Creating the perfect home office environment to meet your needs and look stylish can be tricky. You want a space where you can feel professional and be productive, a “work only” dedicated area. This space does not necessarily have to be a separate room, but simply an area well divided and set up for work focus. The flexibility from working out of your home has many perks, especially being able to design your office just the way you like it! To not get distracted, a properly organized workspace can help any home office worker to maintain their focus and get the job done (despite the endless comforts of working from home distracting you). We have gathered together a collection of creative ideas to help inspire you to create your perfect home office environment.
Here are just a few of the essentials you will need to create the perfect home office space: storage, inspiration board (chalkboard, cork board), natural light, good lighting, calendar, a canister to hold pens and pencils, planner, visually stimulating artwork, computer, printer/scanner, desk and comfortable seating.
Designated Work Space
The most important factor for having a productive home office is to have a designated spot to work. Any place other than the kitchen table, the sofa, or the bed. Even if you live in a small apartment, prioritize space for a small table or desk that will be used solely for work. It will dramatically help separate your “home” from your “office,” and will be very beneficial when you finish for the day. People who work from home often have a difficult time separating work hours from their non-work hours because it’s so easy to keep at it late into the night. But maintaining a balance and shutting down the computer and email is important for overall well being. Physically being able to step away from the desk helps promote that balance. Similarly, it’s easier to get into work state of mind when you’re at your desk/in your office, and away from the living areas of your home.
Visually stimulating spaces breed creativity. At the same time, they can also end up distracting, depending on how busy you make things. Pick pieces with only a few colors in them (even if they are bright or bold) to help keep you focused instead of day dreaming! This is a great place to rotate art if you are short on space to display all of your finds.
Countless studies have been done by scientists and pyschologists that show natural light improves productivity and mood. If possible, position your home office as close to a window as possible–preferably one that gets more light. Exposure to natural sunlight also helps our bodies get on a better sleeping schedule, further aiding in concentration.
Add A Plant
Plants are a natural air filter and even if they are too small to do much good in that department, they still bring what other objects in your home office can’t. Life. If you don’t have enough light to sustain a potted plant, try just a few stems of fresh flowers or if all else fails, some fake plants can still create a happy and colorful environment… not to mention some good Feng Shui!
Most people use digital technology to schedule reminders, to do lists and appointments, which can sync through to all of your devices and pop up with reminders. It still helps to have a paper calendar as a secondary reminder for planning when you have your whole month staring you in the face throughout the day. The designer’s of this home office created a budget friendly calendar by tacking hot pink post-it notes onto a bulletin board, where every day has its own note card.
Overhead lighting and computer monitors just aren’t a great combination. Adding in a desk top lamp can do wonders to relieve eye strain and to create some additional warmth to a room that can typically feel cold and overly electronic. Some spaces work well with adjustable height task lamps, while others do great with more conventional styles. Try making the bottom of your lampshade just higher than the height of your monitor. It will go a long ways to producing the most light possible without overpowering your screen.
The quickest way to warm up a room and define a space is with an area rug. It creates comfort in the space and adds some pops of color, creating a more cozy work environment.
An Ergonomic Chair
You can have the best job in the world, but if your chair is uncomfortable, you spend your day slightly annoyed, frustrated and achy! Office chairs can range from high to low, but no matter what the price point, all that matters is that you can sit in it for more than an hour or two. Comfort is most important here, so make sure it is adjusted at a comfortable height! Try adding a pillow if you need additional back support.
To Do List or Planner
Start your day off by making a to do list outlining exactly what you need to accomplish before finishing work for the day. Set a realistic time frame in which all of that should be completed. Then enjoy the undeniable joy as you check each completed item off.
Pencil Cup & Basic Office Supplies
This seems obvious but how many times have you gotten on that important call and all of a sudden you’re scrambling to find a pen? Keep the basic office supplies organized and on-hand at all times: stapler, post-its, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener, tape, paper clips, scissors, note pad, etc. Traditional offices have them and your home office should too.
Place for Inspiration
While this may not seem necessary, especially for those in less creative fields, having a source of inspiration in your work place is absolutely essential. Inspiration can be anything, family photos, a picture of the dream vacation you’re saving for, or even a quote that you love that motivates you to work. Whatever your inspiration is, make it visible in your workspace as a constant affirmation of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Another good tip is to pin post-it reminders of things you need to remember to do, or people you need to call back. No room for a calender, pin it on a cork board!
Whether you realize it or not, papers will pile up. Bills, files, mail, invoices, you name it. It’s important to keep work documents and supplies neat and organized, and separate from your personal paper accumulation. Shelves, storage boxes, and magazine files are a great way to make what could potentially be a mess look great.
Photo Sources: 1. Lori Gentile Interior Design, 2. Diane Bergeron Interiors, 3. Niche Design, 4. 3 Tok Design Group, 5. Jill Greaves Design, 6. Dana Lauren Designs, 7. Jennifer Pacca Interiors, 8. Michael Fullen Design Group, 9. Caitlin Wilson Design, 10. Brickmoon Design, 11. Margaret Donaldson Interiors, 12. Incorporated, 13. Polsky Perlstein Architects, 14. Going Home to Roost, 15. Pinterest, 16. Martha O’Hara Interiors, 17. Remodelista, 18. transFORM – The Art of Custom Storage, 19. MuseInteriors, 20. Anna Carin Design, 21. Melissa Mercier, 22. Modern Craft Construction, 23. Ed Ritger Photography, 24. IHeart Organizing, 25. The Everygirl, 26. Charlie Barnett Associates, 27. CWB Architects, 28. Armonia Decors, 29. Pinterest, 30. Axis Mundi, 31. Lovejoy Designs, 32. Carlyn And Company Interiors + Design, 33. Viscusi Elson Interior Design, 34. Shawna Feeley Interiors, 35. Maria Killam, 36. The Cross Design, 37. Pinterest, 38. Artthaus, 39. Wentworth Studio, 40. HartmanBaldwin Design|Build, 41. John Lum Architecture, 42. Leslie Goodwin Photography, 43. Sarah Jefferys Design, 44. Smith Firestone Associates, 45. The Inman Company, 46. On My Agenda, 47. Todd Arenson Construction