Though many of us have begun to return to the office, others have transitioned to long-term remote work. Home offices have become a fixture in the lives of workers everywhere, and while that poorly-lit room in the back of the house that might have once seemed serviceable for the daily Zoom back in 2019, it’s probably not the ideal space for spending eight hours of your day.
Whether you work remotely or not, a home office is a popular way to repurpose unused space into a productive workplace, but starting a home project can be daunting if you aren’t prepared.
These 8 tips are surefire ways to get the most out of your home office!
1. Optimize Your Space
You may be aware of the benefits of a home office, but don’t have an extra room to convert into one. Don’t fret, because there are plenty of alternatives to consider that might work for you.
The solution is to convert what you do have. These rooms are often included in home designs, but rarely get used to their full potential.
Looking at your attic now, you may just see a cramped space filled with holiday decorations and clothes you’ll never wear again. However, with a little bit of imagination, you can design a functional office space that allows you to work in the quietest part of your home.
Nearly all homes have a garage on the property, but not everyone uses the entire space or even parks in their garage at all! If you’re concerned about giving up your parking space, you can choose to partition the room to incorporate space for both a car and a modest home office.
Sunrooms are less common than others on this list, but are extremely popular in some areas. More often than not, these rooms are used as either sitting areas or formal dining rooms.
The abundance of natural light makes it an ideal place to work that can easily be decorated with live plants that will not only add decor, but also boost your mood
You may be hesitant to consider working in a yard shed, especially if you live in a colder climate, but if you plan accordingly, cold weather won’t stop you from working comfortably in your yard. With proper insulation and a low-cost heat source like a cast-iron stove, you will be working cozily all winter long.
2. Make It Your Own
While a home office is meant for working, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it your own. Designing a workspace that appeals to you and reflects your personality makes working from home more productive and enjoyable. Family photos, art, and appealing colors can all be used to make your home office a place you enjoy spending time in.
It may be helpful to research design ideas, but in the end, you should create a space that works for you, both functionally and aesthetically.
There’s nothing worse than losing important paperwork. That’s why organization is such a vital piece of a home office. Time in your office should be spent working, not rifling through desk drawers looking for one specific document.
Planning how you will organize your office in advance ensures that you will have the proper storage to be on top of your game. Modular storage systems are an excellent way to customize storage to your specific needs, and can be rearranged over time as your needs change.
4. Invest In Quality Furniture
Purchasing something as basic as a chair or desk may seem like a low priority, but you must consider how much time you will be spending in your home office. You have to spend hours a day sitting in it!
Quality furniture is an investment in your emotional health as much as it is your physical health—backaches, anybody?—and if it’s well-made, it should last a long time. How can you possibly put out your best work if you aren’t even comfortable?
5. Natural Light
Artificial lighting like fluorescent lights or overhead LEDs are known to cause headaches and decrease productivity, while natural lighting has the opposite effect. It’s nice to have a good lamp in the event you need more light, but maximizing your office’s natural light is an excellent way to boost your mood and productivity!
Evaluate which areas of your house bring in the most natural light. If you cannot find a space with good natural lighting, consider adding a window in your renovation plans, or positioning your desk towards the door if this is not possible.
It’s also worth taking your work habits into account. If you’re most productive in the morning but you have a large east-facing window, you may end up being forced to decide between squinting into your monitor or shutting out all that great natural light!
6. Plan Ahead
Before you jump into a big project, you must consider every possibility. Everything from location, flooring, and even wall space are important factors to consider and plan for before you begin a project.
By planning ahead, you can minimize the possibility of delays and be prepared in the event of an unexpected problem. The most important things you can plan for include:
- Electrical issues
- Delays in schedule
- Out of stock/unavailable items
You’ll need somewhere reliable to work while your home office is being remodeled, for one thing, and you may have to unexpectedly compromise on materials or deal with frustrating delays.
We recommend always having a Plan B—maybe you wanted cedar paneling, but you’ll settle for pine—that way you aren’t thrown for a loop when the situation changes.
7. Meeting Space
If meeting with colleagues and clients is a regular part of your work schedule, you want to appear professional and have space to accommodate meetings, in-person and virtual. Video meetings have become increasingly popular in the past few years, which is why it’s important that your background appears just as professional as the rest of the room. In the working world, that tiny square on Zoom is like a microcosm of your home.
Virtual backgrounds are always an option, of course, but being surrounded by a cozy workspace can do wonders for your productivity. It’s like the old saying goes: a cluttered house is the sign of a cluttered mind!
8. Make Working Easy
Working from home should be more convenient than going into an office building. If you constantly have to leave the room to fill up your water bottle or get coffee, you’ll likely lose focus and be less productive as a result.
Designing your office with amenities like a coffee bar and mini-fridge helps maintain your focus by limiting your excuses to leave the room. You may even contemplate adding a bathroom if you plan on spending a considerable amount of time in your office.
Whether you plan to work from home full time, need a space to do bills, or just want a place for your kids to do homework, a home office can be an excellent addition to your home that boosts your productivity and simply makes your life easier.
If you’re ready to jump into a home office project, contact Magnet Remodeling to get a free estimate and discuss your options!