There’s no definite right or wrong with a home office – only what works and doesn’t work for you. The best home office ideas will work within your home, and possibly your remodeling budget, to help you be as productive as possible amidst all of your home’s distractions. You’ll need to establish the best location in the home, and then set up your work area.
Is it important for you to have an area that is private to minimize interruptions? Would a window view help or distract you? Do you require a large desk area for files, notes, and printers, or will you do fine with limited space? Are you willing to pack up your laptop and materials at the end of each day, or do you need a semi-permanent work space?
Home Office Location Ideas
The most ideal location for a home office is a spare room that isn’t needed for any other purpose. If that isn’t an option, you may want to test out several different areas of the home to see which works best for your needs. Look for an area that has natural light if possible, as sunlight boosts your mood and lowers anxiety for a more productive environment.
Living Room or Den. With a goal of staying awake and focused on the work instead of the TV, a living room office should not make use of the couch. However, a desk next to the couch can serve the dual purpose of a side table. Or, if the room is large enough to move the couch forward, it is best to place the desk behind it and make use of the wall – bonus if it is a wall with a window.
Kitchen or Dining Room. In many homes, the formal dining room isn’t used often, especially during a pandemic, and that makes it an excellent choice if more than one person needs office space. The kitchen is trickier. If your kitchen “office” is at the island or the dinner table, your things will need to be put away at the end of the workday. The exception is having a designated nook in the kitchen with a chair, countertop, and shelves specifically for working, which is a popular built-in feature in modern kitchen remodels.
Closet. A traditional closet has a great width for remodeling to fit a desk and storage. The lack of view may require some creativity with hanging shelves and art. The big question is: do you have a closet that you can empty?
Bedroom. The bedroom should be a last resort for working, as experts recommend keeping sleep spaces separate from work spaces. There may be times when the bedroom is your only chance for privacy, in which case use a desk facing a wall or window, and don’t use the bed. Do what you can to put a barrier between designated areas.
There may be other nooks and crannies that would work, from the attic to the end of a hallway to the space under the stairs. Take a walk through your home and imagine how office furniture like a desk and chair would fit.
Constructing Your Home Office
Once you have your location, it’s time to set up a productive work area. Of course, the basics are a desk and chair, but not all office furniture is created equal. Sitting at a desk for many hours can be draining; an adjustable desk would allow you to switch from sitting to standing and back as needed. As for chairs, look for ergonomic support and features that are adjustable.
A space that includes a functional desk, comfortable chair, enough storage for your needs, good lighting, plants, and art is an effective work setup. If you’re lacking windows, you’ll need to focus on sufficient artificial lighting. Houseplants have surprising benefits for mood and productivity, similar to the effects of sunlight. Look for other personal accessories that will boost your creativity and comfort.
When making a room multi-purpose, maximizing space will be crucial. We recommend built-in storage, hanging monitors, and small profile office furniture for tight corners.
In the end, what works best will depend on you. While some people need a strict location and setup to keep themselves on track, other people may need multiple work locations so they can change their scenery throughout the day.
Whether you need help carving out space in a multi-purpose room, adding on a room, or remodeling the basement or attic for your home office, Dimension Design-Build-Remodel can help. Call us at 262-402-6602 or complete our contact form for the best home office ideas, and to get your project started.