When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the US, and businesses started working remotely, most people thought the solution would be temporary. Flash forward to today, and a large chunk of the US labor force — about 24 percent — is still working remotely. Some businesses have even made working from home permanent, virtually eliminating the need to commute to the office ever again.
After more than six months of working from makeshift offices in the kitchen, spare bedroom, or basement, people are starting to realize it’s time to get serious about creating and designing a home office. If you’re one of millions of Americans who will be working from home for the foreseeable future, use these expert design tips for your home office.
Designate a space for your home office
Before you design a home office, you need to designate a space for it. Why? A separate work office helps you stay organized and productive. And more importantly, it allows you to set boundaries between your work and home space.
Once you’ve decided where to create your office, it’s time to start designing! But before you do, remember this golden rule: Make your office a place you want to be. Because according to a recent study, designing your own workspace helps improve productivity (by 32%!), health, and overall happiness. Can you say that about your last office?
Choose your style and colors
Once your designer hat is on, start with the basics. First, determine your office style. Is it modern or classic? Eclectic or shabby chic? Don’t forget: This is your space, so it doesn’t have to meet a certain standard or even coordinate with the rest of your home.
If you’re having trouble deciding, you can also let color lead the way! Some of the best colors for a home office include:
- Green. It’s natural, tranquil, and reduces eye strain. Green is also good for long hours or repetitive tasks.
- Blue. It inspires calm and is perfect for professionals who work under pressure.
- Yellow. Are you a creative? This color might be right for you, as it stimulates innovation.
- White. It’s clean, open, and perfect for making a small space seem larger.
Add some personality
Adding elements of your own personality to a home office can really bring it to life. But remember: There’s a difference between adding character and adding clutter. Items like knickknacks and photos are great to add, but too many of them can quickly become overwhelming and make the entire space feel disheveled and disorganized.
Know when to save vs. splurge
Creating and designing your own office space can be exciting, but you also want to ensure that every element is a good investment. When you’re making certain purchases, keep in mind how much time you will be spending in your office — and for how long. If you plan on going back to the office in a few months, it might not be worth splurging on a top-tier desk. But if you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, it might make more sense to purchase it.
However, whether your office will be short-term or long-term — or on a budget or all-in — there are still a few items that are worth the extra cost, like:
- A comfortable and supportive office chair
- Good lighting
- A second monitor
- A safe for important documents
Make your home office a productive space
In addition to making your office a personal space, you also want to make sure it’s a productive space. Here’s a quick breakdown of how to make it happen:
Technology and electronics
- Keep your cords labeled and organized
- Add smart technology such as temperature controls or high quality audio systems
- Minimize external noises
- Consider adding things like a coffee maker, teapot, or small fridge
Bad or improper lighting can cause eye fatigue and drowsiness — both of which are not great contributors to productiveness. Try creating your office in a room with south-facing windows, as they let in the most natural light. If that’s not an option, or you prefer light bulbs and lamps, pay attention to the hues. Cooler tones stimulate productivity, while warmer hues can help promote a sense of calm.
Since we tend to spend a lot of time in our office, air quality is extremely important. Consider installing a HEPA filter or invest in some indoor plants. You can also add things like a humidifier or diffuser and add different scents to them. Our favorite suggestions? Lavender for relaxing, citrus to stay stimulated, and peppermint to boost your mood.
Call in the professionals
Building your own home office is exciting – how much say did you get in what your old office looked like? But while it’s fun to daydream about the perfect office, what’s in your head might not translate into reality. Don’t be afraid to call a professional to help bring your vision to life. From initial conception to the final product, Factor Design Build can provide expert design tips for your home office, and help every step of the way. Our team of in-house architects, designers, and construction managers are experts in what they do and are standing by ready to turn your daydream into done.