With the growing trend of remote working, home office setup is a critical component of future work. As a result of the Corona Virus pandemic, a comfortable and suitable home office work area is no longer a luxury; it is essential.
That being said, what about the home office setup for existing homes? How can we remodel or convert existing spaces to accommodate remote working? The home office setup you choose is critical to ensure productivity, comfort, and privacy among other things.
There are many things to consider when designing the perfect home office. Do you prefer a rustic office, modern office, minimalist office, Scandinavian office, or contemporary office? It’s important to understand the differences and have a perspective as you begin.
Where to Begin
Setting up a home office can be an exciting and challenging experience. Here are some steps to get started:
- Choose a location: Choose a location in your home that is quiet and free from distractions. It should also have good lighting and enough space to accommodate your desk and other necessary furniture.
- Define your needs: Determine what you will need in your home office, such as a desk, chair, computer, printer, and other equipment.
- Choose your furniture: Select furniture that is comfortable, functional, and fits your style. Make sure your desk is large enough to accommodate your computer and other equipment, and that your chair is adjustable and comfortable.
- Get organized: Organize your office supplies and documents to help you stay focused and productive. Consider using file cabinets, bookshelves, and desk organizers to keep your workspace clutter-free.
- Set up your technology: Set up your computer, printer, and other technology in a way that is easy to access and use. Make sure you have a reliable internet connection and that all of your devices are connected and working properly.
- Personalize your space: Add personal touches to your home office to make it feel comfortable and inspiring. This could include adding artwork, plants, or photos to your workspace.
- Plan your workflow: Plan your workflow to ensure that you have everything you need within reach, and that you have enough space to work comfortably. Consider using a planner or calendar to help you stay organized and focused.
Following are the most important items for home office setup, and you can find home office design tips here. Once you’ve reviewed these items, get more ideas by reading Home Office Design: Interior Design Basics.
- What space do I have to create my home office?
- Is it possible to enlarge the space?
- Can I convert an existing bedroom or other space?
- Are there smaller spaces that can be used (such as underneath stairs or part of a larger room)?
- Does the space need to accommodate multiple people – spouse, children?
If you are remodeling an entire space, consider what design you prefer, among them:
The fixtures and accent items you choose for your home office setup can reflect your own personal style. You would be surprised at how easy it is to select items that not only reflect your style but also watch the budget too.
Do you want soothing colors or bold colors or something in between? The color palette will reflect the style selection among other things. In some cases, you may not have a choice and must stick with what you already have. If you do have an opportunity to choose, however, consider that some colors help stimulate brain activity, have a calming effect, and can even lower blood pressure. Read more about colors in Home Office Design: Interior Design Basics.
Are you the type of person that likes complete quiet and seclusion when working from home? If so, consider spaces away from the front door of your home or high-traffic areas, if possible.
Will you be recording videos or hosting webinars and, thus, may need soundproofing? There are alternatives to soundproof a room, but it is something to consider during the design.
- If you plan to work from home, you will need great internet service to be productive. Consider reviewing your cable provider and updating service if necessary. You may also need to plan for others to work from home also like a spouse or children.
- For your home office setup, consider how close you will be to your cable modem or router. Ideally, the modem will be in the office so you can connect directly to it. You might consider purchasing home Wi-Fi system like Eero in case a single router cannot cover the entire house well.
- Storage and backup
- Cables and modems
- Fax machine
- Document scanner
- Bluetooth headset
- Audio recorder
Home office furniture is an important component for comfort and productivity. Consider what furniture you’ll need:
- Desk: What type of desk do I need – standard, desk with hutch, corner desk, standing, executive?
- Can I put wheels on the desk in case I need to move it?
- Conference tables
- Tables – needed to assemble items or serve as a printer stand
- Filing cabinets
Will I use natural light, or do I need lamp fixtures?
Does the space get direct sunlight? Depending upon where you live, direct sunlight can significantly increase the temperature in the room during the midafternoon. You will need good blinds to block the sun in some cases.
Where will your desk be relative to any windows? If you are using direct lighting, you may encounter a glare from the window.
How much storage will I need to accommodate my home office setup? This might be a good time to do a spring cleaning and remove unnecessary items and clutter. Consider whether you can store items offsite or in another room.
Will you have access to a closet for storage? Closet space is almost always scarce in any home, but if your home office setup space has a closet, then you’ll need to carefully consider how to use it.
Do you need bookcases to store items?
Can you buy stackable items?
What furnishings are essential to make the space cozy, comfortable, and productive? Home office decor is another essential element when setting up your home office. Consider the following:
- Wall fixtures
- Keurig or coffee station
Brainstorm a list to design your home office setup. Use the categories mentioned above to begin and add additional categories as necessary. For the initial brainstorm, write down your ideal home office without limiting yourself with space or resources. Then, review the list and adjust as needed. Search for alternatives to higher-priced items on the list.