A home office can instantly make you more productive while working from home. You’ll have a designated space where you can work uninterrupted – and keep your work life separate from your personal life, even when you’re in the same house.
If you have a spare bedroom, or another open room of the house, you can easily convert it into a functional, productive home office environment. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the most important steps.
Choosing the Right Room
Everything starts with choosing the right room. You may only have one or two realistic options, but if you have a few different potential rooms, it’s a good idea to consider variables like:
· Doors/accessibility. How easy is it to access this office? If it’s tucked away in the corner of the house, you’ll be less likely to be interrupted by others. Similarly, if it has a door you can close, you can shut out external distractions.
· Placement and noise. Is this office directly below the kids’ playroom? If so, the extra noise of stomping feet could interfere with your ability to work.
· Access to windows. Most of us like to look out a window as a way to relax our eyes or just take our mind off work for a moment. Rooms with windows instantly get higher priority as a home office option.
· Sufficient space. You don’t need a ton of space to make a home office work, but you should have enough room for a desk, a chair, and some room to move around.
· Other uses. You may be able to convert an already existing room into a partial home office. For example, your master bedroom may have significant extra space; if you don’t use it often during the day, it can make for a functional office.
Investing in Furniture
Furniture has the power to make or break your home office. Ideally, you’ll get the best furniture you can afford, from an office furniture brand with a good reputation.
Consider the following:
· Desk. A strong, sturdy desk at the appropriate height can make it easier to access your computer, take notes, and work in general. Also, if your desk fits your personal style and the aesthetics of the room, you’ll likely feel more comfortable and happier with your work environment.
· Chair. You’ll spend upwards of 8 hours per day in this chair, so it needs to be a good one. A cushiony chair with plenty of back support, and proper arm rests, will keep you maintaining a good posture – and will make you feel more comfortable throughout the day.
· Filing cabinets. If you have lots of papers, folders, or other documentation to store locally, a set of secure filing cabinets can help you protect them.
· Bookshelves. You can also install some bookshelves to store all your books and make your office feel cozier; they also make for a great background for video conferences.
You’ll also want to consider other upgrades to your home office space, such as:
· Monitors. A good monitor can make it much easier to manage your computer work – and adding a second monitor can be completely game-changing. Some people even use 3 or 4 monitors, with no intentions of ever going back to a single display.
· Accessories. You can also upgrade your remote work experience by investing in better accessories and addons; for example, a well-made ergonomic keyboard can instantly improve your typing experience.
· Speakers. Do you like working with some background music? High-quality, well-positioned speakers can completely transform your home office.
· Art. Did you know that hanging artwork in a room can instantly make the people working in it more productive? Art makes a room feel cozier and more beautiful, and if you’re stuck on a hard problem, you can stare at it to let your mind relax and think more abstractly. Just be sure you choose the right pieces.
Once you have everything installed and in place, you’ll have the basic setup you need to start working productively from home. However, it’s not going to be perfect. Over time, you’ll need to make adjustments; for example, you may need to change the height of your chair, reposition your desk, or upgrade some of your accessories. Experiment to see what works best for you and don’t hesitate to keep tweaking things.
There’s no such thing as a “perfect” formula for creating a home office from scratch because all of us work differently. We have different work styles, different aesthetic preferences, and different ideas about what makes a home office work. Keep this in mind as you choose the right room, shop for furniture, and sculpt your home office into an ideal work environment.