Home office inspiration - Designing a work-space at home in a spare room, bedroom or garage – Tips, styles & instructions
Separating work life from personal life
If you're going to start working from home regularly, separating your personal life is vital to having a productive workday. Therefore, it's important to consider where to place your work-space and its design.
Factors such as surroundings, distractions, natural daylight, connectivity & even the colour schemes can have some level of effect to your mood and motivation. After all, if you're sprawled out on the couch with the TV playing in the background or you're cooped up in a dark spare room, the chances are you're not going to feel very motivated or productive at all.
Make the most of what you have
Sometimes you just have to work with what you've got; whether that means fixing/up-cycling your old desk or clearing out the shed a little to make room for your new home office.
Another factor to consider is privacy; having a spare room isn’t an option for everyone but it’s still important that work can be completed without any distractions, therefore, dividers are a great solution. Some dividers also double up as a bookcase which will help you to keep your office space clutter-free.
Invest in the right equipment
Working from home should be practical for yourself & your business, that’s why it’s important to consider aspects such as your devices & connectivity. The first and most basic factors you need to think about is how many plug sockets you’ll need when placing your desk. Will you need to install more, or can you get away with an extension?
Please note: Extensions are not designed to be plugged into one another and should be avoided as this is often referred to as ‘daisy-chaining’ and poses a serious fire risk.
Another factor you need to consider is your posture; back pain & injuries are often caused from sitting down for long periods of time so it's certainly worthwhile choosing a chair which will support both your neck & your back, whilst working from home.
Dependent on your current connectivity and how much your business relies on the internet, it might be that you also need to spend a little bit more on your broadband or back-up support from a local IT support team to keep things running smoothly.
Finding natural daylight
When you're working from home, you're most likely spending much of your day in your house, at your desk; if there isn't any daylight this can have a bigger impact on your health than you'd realize, especially during the winter months. Research shows that reduced exposure to sunlight leads to lower moods & sleepiness, often referred to as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
The NHS advises 'getting as much natural sunlight as possible' or 'light therapy' to reduce these symptoms which is why it's important to set your office up right the first time.
Even if your office is based in the shed you can usually modify them to get a window added. If natural daylight isn't an option, then consider buying a special 'lightbox' which will mimic natural daylight helping you enjoy the benefits & stay productive.
Either way, you'll want to ensure your light isn't directly in line with your computer screen because this will cause glare; not only making your screen more difficult to see, but also straining your eyes; try to place your desk in a way which you will receive light & look out of the window if you'd like without damaging your eyes.
If you can't place your desk in such a way you might need to purchase some blinds and tilt them so that you still have some daylight that doesn’t interfere with your work.
Top Tips for storage
Wall-to-wall shelving is a great place to start if you’re wanting to free up some space & lower the amount of clutter. To avoid shelving becoming messy & unorganized it’s best to fill the shelving with a mix of boxes & box-files which will make paperwork & office stationery easy to find without spoiling your design. This storage solution can suit a multitude of styles making it both practical & aesthetically pleasing.
If you’re unsure how much storage you need, or your scale is often changing it might be better for you to use a varied selection of storage solutions from trunks to shelving & boxes; although not the most organized storage solution it certainly looks great in a country styled or up cycled office.