With the advent of technology and our increasingly interconnected society, the possibility and plausibility of working from home is rapidly rising. Documents can be shared and worked on cooperatively in cloud applications, and meetings and brainstorming sessions can be held via video conferencing. Even if a home office is not a primary work space for you, it is likely at least a part time work space and a location from which to manage personal finances and household activities. There are many advantages of an office at home, and let’s face it, you can’t beat the commute!
But all offices, whether at home or in a commercial setting, should be both functional and inspiring.
Designing your work space to make your work easier starts with making it ORGANIZED AND FUNCTIONAL.
The resources you need most often should be stored within easy reach of where you sit. The room should be outfitted with the amount and type of furniture that serves the functions you need. You absolutely need a comfortable desk chair. Do you also need guest chairs for client meetings? A conference space or a work table to spread out projects? Presentation space and equipment? Think through all the activities that need to occur in the space. Space must be planned for equipment and supplies – printers, office supplies, computers, screens, whiteboards, inspiration boards, files, and reference materials.
But it should also be INSPIRATIONAL. Your office is an extension of your brand – especially if you meet clients there. Generic furniture and fittings from an office supply store may be functional, but they also communicate a subtle message about your brand and its quality that you may not intend.
Start with a desk that works for you and sets the tone and style for the space. Here are just a handful of the myriad of stylish options available.
Your office is also an opportunity to surround yourself with things that energize you...which leads to higher productivity!
Use favorite colors and textures, add personal pictures and mementos that inspire you and remind you of your purpose. Cover generic carpeting with a pretty area rug.
Use decorative containers to store supplies in easy reach but out of sight, eliminating clutter; And use attractive accessories that make you smile even when doing mundane tasks.
Pay attention to lighting…you should have a mixture of daylight, task lighting and ambient lighting – preferably from really great light fixtures (read “no fluorescent bulbs”) that further your design aesthetic. Adding a desk lamp with a USB port or outlet in the base makes it easy to charge your electronics while you work!
Finally, incorporate little luxuries like a bowl of candy or fruit, a small fridge for a stash of water or seltzer, an espresso maker or electric tea kettle, fresh flowers or plants, and a sound system for background music.