Plan Your Lockdown-Worthy Home Office
In my last blog, I suggested that while we’re sheltering-at-home, we can use the time as an opportunity to think about what we would like to change about our interiors. I started with the kitchen as it is probably the most used space in a home. This week, I’ll focus on the home office. This lockdown has so many of us working from home, and many of us are thinking about creating a permanent home office.
Here are some design ideas and suggestions to inspire you to start thinking about a functional, stylish home office.
THE RIGHT LOCATION
- Where in your home would you like your office located?
- The first thing to decide is whether you have enough room to have a stand-alone office, or do you have to integrate your workspace into another area/room of the house?
Many people convert unused guest bedrooms into independent home offices. There are many ways to integrate spare beds into the office for those times that you have company. Some popular approaches are using Murphy beds and sofa beds. This allows you to maintain a year-round home office which can quickly and easily cover as weekend lodging for your visiting friends or family. An independent home office can be designed just for one, as a couples work space with a double desk, it can be made into an office/craft room, or it can accommodate smaller desks for your little ones to join you.
Given how many considerations there are, you’ll need to know your particular needs and lifestyle before sharing your vision with your designer.
If you don’t have an entire room to convert into an office, there are still an abundance of choices and considerations on where to locate your desk. If you need to keep an eye on the kids while you’re working, you can integrate your home office into a common room/area. If you cook, answer work calls, and supervise your children’s homework, it might be most suitable to have your workspace close to, or in, the kitchen.
Whether you choose an independent office or a shared workspace, keep in mind that it’s best to choose an area that is well-lit, airy, and spacious, so you are motivated to work and stay positive.
DESKS AND CHAIRS
This is the most crucial part of your home office, and there are many factors to consider when you’re choosing the desk and chair for your office.
- How many hours in a day do you sit at your desk?
- How much equipment and supplies, including computer, printer, equipment, stationery, etc., do you need on or near your desk?
- Will guests see your desk and chair, or is it in an enclosed, private space?
- Do you want a desk with drawers?
- Or would you forgo them for a more stylish look?
- Should your chair have wheels or stay in place? Should it be revolving or still?
- Do any materials, texture, colors, or styles particularly call you?
Your answers to these questions will determine the size and utility of the desk and/or nearby cabinetry.
Take your time to think about all these criteria as you will be spending a lot of time on your workstation. You’ll want to be comfortable, and you’ll want your space to be stylish. Some of our clients prefer Insta-perfect looks. Whereas, many others prefer practical solutions such as desk chairs, like the updated Aeron Chair by Herman Miller, which stabilizes the sacrum and supports the lumbar region of the spine and seat materials that help the body to maintain comfortable skin temperatures.
And, don’t just think about sitting. You can even opt for a standing desk set-up. Thus, you can use sitting as your default, yet can mix things up as your body requires. It’s a great idea to take a break from sitting and stretch your legs. The standing desk has been linked with health benefits and is a great option for your home office. The electrically-powered versions come with a variety of height adjustment ranges, and they’re not expensive either. Height adjustable chairs allow you to move from regular desk height to bar stool height.
- What is the nature of your work?
- Do you need to store and file a lot of paperwork?
- Do you need printers, shredders, more than one monitor?
- Do you need desk drawers and shelves for storage?
- Cabinets and file cabinets?
- Do you have a large collection of books that you want to display in your home office?
- Are you the kind of worker who likes to have all your files, stationery, and supplies near your desk, or do you prefer to have everything tucked away with just a bare table to work on?
Once you understand how much storage you need, my team and I will ensure your needs are met, and we can customize the storage to suit your tastes and working style.
Active offices are offices that inspire you to move while you work as opposed to the traditional style of offices that promote a sedentary work style. I mentioned standing desks and height-adjustable chairs. These are all part of the Active Offices culture, which is being adopted increasingly as people begin to understand the importance of movement while they work.
Active offices are defined by multiple positions for the worker to move their bodies as well as better occupational ergonomics and postures.
If you are curious about the active office-style home office, you can gather a lot of tips here.
The finishing touches of your home office is in the details. For this it is best to reflect on the subtleties of your comfort.
- Do you desire a clutter-free workspace?
- Or, do you prefer a maximalist style complete with lots of sentimental items?
- Do family photos support or distract your work?
- Do you want unique art pieces and other special or sentimental items in your view, or do you prefer a minimalist experience?
A few things that most everyone would appreciate are cable-management solutions to hide all those ugly wires and keyboard trays that promote an ergonomically sound wrist stance for typing.
You don’t need to know all of the accessories on the market, you just need to know your needs. Our design team will do the sourcing of the accessories that give that special touch to your office.
After giving your home office some thought, the next step is for us to talk. My role as your designer is to carefully listen to your ideas and then to suggest how to implement them. You don’t have to wait until lockdown ends to start work on your new home office. My Denver studio works with a blended approach of working styles that includes the use of remote working technologies. Take a look at this video to see how:
Ready to begin?
The first step is to call me at 720-735-7533. We can then arrange to use FaceTime or Zoom for face-to-face video calls, allowing for a touch-free design and remodeling experience.