Whether you operate a full-time business from the comfort of your sofa or occasionally work on office-related tasks at your house, the appeal and design of your home office will influence whether you’re active and engaged … or otherwise. Unfortunately, the majority of home-based entrepreneurs don’t give their workspace enough attention and fail to acknowledge the negative impact it can have on their acumen and productivity.
Fortunately, you don’t need interior design skills to design an office that you can thrive in. Below are some office design tips that’ll enable you to transform whatever work area you have into a corporate haven where you can host meetings, do video calls and get some serious projects done.
1. Put Up Mood-Enhancing Essentials
While too many things on your desk can make it appear messy, certain items of choice that would inspire the entrepreneur in you is definitely a good idea. Special artwork, pictures of influencers, mood boards, or even postcards of the locations you’ve visited, can help you adopt a creative mindset when you start working. But try not to go overboard as this is your workspace and too much noise (in terms of items) can clutter your mind. At the same time, make the office as un-office-like as you can. For example, you could use carpets and rugs, as well as old furniture pieces like Georgian cupboards.
2. Consider Vintage Desks
It might be a stretch to believe, but vintage desks can add character to home offices, and they can be affordable. Besides the standby second-hand stores, look through nearby universities. Most of these places occasionally offer their retro style furniture pieces at incredibly low prices. For example, old-school desks were once sold by the University of Wisconsin in a range of 5 to 50 dollars. If you don’t live near a university, set up your own desk, with two pre-owned metal file cabinets and place a primed hardboard door slab on them. Pain the top of the desk and spray paint the file cabinets to match the décor of your office.
3. Incorporate Better Lighting
Home-based business owners often neglect lighting. Is your space getting sufficient sunlight during day hours, the best type, from the window? Is the desk lamp too dim to work under during nighttime, efficiently? To be proactive at all times, make sure the designated space has enough openings or windows to accommodate natural lighting. You don’t want to end up amongst a group of individuals who feel lethargic during cold season because of the lack of exposure to UV rays from the sun. Natural exposure can improve your sleep patterns while boosting your productivity. In addition, you can consider getting varying light fixtures of different sizes to set an ideal mood for task. Ideally, multiple light fixtures will be needed to facilitate the writing, reading or signing of important documents.
4. Plan The Layout of Your Designated Space
Give a good look to your office room’s layout and think about how you’d be able to best utilize this area. Generally, the desk is the set piece where business owners spend the majority of their time, so it should be positioned as smartly as possible. If you expect customers to visit your office and leave quickly, its best possible coordinates would be in view of the entrance. However, if there’s an inspirational view of a tree you might want to view while working, place the desk square beside the window’s front. Also, determine the strategic positioning of additional things like electric components and furniture items. If a big part of your day-to-day tasks rely on gadgets, you’ll want to ensure that the space you have can accommodate such a setup. If needed, you should also invest in a high-quality wireless hub and tables with power outlets.
5. Choose a Style
There is a plethora of ways to design an office, but opt for a style that suits your needs. Also, the kind of furniture present in your office should complement the quality design you aim to implement. Got several smart devices? Bring home a savvy desk that’s designed to host a variety of charging ports and wires. Short on storage space? Keep all the devices, paperwork and supplies organized and stored in the drawers. Moving on to the actual style. Do you prefer sophisticated and sleep? Industrial? Rustic? The style you choose should create the sort of space where you look forward to spend your time, while complementing your personality. If you’re a creative individual, some abstract art would be the ideal thing to put up in your home office. For those more professional and upright, think functional and symmetrical pieces.
6. Keep Privacy in Mind
If you have a couple of kids running around your home, you’d have to keep a few things in mind when designing your office. In instances where silence and privacy become a must have for an home office, a dedicated area becomes non-negotiable. You might be required to work in a room behind a closed door. If you have an extra bedroom, that too could be considered. You can place your PC ad desk there, and use the space as an office for the majority of the year. It’s easy to reorganize it into a guest relaxation space for the nights when people visit. However, a dedicated room would be needed if you spending more than 40 hours per week working from home. However, privacy is also a must, so see how you can create closed spaces.
7. Be Watchful of Cables
Did you come across the perfect space to set up your home office in following the previously mentioned tips? Awesome! Now you just have to come up with ways to keep it tidy and clean, so that you don’t have to invest in an interior design solution. Also, you’d be able to welcome guests and clients without any shame. Before using your printer, phone, PC or any other thing that requires electricity to function, check how your electrical outlets are positioned. Then, modify the position of all plugs to prevent long fires crossing the office space. Hide your cables because no one lives wire spaghetti and cords around the house. Another thing you can do is place your furniture pieces based on the position of your electrical outlets. Moreover, consider buying a wireless router. This will allow you to keep internet wires away. Wireless mouse, speaker, printer, etc. are also good options to minimize the quantity of running cables around your spaces. If cables still exist, look into grommets. They’re a good solution to keep these ugly cables away from the naked eye. You can attach the existing wires together to prevent loose cables and keep an organized, efficient and tiny space for your house office.
8. Optimize Your Storage Space or Workspace
Are your paper files piling up because of unexpected business growth? If they are, it’s time to expand the physical spaces in your home office. The rule of thumb to follow for every space and room is that the less clutter it has, the fewer will be the distractions. However, if you have a habit of leaving things around, a pile of clutter will be there in front of you, before you even realize it. When you expand the physical space on an overall basis, it would take longer to remove the clutter. However, what about those business owners who can’t expand due to shortage of area? You can consider buying some fine storage equipment like shelves, files, cabinet, and folder. Sure, the space may appear cramp with shelves and cabinets, but avoiding the view of files and document’s piles when you start working may just be enough to calm your nerves for the next days. Of course, these documents won’t be easy to find, so they should be labelled accordingly, and there should be periodic sessions to manage the paperwork.
9. Conquer and Divide
If all the rooms in your house are filled, try dividing the part of a bigger room and use it as your office space. This could be a quiet dining table or the bedroom corner. Separate the space by using screens, curtains and room dividers. If you prefer the DIY approach, you can make your very own divider by using three pieces of MDF combined using hinges and then using a beautiful wallpaper for a decorative touch. Alternatively, you can buy built-in shelves; these do a great job at making spaces beautiful as well as functional. Dividers work really well as they create a sense of individualism and fewer distractions occur.
Whatever kind of business you run, it’s not that difficult to combine aesthetic sense and professionalism in your housing office design. It takes a good amount of experimentation (and some luck) before you’re able to get it right. You’ll be experimenting with new processes, designs, organization and technology, and keeping a close eye on your budget for the ideal home office. Time-consuming all that may be, it’s still enjoyable to see how your home office evolves.