Our lives have gone through a radical change in the last two years. The sudden closure of offices worldwide has kickstarted a new era of work. Even before the current lockdown measures, the workforce was slowly moving towards virtually working from their homes. The pandemic was the final push in the process.
As many as 74% of workers worked from home during the lockdown. And what's even more surprising is that 54% of the workforce would prefer to work entirely virtually or in a hybrid manner even after the pandemic ends.
While working from home, the idea of setting up your home office must have crossed your head. If you spend the entire workweek or even just a few hours there, your home office must be a welcoming place to spend time productively. You deserve more than a desk and an extra chair crammed into a corner.
So, here are our two cents on planning your dream home office layout:
1. Location is the Key
Deciding the location of your home office is the first big decision you have to make. Home offices come in a range of different shapes and sizes. You have to determine what works for you the best. It can be a distinct room, a quiet corner of your bedroom, or even your kitchen.
If you reside in an area where outside noises are common, find a location as far away from these distractions as possible. The key to choosing the best place for your home office is to consider where and when you work. A kitchen desk area may be ideal for you if you have to manage your household work simultaneously.
If you're a professional, you must have a designated office area that is not used for anything else. This is especially important if you want to maintain a proper work-life balance. Choose a location away from the daily flow and distractions of life.
2. Choose the perfect Desk and Chair
Selecting the perfect desk and chair for your home office is of paramount importance. Your desk is the place where you will be stationed all day long. This is a make or break for your office.
Choose a large desk to accommodate your computer and anything else you need at a hand's distance. Your desk should ideally have some space for note-taking and keeping reference materials.
However, if all you need is a laptop, you can do without it. Word has it finding the perfect desk height is harder than encountering your soulmate. That's why we always recommend buying an adjustable-height desk.
Choosing the right chair is also important. Some people spend more time on their office chairs than they spend sleeping. So, invest in a high-quality chair that is both comfy and adjustable. Your neck and back will be grateful.
3. Make sure it is clutter-free
While designing for your perfect home office, make sure there is enough space for you to work comfortably. Consider whether you will be able to easily stand up, sit back or move around your office.
While this may seem obvious, most people underestimate how much space you require. A cluttered office space affects your ability to focus.
A chaotic workspace makes it difficult to process information and promotes lethargy. So, you have to make sure there are not many files and wires lying around. A minimalistic and clean office is ideal for productivity.
4. Opt for storage solutions
Your home office storage needs to be spacious enough to meet your current requirements while accounting for your future needs. This can have a significant impact on your productivity.
First, you need to consider your workflow. This will give you clarity on what goes where. Maintain easy access to your current work.
Keep everything else that is neither urgent nor important inside designated shelves, cabinets and cupboards. The right home office furniture can make your office more aesthetic while fulfilling its primary function.
5. Build a Place to Meet (Physically or Virtually)
It is ideal to have space for a small meeting area if you are expecting clients to visit your office. Otherwise, you can simply add a few comfy, easily moveable chairs, which can easily be dragged to your desk for sit-down meetings.
Setting up your home office is also necessary if you mostly meet your clients and customers virtually. Poor lighting, clutter lying around, and random household things in the background can affect how people perceive you.
Ideally, you should have natural, soft and directional light coming from your window. Keep the background simple and make sure there isn't much space left behind.
Over to you…
Rome was not built in a day. Creating your perfect home office also requires significant investments of time, effort and resources. However, if you follow our advice, you are already on the right path.