Many of us hurried, during the Covid-19 lockdown, to hastily design a home office workspace from what we could gather around the house – kitchen tables, spare cabinets, dining areas, living space, all took on a new life. Whether you’ve become a permanent remote worker, are looking to try it for the first time, or have headed back to a shared work office and miss those home comforts, designing a good workspace can be a daunting task.
Creating Productive and Comfortable Workspaces
There are many factors to consider, from the layout of your space to the type of furniture you need. Before getting started it’s worth thinking hard about the amount of time you’ll spend in that space. We’ve all sat down to answer a couple of emails and the hours just vanish – the next thing you feel is a crick in your neck and your eyes can’t focus – so whether it’s a few hours here and there or long days crouched over a PC, be prepared to budget as much as you can on the crucial things, such as an ergonomic chair, good desk and adjustable lighting. All of these, if you get it right, can help you work better and feel happier – we’ll explore the key aspects of creating effective workspaces for both home and traditional offices.
A good home office design should borrow elements of a work office. Equally, if you’re looking at improving your work office it’s a good tip to borrow ideas from what makes you happy at home. Here’s my advice on how to create a workspace that suits you for any workplace location.
The Home Office Design
Choosing the Right Home Office Workspace
Before you jump in and start designing your home office space, think about alternatives. Is this really the best place in your home to work? Is there enough privacy for a study area, and can you manage interruptions? The chances are that this is the only available space, but even if you feel your choices are limited, take a look around your home to identify the best possible spot for your work area.
Utilizing Plenty of Natural Light
Once you’ve decided on the space, the next step, ahead of picking furniture and décor, is finding your best source of natural light. Natural light is a great addition to any workspace. Try to arrange your workspace so that it receives plenty of sunlight. When planning your workspace, think about how to get plenty of natural light.
It’s not only good for your eyesight but also good for your state-of-mind to be able to glance at the outside world occasionally, even if it’s just the sky. Make sure your chair will be positioned with any daylight shining onto your face, either from in front or to the side – it’s not only healthier to get plenty of natural light but looks so much better on video calls! Then consider how to adjust the light with an easy to reach window blind, and how you’re going to replace the daylight with artificial light when the days are shorter.
Lighting is very important for comfortable working; if your budget is tight this is not the place to scrimp. Decide what you need and get advice from a lighting professional or interior architect.
Arranging Furniture Smartly
While we’re talking about electricals: Make sure you plot all the electrical sockets before decorating – you don’t want to be tripping over extension cables! Now is also the time to think about heating for winter or air-conditioning for summer. Getting it right will make a huge difference to your enjoyment of the space and, ultimately, the quality of your work.
Before you pick out furniture, plan where everything will go in your home office. Make sure you have enough room to move around without feeling cramped. Keep your workspace neat and organized. It’s also important to have a comfortable chair and a desk that suits your needs.
When you plot where to place the lighting and electrical points, you’ll need to decide the position of the furniture and start deciding the décor. Begin by considering what you really like, plus the work you do. Does it help to be surrounded with calm tranquility, simple efficiency or upbeat excitement? What makes you happy? Be careful with dimensions, you don’t want to be squeezing past a desk that’s slightly too big or walking back and forth to collect files. Remember to think of the vertical space as well as the floor area. The colors, textures and shapes you choose can make spaces feel bigger or smaller as well as create a mood to reflect your work.
Smart Storage Solutions
One of the biggest challenges to designing a home office for most of us is not having enough space. Think very carefully about storage options, and practicalities of access. Staying organized is key to staying focused. Having everything neat and tidy each day can give you a sense of efficiency, privacy and control over your work environment – especially in a small home office. Practicality doesn’t mean dull.
Think of creative ways to store your items, such as wall shelves or furniture with built-in storage. These ideas can help you maintain a tidy and clutter-free workspace.
Adding Personal Touches
Make your home office feel like your own by adding personal touches. Personalizing your workspace gives it a unique and special feel.
There is a vast range of designs available to improve your home office space, plenty of beautiful bespoke options and even pieces intended for other areas of the home that adapt perfectly to a workspace. Let your imagination free with what you enjoy, set up your office in a way that’s comfortable and productive for you, and don’t forget the finishing touches such as desk lamps, floor lamps, small pieces of art and houseplants!
Seeking Professional Guidance
If setting up a home office seems overwhelming, consider seeking help from an interior designer. They have the expertise to create a functional and visually pleasing workspace that aligns with your preferences and needs. As with every room in the home, it’s best to get it right at the outset and with the help of an interior designer, you’re home office design will work just right for you – it’s what we do every day.
Crafting a Work Office Design
Leveraging Work Office Resources
Having an office in a distinct workplace is very different to working at a home office. For one, you’ll probably have access to all the resources you need, such as printers, copiers, and separate meeting rooms. You’ll also be surrounded by other professionals, which can help you stay motivated and productive.
On the downside you may not have as much flexibility as you would if you were working from your home office to make major changes to your work environment. You may have to work set hours, and you may not be able to take breaks whenever you need them the most. With all of that in mind, take advantage of the resources available while you’re in a work office, like printers and meeting rooms for video calls and for many the chance to go for lunch or drinks with colleagues can be an added bonus beyond just sharing ideas.
Enhancing Work Office Comfort
Unless you’re the office manager, the chances are that you’ll be sharing your work office space with others and can’t paint the walls, change the lighting, or add a window treatment. You might, however, be able to improve work environment in the office by bringing a few of your home tips to the workplace.
Begin with the lighting; maybe you can make better use of the natural light and views by repositioning a desk or tilting the blinds? Try a simple, stylish desk lamp to improve the lighting. Add a couple of small houseplants and ornaments for color and declutter anything else into a cabinet or shelving unit. If you’re likely to get distracted by people stopping by for a chat – remove any spare seats that might be nearby!
Even if you can’t change everything in the work office, you can still make your workspace feel unique by infusing some of your personal style. Place items on your desk that make you happy. Items as simple as photos or a small object from your last vacation that brings a smile to your face and helps improve your comfort while you work.
Designing with Adaptability
If you have a say in the office design, consider factors like lighting and furniture arrangement. Make sure the office is comfortable and equipped with everything you need. Think about how people move around within the space as well. Think as much about cooling and heating a room as you do about the lighting and furniture arrangement.
Collaborating for Positive Changes
When you’re lucky enough to have free rein designing the workplace environment, use the same rules as you would at home to create a positive work office space. Begin with the natural daylight, figure out where you need artificial light, add electrical sockets, ensure a balanced approach to heating or cooling, then measure everywhere and select the furniture. In a work office the difference is the rules apply to your colleagues as well, so to make improvements in the office, communicate with your coworkers. Ask for their opinions on how to make the office better for everyone. Collaborating can lead to positive changes that benefit the entire team.
Finally, when deciding on the décor, levels of vibrancy and finishing touches, don’t forget to allow for the flow of people who will be moving around and, of course, the health and safety regulations. Because this will impact other employees’ morale, it’s important to engage with how they feel if you want to create popular changes that boost productivity and joy when coming to the work office.
Engaging Professional Assistance from Studio Hinton
Often redesigning the work office seems like a big task that’s because a great work office requires a implementing a design with clear vision and understanding of your office culture. Studio Hinton has been involved in office work design projects and we would be happy to help, so get in touch with our interior design experts. They can create a comprehensive plan and guide you through the process, resulting in a functional and appealing workspace.
Get it all in one big project plan before you start. A professional interior architect will design and plan all the tasks to your brief, and deliver results exceeding your expectations.
Whether you’re looking for home office design ideas or enhancing a shared work office, remember that your workspace has a significant impact on your productivity and well-being. With careful planning, thoughtful interior design choices, and a touch of personalization; you can establish a workspace that helps you perform at your best. No matter where you work, your office space you’ll work best if you feel motivated, comfortable, and inspired to achieve your goals.