What was born out of necessity, has now become a norm. The global pandemic forever changed our modes of work, turning makeshift arrangements of home offices into a permanent workplace choice. With #WFH here to stay, the home office is now one of the most coveted rooms of the house.
While designing a modern home office layout, the three most important parameters to keep in mind are – functionality, productivity, and aesthetics. Several psychology and neuroscience findings support the fact that a thoughtful approach to home office design can boost job performance and satisfaction.
Every professional has varied career requirements, an optimal work environment, and decor preferences. The biggest highlight of home offices is that people have full freedom to stylize their spaces according to their personal comfort and convenience.
Whether your space is designated for running a home business, your remote part-time or full-time workspace, or simply a nook for completing a to-do list, you deserve a distraction-free and videocall-friendly home office design that supplies plenty of inspiration.
Take a look at our 10 essential home office design tips to transform your space into a hub of productivity.
Choose A Private Space
A dedicated corner for work is where you can concentrate better.
Privacy is a major concern for remote workers. It’s recommended to set up your office in a secluded room tucked away from the family’s daily activities that will help you foster maximum creativity.
Consider your capacity to withstand distractions like traffic flow, construction noise, and intrusions by children or pets. Do you work better amid activities or do you want pin-drop silence in the office? The selected space should be able to accommodate all aspects of your work life keeping tech, equipment, and supplies within reach.
Underused spaces in and around the home will be perfect – guest bedroom, dining room, finished basement, garage, balcony, or even kitchen. If you don’t have a spare room, try delineating a portion of a larger room using room-dividing curtains, screens, panels, and doors.
The point is, to have a private space away from any distractions.
2. Calculate Your Requirements And Availability
Weighing your requirements and resources is vital for devising the right plan.
Before finalizing your home office ideas, take a look at house space, business requirements, and available resources. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my space availability and what are my architectural restrictions?
- What will be the working hours in my home office?
- How many and what type of equipment will I need every day at work?
- How much desktop space will be enough for me?
- Will I use video conferencing daily to connect with colleagues and clients? If yes, then how to make the space video-friendly?
- How much light and fresh air do I want to enter my office room?
- How do I minimize noise and disruption during my working hours?
- How much storage and what kind of organizers do I need?
- In what ways can I design the space to make it eye-pleasing?
- What is my budget for this project?
The answers to these questions will help you produce suitable ideas for your home office layout.
3. Create A Mood Board
A mood board is a visual representation of the aspirational ‘mood’ of the entire space.
If you are not hiring a designer or if home office decor doesn’t come easy to you, there are a plethora of sources to get your design inspiration. Browse popular architectural and decor publications or follow top interior design influencers on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest to get the best interior design recommendations.
A mood board is a creative canvas where you can compile design ideas from the web, color palettes or swatches, patterns, and images of various decor elements. Use online tools like Pinterest and Canva to assemble your mood board or, create a physical inspiration board to pin magazine clippings, paint samples, wallpaper patterns, and other items that will be added to the plan.
You can always refer to your mood board as you collect materials and plan your layout.
4. Design The Layout Of The Space
The philosophy of Feng Shui says the arrangement of space affects people’s energies.
You have a plan full of ideas, a mood board as a benchmark, and a list of decoration elements. It’s time to put it all in one place.
For establishing a home office layout, you can collaborate with an interior designer. Another option is to sketch a DIY layout using pen, paper, and measuring tape. You will find numerous online tools and software that help plan the space in either 2D or 3D renderings.
Interior design software allows you to draw the exact dimensions of your space including doors and windows, place the items at preferred spots, or upload a floor plan to the software. It also comes with pre-built 3D models and textures to incorporate into your design.
5. Opt For Functional Furniture
The furniture of an ideal home office should blend art with functionality.
Your desk and chair are the most important elements of furniture where you will be posted all day long, so choose wisely. Although custom built-in furniture is costlier, it is worth the investment. Select a desk that is wide enough for your desktop, reference materials, gadgets, and maybe break meals. Ideally, your desk should be 60” (150cm) wide and 28”-30” (70-75cm) high. If you work for long hours, look for a desk that supports both sitting and standing positions.
Invest in an adjustable and comfortable armchair that promotes a correct posture for your spine. A good desk chair will avoid fatigue. If clients will be stopping by, placing a cozy sofa or an elegant coffee table complemented with two plush chairs will provide ample seating.
Make sure to position your desk and chair close to the source of natural daylight and air. As a best practice, adjoin your shelving and storage cabinets to your workstation.
6. Get Clutter-free With Smart Storage
Smart storage solutions keep your stuff accessible, amplifying the spaciousness of the room.
Storage and shelving can make or break the flow of productivity. Always assess your workflow to set up storage – what is needed, where it will stay while working, and where will it be stored when finished? You can integrate an in-built, floor-to-ceiling set of wall shelves and cabinetry conjoined to your workstation to keep your stuff within arm’s reach. A multifunctional desk with drawers underneath is a great way to save some storage space.
The vertical open shelves will showcase your personality where you can arrange non-work related stuff like books, photos, artwork, and plants. The horizontal cabinets will organize office supplies, files, paperwork, documents, Wi-Fi routers, scanners, pull-out printers, and other tech equipment. Wire baskets can be kept to put in the trash.
Another way to organize your home office is by adding a sleek shelf above your desk as a handy storage place for gadgets or for displaying inspiring artwork. Fix a corkboard to hang notes, to-do lists, and photos for immediate access.
Decide what you want to be neatly packed away and what to be kept nearby.
7. Manage Your Technology
Subtly hiding messy tech wires and cables gives the space a cleaner look.
In today’s digital world, modern technology dominates offices more than paper documents. That being said, no one likes stumbling upon tangled electrical cords and tech boxes across the room. Make enough space for tech to tame them in the right places and avoid clutter.
Here are some smart ways to manage your technology:
- Keep the location of power outlets as close as possible to devices like computers, laptops, or monitors and easily accessible if you need to unplug them.
- Hide any visible wires beneath your desk or behind any furniture.
- Tame loose wires along the floor together with a cord tamer.
- Use cabinets and drawers as concealed locations for printers, scanners, and fax machines.
- Invest in wireless tech – wireless printer, wireless Wi-Fi router, and wireless mouse to reduce the mess.
- Hide power outlets behind your desk; you can also paint them to match your walls.
Whatever tech items you frequently use should be placed in an accessible spot. Having an organized and decluttered workspace will help fuel your efficiency.
8. Balance Lighting, Ventilation, And Scenery
A well-lit and ventilated space is extremely vital for creating a healthy work environment.
Studies have found that daylight exposure in the workspace can impact activity levels, mood, and alertness. For receiving natural daylight, best to position your workstation near a window or in a location where your screen display will not be affected. Employing blinds and translucent windows will remove the glare without darkening the room.
Invest in a desk lamp to get shadow-free task lighting with an extra focus. Overhead ceiling light and full-spectrum daylight bulbs will maintain optimal lighting. Opt for cooler white lights instead of warmer yellow lights.
An open window can bring fresh air in, let toxins out and keep the room well-ventilated. A portable HEPA air purifier or even common houseplants can improve air quality. You can establish your desk facing the window to enjoy a beautiful view of the outdoor landscape for peaceful relaxation.
9. Embrace Nature
Biophilic office design introduces elements of nature into workspaces.
Humans are inherently inclined towards nature which reaffirms the fact that we work more comfortably in nature-inspired spaces. Designing your home office on biophilic design principles is one of the biggest trends you can follow.
The restorative qualities of nature can be embraced in your home office in numerous ways –
Natural Light and Air
Slide open blinds and curtains to let the natural sunlight brighten your office. Keeping the windows open will allow fresh air to ventilate the space.
Pot small house plants in the corners, setting an indoor herb garden or bonsai tree on the desk, shelves, and lounge area table. Greenery will naturally increase the oxygen levels in the air.
Natural Elements of Wood, Stone, and Water
Incorporate natural elements and textures of wood and stone in the form of wooden furniture, fireplace, stone artifacts, natural stone tables, etc. Aquariums can also be installed for those who connect to water.
If you have outdoor spaces such as a roof, balcony, garden, or lawn shed, adapt them to set up your outdoor office. Arrange some comfortable seating and a table when the weather is clear. Outdoor offices are a great separation from home distractions, with nature as a mood enhancer.
Embracing nature in the workplace has proved to result in greater concentration, better mental health, and improved productivity.
10. Understand The Psychology Of Colors
Color Psychology is a scientific theory of the effect of different shades of hues on the human brain.
Research studies show that colors have a psychological impact and are capable of affecting the overall energy of any space. For your home office, paint your walls in color schemes that suit your psyche and personality.
For example, most people find blue or green as calming hues, Whereas, loud vibrant tones such as red, maroon, or orange seem to induce energy and aggression. Similarly, pastel or earthy tones such as white, beige, or grey represent serenity.
Colors can either uplift your mood or make you drowsy. Various shades will elicit various physical and emotional responses, so choose them wisely. Make sure to coordinate your interior decor items with your walls, for instance, complement pastel-toned walls with bold-colored furniture and artwork.
The ultimate goal of designing a home office is to create a space that is functional, comfortable, and aesthetic. When you are thinking of a layout, make sure it maximizes your space and is dedicated to your requirements. Stick to the basics and prioritize foundational pieces like tech, desk, chair, and storage. Plan the work area such that everything necessary is within arms-length.
Follow the essential tips we have laid out, and set yourself up for success in a productive workspace without leaving the comfort of your home.
Need more advice? Contact our team at Constructive Solutions, Inc. for your home office inquiries.