Design Tips and Ideas for Your Home Office

The benefits of working from home are plenty. You enjoy a flexible schedule, relaxed atmosphere, zero commute, and more. But, as always, there are also drawbacks, like limited workspace, distractions, clutter, discomfort, lack of storage space, and such. These common problems of working remotely from the confines of your own place can be solved by simply revamping and maximizing the available space. Often, the surroundings play a great role in one's productivity -- don't let it have a negative impact on your work.  

Here are some tips and ideas on revamping your home office:

Max Out Available Space

Find an available spot in your home that could function as a comfortable working space. It could be a very wide hallway, a space under the stairs, or a nook next to your bedroom window. Depending on the nature of your work, you won't require a huge space. Some things to keep in mind are the size of your computer, storage cabinets, and the need for multiple workstations if more than one person uses the space.

Since the available space is limited, look for space upwards. Install a series of shelves on the walls (preferably above your workstation for closer reach) that are stylish yet functional. Use it to store anything, from books and files to office supplies. A whiteboard or corkboard and decorative hooks for pen holders are both useful and creative.

[Source: Abduzeedo.com]

Seek Comfort

Position the office someplace where plenty of natural light comes in. Placing the desk right next to a window is good but consider how much light is reflected (it might be too bright!) or how busy the street outside is (it might be too noisy or distracting).

[Source: Murchison-hume.com.au]

Minimize clutter. Don't make it a habit to stow piles of files, bills, letters, and office supplies on your workspace. Consider desk organizers and folders for supplies and documents you reach for all the time.

The chair, like the desk, must be made of high quality materials. You will be spending long hours sitting so make sure to get a comfortable chair with back support. Keep the desk and chair at comfortable height to avoid physical stress while working.

Install Multifunction Furniture

Use multifunctional furniture like a sofa bed or a daybed with pre-installed drawers underneath. These are great if you want to stretch and relax tired eyes and cramped legs. But make sure not to make it too comfortable that it feels like your real bed, otherwise, you might be tempted to nap and put off work altogether.

[Source: Houzz.com]

Use room dividers or curtains to separate your office from the rest of the room if needed. Partially closing off one area using a divider allows you to have a room within a room where you can fully focus.

Decorate

Get creative! Pick colors, patterns, and designs that blend together. Color schemes should be pleasant to the eyes, calming, and invigorating. Blue and green enhances performance for tasks that require generating new ideas, while red has been linked to tasks involving attention to detail, according to this article. Curved or rounded furniture is preferred over sharp and straight-edged.

[Source: Realsimple.com; Photo by Joanna Henderson]

Indoor plants are also recommended in a workspace. According to research, the presence of green plants helps lower stress levels.

Revamping your makeshift home office can be difficult and may take time. However, the benefits -- such as improved work quality and focus -- are worth it.

Nikki Hernandez
Nikki Hernandez Staff

Wired and Inspired | Content Coordinator, Freelancer.com

I'm the coordinator of Freelancer's Case Study Program. I write inspirational success stories of employers and freelancers. When not busy writing, I play video games.

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