Last year around 24 percent of the US workforce performed some or all of their work from home. Thanks to improvements in technology and changes in lifestyle, working remotely is increasingly common across all kinds of industries. Regardless of what you do for work, your home office is an incredibly important space. It’s your go-to spot for productivity, inspiration, peace, and focus. No matter how much time you spend in this important room, you will benefit from creating the perfect home office.
If you want to strike the right balance between functionality and style in your home office, consider these tips:
1. Think about your space
Unlike a cubicle in a shared office, you probably won’t have such severe space limitations at home. You can customize your office in any way that you’d like, and you’re not bound by any specific design rules or themes. In a large space, you can get away with having a sprawling desk, additional seating and lots of storage space. If your office is small you’ll need to get creative with your storage and your furniture. It can be helpful to study your office space before you start the move-in process. Consider different arrangements for your desk, cabinets, computers, chairs and other important items. Once you’ve settled on a sleek and simple layout it’s time to pick up some new furniture.
2. Invest in the right pieces
Your desk and your chair are going to get plenty of wear and tear. It might be tempting to pick up the cheapest items, but don’t forget about the amount of time that you’ll be spending with these two important furniture pieces. Find a desk that jives well with your office decor and that will help you feel comfortable all day long. Test out a few different chairs as you shop for the perfect fit. The last thing you need in your home office is an uncomfortable chair and a poorly-designed desk–don’t be afraid to splurge if you find the right piece.
3. Organize, organize, organize
Chances are that your home office will be filled with all kinds of things: your computer, a printer, a scanner, a slew of office supplies, important documents and books are just a sampling of the many items that will eventually fill your office space. Some people can get by without organizing their office space, but it’s only a matter of time before a disorganized worker loses an important document or misplaces the stapler (once again). Whether you’re plugging away on a coding project, bootstrapping a business, studying for the bar exam or working through medical assistant programs, your home office can quickly become a cluttered mess. Try using filing cabinets, storage bins that can fit neatly beneath your desk or a stylish upright dresser to store papers and supplies in your home office. Label everything clearly and clean out your drawers from time to time to keep your office in good shape.
4. Liven up your office
Plants are perfect for bringing a bit of life and color into your office space. Colorful faux flowers, hardy succulents, and stylish terrariums are popular choices. If you aren’t much of a plant person, you can achieve the same effect with a small fish tank or some eye-catching decor pieces. No matter what you choose to do, a splash of color and freshness will see you through that daily 2:00 slump.
5. Keep your desk clear
Even if your impulse is to carpet your desk in photos of your significant other, your kids and your pets, think twice before busting out the picture frames. Your desk is your creative space, and even though personalizing it is expected, you don’t want to end up with clutter. Keep your desk clear aside from a cluster of sentimental photos, a few knick knacks and a few office supplies that you can’t live without. Leave plenty of space for your computer.
Creating the perfect home office space may take a bit of planning and time, but in the end, the effort is worth it. With a bit of work, your stylish, well-organized office will showcase a bit of your personality while being functional and welcoming to outsiders.