric wallpaper.
Digital VS paper space: Create two places on your worktop, one for working on your computer and another for paperwork, such as bills, contracts, and important documents.
Furnishings: Invest in a decent workspace and ergonomic chair. Since you will be spending a lot of time using both, it makes sense to purchase a desk that meets your needs and a chair that properly fits your body. Your physical comfort will enhance your creativity and productivity.
Shredder: A vital business tool, a shredder is a must-have in a home office to properly dispose of bills or paperwork that includes personal information.
Personalize it: Adding in personal touches such as artwork, awards, family photos, plants and knick knacks that make you happy will make your home office all the more pleasant and productive. Since you have control over the decor, let your office reflect your personality and unique style.
Shared spaces: If your kids (human or furry) will occasionally share your space, integrate places for them to hang out. Strategically place pet beds and toy baskets as well as reading, homework or game nooks for young children.
A well planned home office will be a place you enjoy being, one that meets all of your work requirements while also offering a quiet, creative place for you to be at your most productive.