The Home Office. No, not the one presided over by Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Theresa May MP. We’re talking the space in your home where you can get work done. Somewhere quiet and comfortable, free of distractions so that you can maximise concentration. Whether that’s for paid work, domestic admin or school homework – a well planned and designed Home Office can make a huge difference to the quality of what you do and how much you can get done. So here’s a crash course if you’re thinking of turning one of your rooms in to what used to be called the study…
There are a million reasons why you might be in need of a home office – your employer has given you the go ahead to work from home one day a week, you are staring your own Graphic Design business from home, the children have reached that age where they’re starting to get a lot of homework. Whatever reason it may be, if you’ve got some space that you’re thinking of converting it’s well worth doing, erm, your homework.
Understand Space, Layout and Workflow
Start with clearing the space that you’re going to use. Measure up – be sure of all the dimensions. You might even plan them out on a design app – such as Home Design HD. Once you’re sure of the space, think about overall room layout. If you’re lucky you’ll have some natural light from a window. If the dimensions allow, situate your main workspace to put you in the daylight, during daylight hours of course. Chances are you’ll have a routine to the way you work. Design your room around it, that way work will be less trickle, more flow. It will also keep things less cluttered – and a clear work space is a healthy work space.
Decor, Styling and Furniture
Once you’ve got an idea of what will go where you can work on the look and feel. Just because it is an office, doesn’t mean it has to be drab or corporate. Brighter and lighter colours will mean that in the depths of winter your space is still an inspiring place to work. Choose a decent office chair (and one that’s highly rated on the online reviews) – it’s where you’ll be spending most of your time after all. It’s also worth looking at investing in some good lighting (preferably LED to keep the ‘leccy bills down) for the drawn in winter evenings.
As well as a desk that will suit your needs, you’ll need storage for stationary and work files. Archive boxes for any paperwork, shelving for the file boxes, plus enough drawers for media and pens. Of course, you might find that you don’t have enough space for storage – especially if you’re running a heavy paperwork kind of business. If that’s the case a handy storage unit down the road at you friendly neighbourhood self storage provider
Finally, Brief the Family or Roomies
Your workspace is for working. It’s a good idea to set some ground rules for yourself and the rest of your family,or housemates. Interruptions and disturbance in a home office space can be extremely frustrating. It might even be worth establishing some bonafide office hours…