If you’re one of the many people that are needing or choosing to work from home, then setting up a functional workspace for yourself is crucial to work effectively. It’s not possible for everyone to have a separate home office, so stepping back and looking at your home and seeing how you can create a private and quiet area may take some creativity and adapting.
Of course, the best option would be away from the places you entertain or relax in, but this isn’t always an option either. Separating your work area from your personal space requires planning.
Remember working from home can bring many benefits, not only by reducing commute times, being home with family if needed but also tax benefits. Make sure you talk to your account professional about tax deductions and keep receipts and records of anything you buy.
So let’s break it down…
Choosing the Space
If a separate room isn’t on the cards, then look at spaces that are either infrequently used or has space to be adapted like a guest room, bigger family room, the dining room or even moving the lounge over. Work within a realistic budget and pick a style you like.
Could you use an armoire or standalone cabinet that can hold your computer, papers, lighting, and printer? Choose a piece where the exterior compliments your décor. The benefit is when the doors are shut nobody will know this piece of furniture holds your work life.
Do you have a large built-in wardrobe that the clothes pole or shelving can be removed? Converting one side of a wardrobe or storage cabinet is simple, and again, the door can then be closed once your day is done.
You could even install a desk at the top of some stairs or under the staircase if the opening is big enough. This area is usually dead space or used as a make-do storage area in a home.
Having the right desk depends on the size you need, type, and how you use it. Do you require more writing or drawing surface? Or does your work require you have more than one screen?
Sometimes two filing cabinets or storage cube shelving with a sheet of wood across is sufficient. If you like to stand at your desk, then does the space above the desk allow this?
Sitting in a comfortable ergonomic type of chair is essential. Take time in testing them before you buy. Don’t buy from online unless you have already sat in the same on in a store. It needs to be the right height and to provide proper support for your back, arms and legs. Placing a foot stool helps if you need to be at your desk for extended times. Ensure you have the correct positioning and cushioning for your arms and wrists if using a mouse for long periods.
Proper lighting is extremely important in your home office setup. Do you have sufficient natural light? Are you able to have lights installed or plugged in?
Having a light installed over your reading area and behind you helps reduce eye strain and reflection on the computer screen. Ensure you have room to place the monitor at a comfortable distance, so you don’t need to squint or extend your neck too far forward. Turn the brightness of the screen to a comfortable level so your eyes don’t hurt and water by days end.
Are there power points close by or do you have extension surge protected powerboards, so you reduce the number of unsightly cables laid across the floors? Otherwise taping them down, inserting them into a tubed cable tidy or running the cord under a rug helps create less of a trip hazard and disguises the unnecessary visibility of cables.
Does your internet service meet your needs? Do you have the technology available to produce the work you’re required to do? Maybe you need new equipment or software. Again, this could all go towards your tax deductions. So, look at a possible upgrade to make work from home easier.
Storage is always important, and sometimes we think we need more than we actually do. Sort and declutter what you have. That extra clutter can be distracting and reduce efficiency, so getting rid of anything you don’t need or doesn’t work will reduce the type of storage you may need.
If the area you have created is limited to how much you can store, then look elsewhere in the home. Perhaps there is a bit of space in the spare room or garage where you can store a filing cabinet, shelving unit and printer.
By adding some personal touches and colour will make your office space more inviting and improve your outlook on the day ahead. Have you thought of a style, or will it match how your home is decorated now? You could always create a different look with the furniture, colours and patterns to really have it feel separate to your normal home décor.
Natural or proper artificial lighting, shelving, storage boxes and decorative baskets with interesting designs or fabrics brings interest to the space.
Add some fun art or photos of things you love or that make you smile If you have any spare wall space.
With a bit of planning and organising, you’ll enjoy your home office space. You’ll work better and appreciate the benefits of being at home. Soon enough you’ll have the perfect balance of personal and work life in your home.
If you are looking at improving your work from home situation then please contact me. I have created some moodboards in previous posts that help you get an idea of the furniture and looks. You really don't need to buy the manufactured veneered stuff you may have at the office.
Keep a look out for more ideas I’ll be posting on solutions and looks for you to get the best out of the home and work life balance.
Thanks for stopping by and reading, I hope you found some useful tips…