Whether you run your own home business or just work remotely now and then in the interest of work-life balance, a dedicated workspace can make all the difference. Sitting down to work at your desk signals your brain that it’s time to focus (even if you’re wearing PJs). It also helps you keep everything organized and at-hand when you need it. Plus, it gives you a professional setting for video conferencing (as long as you change out of those aforementioned PJs). Carving out a room of your own to do business in isn’t always easy, but it’s totally possible. Here are a few home office ideas to get you started.
1. Corner office
If you don’t have a lot of space or an extra room, you can still make a place for yourself by claiming a corner as your office. It’s a well-defined space, and it’s easy to find a great desk to make it work. (Bonus: If you have a tendency to get easily distracted, facing into a corner can help you tune out the rest of the world and zero in on your tasks.)
2. Create a visual distinction
Maybe a corner is too much to ask and you’re just working with one wall. That’s fine! You can still get the psychological boost of a separate workspace with a few smart decorating choices. Something as simple as a different paint color on that wall, a beautiful rug, or framed prints of your favorite inspirational quotes can do the job.
3. Go modular
This is an option if you’ve got square footage to spare, but no unused room with a door you can shut. Building a little “room within a room” might sound intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Curtains in a ceiling track, some stylish room dividers or even strategically placed tall bookcases can help you stake out a space that’s all yours.
A good all-in-one piece of furniture (like this computer armoire) can turn any spot into an instant office. It’s attractive enough to fit into any living room, gives you a built-in way to keep your office organized, and hides away all your business clutter whenever you’re not working.
5. Don’t skimp on seating
You might think it’s fine to just drag a dining room chair over to the computer, but by the end of the day your back will probably protest. You deserve a proper office chair at home. It’s not just about comfort: good ergonomics support good productivity.
6. Room for two
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how to claim your own space, but what if you’re sharing a home office with a partner or employee? A long desktop where you can set up your laptops side by side, matching chairs, and room for brainstorming (whiteboard, anyone?) can go a long way towards giving your home business a taste of “company culture.”
7. Comfort for clients
If you’re going to be welcoming clients into your home, you might not want to talk terms over the kitchen table. Keeping things professional becomes even more important under these circumstances. Simply setting up an official guest chair by your desk can help you set a more formal tone for your meetings.
8. Electric mayhem
A dearth of sockets is a real problem in a home office, and it’s not uncommon in older houses. If the only plug is across the room (and in use by the TV), you’re going to struggle. Extension cords, surge protectors, and clever solutions like a USB charging station can make life a lot easier.
9. Look at lighting
The flattering up-lighting in your living room that looks so great at cocktail parties might not be the best light to work by. Natural light is always best, so if you can set up by a window, wonderful. If not, invest in some dedicated lighting for your home office. Even a simple desk lamp can make all the difference.
10. On your feet
Maybe you’ve been wanting to switch to a standing desk or even a treadmill desk, but you can’t get the go-ahead from your workplace or are worried about your co-workers’ jokes. Well, now’s your chance! A home office is the perfect place to experiment. (Bonus: a standing workstation takes up less space than a traditional desk, which is great if you’re working with limited room.)
Whether you’ve got an entire suite or just a few square feet, your office should reflect your personality and fit seamlessly into the way you live the rest your life. Understanding how to set up a home office so that you’re comfortable, relaxed, and focused is the key to successfully working from home. Once you’ve got your space set up to your satisfaction, you’ll start seeing the benefits right away.