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Wide-spread working from home has now become a reality due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those that typically never work remotely are having to adjust and be productive at home which can be quite a challenge when laundry and other chores are piling up or you have kids running around the living room to distract you. 

However, one way to ensure success working from home is to take the necessary steps to make sure your office space is organized at all times, comfortable, and provides separation from your personal at-home life, while still maintaining plenty of comfort. 

Necessary Technology

A lot of people think of the “fun stuff” when designing a home office. Fun as in, the visual organization that looks pretty and satisfying, such as installing a historic bookcase or decorative shelving units. While these are very important, many forget the basics of office space design and the function that goes with it. High-speed Wi-Fi, telephone and cable lines, a projector and viewing screen, an efficient heating and cooling system, and a heavy-duty printer are just a few components of home office design that can make work life easier for you. 

Good Lighting

While any ideal home office space has large windows with lots of natural sunlight, sometimes it is also necessary to add additional lighting like lamps or studio lighting, depending on your work industry. You may have a need for direct task-focused lighting in the form of an adjustable lamp, or more of an indirect lighting method the lights up your whole office, such as lamps placed strategically throughout the room. Placement is key here. Take into account where your natural light is coming from and set up your desk and monitor accordingly to avoid glares and ill-placed shadows. You can then place your lamps and other lighting sources to support this. 

Office Organization

As mentioned earlier, some more obvious fixtures like bookcases and wall shelves are key for both visual and organizational elements of your home office. Filing cabinets, wall-cubby units, and small rolling island carts are other physical fixtures that can help you stay organized. A popular home office renovation idea is creating built-in shelving to make make the most of your space. However, other smaller items like wall or desk calendars, whiteboards/chalkboards, or even easels should not be overlooked as they are crucial to keeping records of your schedules, appointments, and project due dates.

Comfortable Workstation

What you plan to do in your home office can determine the size, shape, and needs for your workstation. Whether you need multiple monitors or a large screen desktop, a portable laptop setup, or features such as a separate keyboard and Bluetooth mouse are completely up to you. First, identify your task needs, then ensure your workstation is comfortable for you. If you will be spending long hours sitting, take the extra step, and purchase a large, comfortable office chair. If you spend time video chatting with clients and co-workers, install a large monitor and an industrial telephone with a loudspeaker function. Make sure your desk is a shape that fits the size of your space and allows you plenty of working room. If you see clients in your own home, make sure you have guest-seating arrangements available too. 

Personal Aesthetics

Finally – the cozy and comfortable part! Here is where you can really take advantage of being in the comfort of your own home. Keep your office design consistent with your established household elements or even step-up your style with a clean, sleek design to impress clients and keep yourself work-motivated! Make the most of your space with storage solutions and surround yourself with accent pieces and sleek devices to make your home office pop. Whether it’s a Tiffany blue Keurig, the latest flat screen, that next-gen iMac, a Moroccan floor rug…you name it. This is the time to personalize your space to make yourself feel at home. Don’t forget important décor pieces like beautiful wall art, plants, maybe a sitting space with armchairs and a coffee table. 

A Separate Space

One of the best working from home tips is separation from the rest of the home. This limits distractions and allows you to focus on the task at hand. For those with high organizational needs, it is wise to make sure your home office has separation for each task role, like putting your desk and sitting area on one side of your office and perhaps partitioning the workspace on the other side for filing and organization. An office can also double as a personal library with a separate space for reading and books. For these reasons, it is often a good idea to convert a spare bedroom into a home office. This way you can close the door and not be distracted by noise from the kitchen or living room. If you are planning on making home improvements to sell your home in the near future, adding dedicated office space to your home is a great choice as it can increase your home’s value and make it more desirable to younger buyers especially. 

Home Office Design for Optimal Work Performance

No two home offices are the same. These vary depending on many factors, including the size of your work-space, the necessary tools needed, etc. No matter what it is you need to do at home - whether it’s graphic design, merchandising, simple clerical needs, or anything in between, the most important thing is creating a space that helps you maintain productivity and serenity and allow you to stay efficient and successful. While you may be able to DIY your home office, if you are looking for a more extensive home office renovation with built-ins and upgraded features, feel free to contact Tilghman Builders for a consultation today. 

Editor's Note: This blog was originally published on December 18, 2018 and was recently updated.