What every home office needs
Be at your most productive in a space that’s both efficient and comfortable
If you’re going to be working remotely, there’s no better time than now to set up an office in your home. Working from home can help increase your productivity and decrease stress. And the commute can’t be beat! Put some thought into how you want the office to look — in the same style as the rest of the house or something completely different? Since you’ll be spending much time in the space, it should feel good to be there.
Below, a must-have list of what a home office needs, plus some things you might want and some you definitely don’t:
A DEDICATED WORKPLACE Just as an office worker sits at the same desk in the same room every day, you also should set up a place where you go to work every day. Whether it’s a spare bedroom, an attic, or a corner in the dining room, having a place that’s quiet and preferably has a door that closes will make getting business done much easier.
Even thinking about setting up your office in a dark place like the basement can make you feel uninspired. Avoid a gloomy locale and choose a sunny, well-ventilated place instead; extra points if there’s a nice view. What if your office doesn’t have much natural light? “Look into various sources of (artificial) light,” says Lori Weatherly, an interior designer in Maplewood, NJ, “such as overhead, task, even the computer screen, which generates a great deal of focal point light.”
AN ADJUSTABLE DESK AND CHAIR
You’ve got to be comfortable sitting at your desk every day without getting an achy back or stiff neck. Test out several desk and chair combos to see which provides the most support before buying.
For most workers, the days of multiple file cabinets are long gone. “Use digital storage for as much as possible,” says Weatherly, “and allocate a discreet amount of storage space for the rest.”
NICE BUT NOT ESSENTIAL HOUSEPLANTS
It’s a fact that the colour green has a calming effect on people. Decorating your office with a green plant or two will not only create a feel-good link to nature but it will help you relax when you’re on deadline.
A COMFORTABLE COUCH
No one should sit for long periods of time in one place. Get up frequently from your chair, stretch your arms and legs, take a walk, then grab your laptop and work from the couch. Having multiple workstations with different views may keep you more alert.
A TANGLE OF POWER CORDS They make a room instantly look messy and disorganized. If your desk doesn’t come with a hidden charging station or power centre, plug all the cords into a power strip or get a charging station with multiple USB ports. Cords can also bound together with nylon bundling straps. If the room has only one electrical outlet and it’s poorly located, hire an electrician to add a floor outlet.
When a big screen is that close, you may be tempted to find out what Rachael Ray is cooking that day. Put up a colourful print on the wall instead.
Whether it’s a spare bedroom, an attic, or a corner in the dining room, having a place that’s quiet and preferably has a door that closes will make getting business done much easier.