6 Tips for Designing the Perfect Home Office Addition to Fit your Business and Personal Needs
Working from home is something more and more companies are allowing their employees to do. In fact, Millennials, or Generation Y if you prefer, is a generation of workers who find the work-from-home option a perk that will make them choose one employer over another.
However, working from home isn’t without its challenges; not all homes have the right space for productive work-from-home experiences. How can you approach the design of your home office addition that will help you stay productive while maintaining your home’s personal flair? Check out these tips:
1) Don’t create a cubicle
Part of the excitement about working from home is that you escape the dreaded cubicle, which is what most corporate offices have adopted in their designs. Avoid shoving the desk against a wall and utilize the natural light in your home by putting your desk near a window. You can even situate your desk so it’s parallel to the window panes so you can look away from your computer monitor every now and then and soak in the view.
2) Choose the right room
Take a clue from a professional designer – don’t choose a room for your office that isn’t at least 60 inches by 84 inches large. You need enough room to slide your chair away from your desk and comfortably take on any task at hand for the day. Tiny living spaces are all the rage right now, but if you don’t have the room in your back yard for one or if your budget isn’t quite prepared for a construction project like that, consider repurposing your heated garage, finished basement or guest room.
You can even invest in a Murphy bed in your guest room and create plenty of extra space for your office. When a guest comes over, simply move your office supplies out of the way and lower the bed.
3) What about color schemes?
You want to be productive in your home office, which means you need to feel comfortable. Choosing the right colors can actually set a mood for you that will make you feel comfortable and allow you to get a lot of work done. For example, did you know that most humans can improve energy levels and their productivity by using blue and green shades on their walls?
Is yellow one of your favorite colors? Well, put that preference aside because it’s been proven to cause eyestrain in the office. Again, you want to avoid taking on a cubicle feeling, so avoid dull gray, beige or white colors because according to a study from the University of Texas, these colors can create feelings of sadness. Men and women will differ somewhat on color preferences, according to the study. For instance, purple and orange might feel great for women, but men find themselves feeling gloomy with these colors present in an office setting.
4) Light it up
When the window light isn’t enough to illuminate your workspace, artificial lighting needs to be part of the solution. If you feel the life being sucked out of you by the intense overhead fluorescent lights at the office, don’t make that mistake in your home office. There are a few tips here on lighting that you should consider:
- Avoid creating shadows on your desk by using two or more LED down lights. Choose LEDs that are low glare for more comfort.
- If your desktop is really glossy, make sure the lighting you use doesn’t create uncomfortable glare.
- Don’t position your lighting behind you because it could create a shadow that you have to work around.
- Layer your lighting to enhance the different uses of the room. This can include the natural light from the windows, sconces, up lights (indirect lighting), task lights (like a desk lamp) and a floor lamp. You can also use a monopoint light to highlight art or architectural features in your office.
5) Make good use of storage space
We’ve all worked around people who have a desk that looks like a tornado has just ripped through – and they seem perfectly fine with it. However, most people feel anxious when the clutter begins to build up. This can happen quickly if you aren’t utilizing storage space correctly. Add shelves to your home office so that everything has a space it can be placed. In most offices, a four-shelf bookcase will do the trick just fine. For items that will make your office looked cluttered regardless of where they are placed, consider a hutch with drawers where these things can be hidden from view.
6) Pet friendly space
For workers who have embraced a dog or cat as part of the family, some companies are letting them bring their furry favorites to the office. However, only a select few companies, such as Google and Amazon, let their office workers bring in their pets. When you work from home, your pet will probably want to be in the same room with you. Why not create a space for them as well?
If you have a cat or small dog, you can position a basket or perch near you desk where they can sit and relax while you work. It’s actually been proven that pets reduce stress, so they could actually help you in being more productive. If you have a larger animal, you can place a fashionably covered kennel or dog bed next to your desk.
In some cases, you’re going to need to completely remodel a room so you can work from home. This might include tearing out closets and/or walls and installing new fixtures. New outlets for appliances and cable hookups for your internet might need to be routed through the walls. This is more than the average DIYer can handle, which means you need to bring in a design and build team to do it for you.
At New Concept 180, we have a team of design professionals that can help you create the office space of your dreams. Our build team includes every type of professional needed to complete the job, on time and on budget. Contact us today and let’s discuss the elements you want in your new home office.