With the world shifting into remote work or hybrid arrangements, there’s no doubt more and more people are finding themselves spending extra time in the home office. Not everyone has a home office, so instead, they could be working in the closest alternative, like a living room or bedroom.
Like a traditional office setting, home office environments can affect moods, morale, mental health, energy levels, focus, and productivity. With everything your home office can affect, it only makes sense to make sure you set it up well.
A well-designed home office can positively impact your work and the results you deliver. But what exactly is a well-designed home office?
What Makes a Great Home Office?
When you ask someone what exactly makes a home office great, the answer may vary from person to person. After all, great is subjective to personal preferences and tastes. Therefore, the best home office is the one that energizes, inspires, and improves your morale — whatever that may look like.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Does clutter bother you? Do you like knick-knacks, or are you more of a minimalist?
- Do you like bright colors, or do you prefer calming palettes?
- Do you like plants as decor (and can you take care of them)?
- Would you like to have a standing desk or a desk bike, or just a traditional desk? What type of chair would you like?
- Do you want your accessories to be ergonomic?
- Would you like to have some music or white noise in the background as you work? Or would you prefer things as quiet as possible?
- Is there a way you can improve the lighting?
The best thing about a home office is that it’s fully customizable by you, for you. Your only constraint is your budget — and even then, if you’re resourceful enough, you can get around a budget.
How to Make Your Home Office Great
Whether you’re trying to do it on a shoestring or working with a no-holds-barred budget, there are quite a few ways you can improve your home office. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Function Before Form
When it comes to designing your workspace, one of the first things you should always consider is choosing function before form. It may be tempting to go for aesthetics, but if it’s all you consider, it can lead to a truly uncomfortable working experience.
To consider function before form, ask yourself two questions:
- How do I like to work? What are my working habits?
- How do I need this space to function?
You can then start thinking about the pieces of furniture you might need and the types of adjustments you can make to improve your space, such as lighting, ergonomics, and convenience (extension cords, storage by your desk, etc.).
Good Storage Setup
A good storage setup is a great way to make sure your home office functions how you need it to. If you work with a lot of files, proper physical storage (file cabinets, bookshelves) and digital storage (cloud services, external hard drives and solid state drives, thumb drives) might be necessary.
Making sure that you can access your files and materials at the drop of a hat is a good idea as it saves you time and the stress of having to go out looking for something. Label all your physical and digital files properly as you store them.
Separate Distractions from Work Activities
Working from home potentially means more distractions. It may be a good idea to minimize distractions in your actual home office. Instead, you can set up a game room or deck out a different room in your home for anything related to taking breaks.
Breaks are important and beneficial to the work process — they lower your stress levels and boost your productivity, creativity, focus, and performance. Many remote workers set up game rooms where they can relax and unwind or do things that help them brainstorm and focus.
One such activity that might help you out is table tennis. All you need is a ping pong table and a pair of ping pong paddles (and of course a few balls) and you have a great way to unwind during or at the end of a workday. Table tennis is also great for helping you focus, so it may even boost your productivity.
The Perfect Office
The perfect home office setup for everybody else won’t necessarily be the same for you. You can also work on your office piece by piece and a little at a time — there’s no need to purchase and do all the redesigning all at once. And if you don’t have space, remember: even if your space and budget are limited, you can always create an office space in your living room or bedroom!