You’ve had enough of spending months alternating between the kitchen counter and a living room coffee table for your workspace.
So you’re turning that spare bedroom into a proper home office. No more screaming kids in the background while you’re on a Zoom call. No more interruptions from Scruffy, who constantly puts an enormous paw on the keyboard until you play fetch with him.
A customized home office setup is far from cheap. But like many other office workers, you, too, may have made the transition. Now, you can devote the hours you would’ve spent commuting to ticking tasks off your daily to-do list. This has ultimately led to the decision to invest in a comfortable workspace.
And you aren’t alone in this either. Many others are scrambling to create a home office in this stay-at-home era. Studies show that half of American professionals didn’t have a remote work setup before the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the home is no longer just a place for rest, relaxation, and spending time with the family, it only makes sense that you make your home office a place of comfort.
Planning the Home Office
How do you create a productive workspace at home?
For starters, you’ll want a space that’s both comfortable and inviting to ensure you can work efficiently.
Location is crucial to achieving this goal. A home office comes in different shapes and sizes. Think about when and where you work. You are likely a professional who does a full-time job during the day. In this case, you’ll want to select a space that’s away from your household’s daily flow and distractions.
You also want to make sure the room you choose is big enough to allow you to do your tasks comfortably. That means you should be able to move easily from side to side, stand up and sit back from your desk.
It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to underestimate how much space you need. Avoid this by using measurements professional designers use to lay out a workstation—allow at least 60″ (150 cm) in width and 84″ (210 cm) in depth.
If you anticipate having meetings or receiving clients in your home office, you’ll need a much bigger space. Plan for some additional seating in your design to accommodate sit-down meetings. This can be as simple as one to two comfortable chairs, which are easy to pull up to your desk.
If you need a home office to do your work and meet people, you could set up a home office outside your actual house. In this case, you’ll want to consider extending your home to create a new wing that will fit both a private office and a meeting room—or possibly converting an indoor garage or unused guesthouse.
Note that undertaking home improvement projects of this scale is expensive. You will also need to bring in a contractor and interior designer to ensure the build turns out the way you want.
As mentioned earlier, you might need more than just a desktop computer to do your work at home. So list down all the technology you’ll need to have. Identify the devices you already have and those you might need to purchase.
Buying a new printer or PC can be expensive. Check out online merchants to score deals on a refurbished Dell computer or something similar.
Nothing makes a home office look or feel more cluttered than wires hanging from your desk and running everywhere. Hide your desk cords, and go wireless whenever possible.
Keep comfort in mind, but don’t sacrifice style! Splurge on a good quality desk chair and a standing desk. That way, you don’t have to sit for long periods. With a dynamic desk, you can stretch out your legs, reduce back pain, and improve your energy and productivity.
Don’t be afraid to inject your personality into your decor. What inspires you? Is it a refreshing paint color or a collection of family photos? Include these personal touches to brighten up your day and make you feel more comfortable in the space.
Finally, your home office can also be a great place to display hobbies or prized possessions. If you’re a big history nerd, one or two replica medieval swords will be a quirky and fun detail to add to the decor.
The last two years were marked by the stay-at-home era. Many people are making the permanent transition to work inside their homes. And many who have done so are also creating a proper home office setup to enhance productivity and keep family life separate.
Like any improvement project for your abode, consider several different factors when creating a dedicated workspace at home. You need to decide on a suitable location and determine a design theme that will fulfill aesthetic expectations and maximize the room’s usefulness.
Then you need to look into furniture and the technology necessary to do the work you do. And that could mean investing in more than just a desktop computer and a printer.
If you are unsure how to create your own home office, the tips above should at least help you formulate a plan and create a detailed checklist for all the things you need to do.
Jennifer Warner is a community relations office at PCLiqudations.com and a contributing writer to several computer-related blogs and websites.
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