Designing the Home Office

So, you have decided to work from home and turn a spare room into your office. When designing your office space, consider which room you are going to use and whether it is to be shared with other family members as a study, or be used as a guest bedroom.

If it is to be shared or remain as a bedroom, careful consideration needs to be given as to how you are going to separate and keep safe your documents and other business paperwork. Also, if you have clients or other visitors, think about how you will accommodate them, as you still need to make a good impression and appear professional. When considering having your office at home, remember that quiet surroundings are very important. If you have a young family, think about how you will work during school holidays or other times when they are at home. It is also a good idea, if possible, to have your office away from the kitchen and the bathroom, as both rooms can be busy and noisy. This would be especially important when you have clients visiting your office, or when making telephone calls.

Once you have chosen the room, you now need to decide upon the layout. At this stage it would be prudent to measure the available space, making notes of all aspects of the room. Drawing your layout on graph paper is one way of producing a fairly accurate impression as to where you would place furniture and electrical equipment. Do take a note of where the power points are as this will have a significant bearing on where you put electronic equipment without having power leads and cables all over the place. Don’t forget the position of the window or windows as this affects the amount of light the room gets, so buy some blinds or curtains if the room gets very bright (especially important if you use computers a lot). Choose muted d├ęcor, it doesn’t have to be boring but loud colours are distracting and your office should present an air of calm and professionalism. Careful planning at this stage is vital because you are going to be spending your working days here. Get it right and you will enjoy your office, but get it wrong and you will be miserable.

Your final task is to furnish and equip your office. Refer to your drawings and choose furniture carefully. Don’t overstuff your office with furniture and equipment as it will just look cluttered and cramped. Also, you will be less inclined to want to be there if it is uninviting. Ensure there is enough storage and shelving though, you don’t want your desk space cluttered with stuff that should be stowed away. If you have space, houseplants give a nice touch but remember to look after them as nothing looks worse than dead or dying plants.

This is your chance to design the office of your dreams, so go ahead and make your workspace an inviting and comfortable place where you actually want to be, the effort will truly be worth it in the end.