With everything heading online and our work devices becoming smaller and smaller, people are gradually taking their work home with them more often. Cue the home office – a concept with a date of invention that is hard to pinpoint, but we humans have always enjoyed a place to escape to, especially when it comes to sneaking off to get some work done.
The home office has its roots in two things; productivity and comfort. It is ideal for the next generation of head-honchos to be video conferencing while wearing the top half of a suit, but with pyjama bottoms and a homemade cup of coffee just off camera. Just don’t blow it by standing up in front of your important clients!
So the home office is becoming the new head office, but which setup is best?
The perfect ‘Hoffice’
Realistically, everyone will have different needs and opinions when it comes to the perfect home office setup. Everything from layout, choice of computer desk and decoration can make a big difference to your overall comfort and productivity levels.
There are roughly four elements that you should consider when it comes to setting up your own home office. Let’s look at them in a little more detail:
Desk choice is paramount as it is the focal point of productivity in your home office setup. You’ve got all kinds of funky choices out there on the market these days, but the main types of desk are the corner, pedestal, table style and computer.
The corner desk can be a space-saving solution, or it can be a hulking great beast designed to give maximum space for your PC, design/cutting mats, printer, or paperwork. The pedestal is a traditional desk and possibly one of the better known. This type of desk tends to have a lot of storage space underneath, possibly in the form of drawers. Pedestal desks tend to be in a rectangular shape with rounded corners.
The table style desk is more like an end table than an actual desk. It is usually made from either wood, plastic or metal. Some table style desks are even made of glass. Computer desks are made for the specific purpose of organising your PC. They usually come with a retractable shelf underneath for keyboard and mouse storage.
Your choice of chair will probably be the next big decision. You’ll be sat in it for a big portion of your day, so don’t end up sitting on an old dining room chair because you don’t want to pay out for an all-singing, all-dancing office chair.
Clearly, the chair needs to suit personal taste, but whether it has armrests, is adjustable, or is easily mobile, are all key factors. You’ll want to make sure it supports your posture and allows your feet to touch the floor, or else you’d better get ready to see the doctor!
It is likely that you’ll be storing a large amount of paperwork in your home office, so storage is paramount. Once you’ve decided how much storage you’ll need, you can consider which type you want to invest in.
The most common types of storage are bookcases, shelving, dressers, filing cabinets and drawers. These all take up varying degrees of space, so if you’re working with a small room, consider how much of that storage you can get up on the walls.
Other than the above items which are imperative for your home office setup; especially if you want to be comfortable and productive, we have a few more essential items for you. Pay close attention, because they can be easy to overlook.
Waste paper baskets and recycling bins. Imagine you’ve got your home office setup sorted, you sit down to a day of productivity, and then you find that you haven’t got anywhere to throw your rubbish. Don’t forget them!
Desk lamps are essential. You might be working when it gets dark, as is the nature of running your work from home, especially at this time of year. Yes, you might have a main light in the room which works just fine, but when you need to work over some text close up at night, the shadow from the main room light can be very annoying.
Window blinds are our final essential item. They’re not heavy like curtains and can help to block out glare from the sun without letting in so much light that it becomes difficult to work (and get your daily dose of vitamin D).
It’s fair to say that there isn’t one perfect home office design solution because everyone will have different needs when it comes to using the available space. Things like industry, space constraints and personal taste should all inform your own unique home office setup.
If, after all that, you’re struggling a little for home office ideas, check out this article, which features some great modern designs that might help to spark some inspiration.