Guest post contributed by Tony Solomon
One of the perks of having a home office is that you get to decorate it the way you want. Whether it is to create a cozy atmosphere or a professional work environment, or maybe a creative space for brainstorming. There are no limitations as to how you define this space. It should reflect your own image or brand, but ultimately be a place where you feel comfortable and most productive. Without further ado, here are seven tips on how to design your own home office.
Choose Your Lighting Wisely
Letting natural light into your workspace is perhaps the best thing you can do for your focus and overall mood. Large windows and near-transparent curtains or shutters will allow for easy access and subtle shade. Just keep in mind to rotate your desk so the window is positioned to the opposite side of your writing hand. That way, you will not be blocking out the sunlight while you work. But do not neglect artificial lighting either. Choose softer light and avoid neon as it creates an uneasy glow that, paired with your computer screen, can cause eye strain.
No interior design will help with productivity and motivation if you do not build the office for comfort. Spend a little extra on choosing the most comfortable chair you can find. And not the one that makes you fall asleep in it, mind you, but the one that makes you put in the extra hours of the work. Your desk should also be carefully positioned. Besides leg space, you need to be able to rest your forearms comfortably on the edge of the table, parallel to the floor. As for the computer screen, its top should be aligned with your eye line, to avoid eye strain.
Now we come to one of the more “personal” items on the list. The beauty of having a home office is that you get to decorate it in a way that reflects you professionally. If you plan on having clients or guests, you can always set up a small waiting area with some ferns and magazines. If not, you can make a real brainstorming empire with bulletin boards and post-its on your walls. You can also decorate those walls with professional awards and diplomas. Choose décor that will make you proud every time you step through the office door.
Vases full of lush greenery will never go out of style, especially in an office space. They go well with any kind of décor, purify the air, and add a sense of serenity in the workplace. Having a home office is no different – you will want a breath of nature to look at once those stressful calls and emails start flooding in. Getting a snake plant, a peace lily or an English ivy can make your life and office a much more pleasant place. Just make sure to go for your local flora, as exotic plants are breathtaking, but very high maintenance.
When it comes to furniture, while comfort is a priority, so is the impact it has on the overall look of the office. Studying the room, decide what you want to achieve, design-wise. Do you want to go with a spacious office? Then opt for lower furniture whose colors are in stark contrast with the walls. Or maybe you want to give it a cozier look, in which case rounder-edged furniture is a bonus, along with end tables and decorations that complement them. Keep all furniture to a minimum, and depending on whether or not you plan to have clients over.
If your job description includes face-to-face interaction with clients, go out of your way to create a pleasant space for them as well. If at all possible, create a small waiting area in a separate section of the room. Like the typical waiting room, ensure it has Wi-Fi, display stands with magazines of various content, and some eye-catching paintings wall decorations. Creating a professional-looking waiting room is bound to leave a good impression with your clients.
Last, but not least, be smart with your technology. Of course, the choice of your electronics depends on your line of business, but you should always go for the most practical solutions. Having excessive amounts of cables from your laptop, computer, AC, printer, and much more? Find a way to join them in easily manageable groups. Buy a smaller printer and scanner, instead of the bulky ones. Set up Wi-Fi for ease of access in case you have guests. Get a small portable fridge for snacks and cool drinks to avoid frequent trips to the kitchen, and a coffee maker if you drink plenty of it throughout the day.
Having a home office leaves plenty of room for creativity and liberty. However, you will want to maintain a professional look, both for clients and your own productivity. Mindfulness in the choice of overall design, furniture, colors, and electronics can go a long way for your business, even if you are not aware of it at first. Just because you work from home does not mean you cannot feel like a professional at a high-end office building.