Recently I’ve put together a list of things I look for when we’re developing an office space for someone’s home. It was published in the Sunday edition of THE SEATTLE TIMES. You don’t want to miss out on these great tips.
The image above of the lovely home office is by Gina Sims Designs – I love the accent wall, and happy colors. Photography by Cati Teague Photography for Gina Sims Designs.
I’m sure you’ll find some good bits in the article…
6 STEPS TO CREATING A HAPPY HOME OFFICE
Working from home can be challenging, but having a dedicated workspace that is well set up, can make all the difference. Your aim should be to make it functional and appealing. A welcoming workspace will get you in the right mindset, and a practical space will assure that your day is productive. Here are a few tips to help you achieve this:
HAVE THINGS AT YOUR FINGER TIPS
A well-organized workspace is essential to being productive. Make sure everything you need is within reach, and that the things you use most often are close at hand. If you regularly have to reference project folders, have them easily accessible and filed in a way that is quick and simple to find. There is nothing that breaks your speed quite as much as having to get up to find a document in the basement.
KEEP IT NEAT
A home office can easily become the dumping ground for unopened mail and odd items that will be “dealt with later”. It is hard to stay focused and be productive when you are squashed between piles of clutter. Make sure everything has a place with the right kind of storage around your desk. Think how you can use vertical space for shelving, and invest in storage containers for loose items.
TIP: Sort, file, and discard all paper mail immediately – it takes less time than you think. At the end of every day, tidy your desk – you’ll be glad tomorrow morning.
FIND THE RIGHT SPOT
The ideal location for your home office is a room with a window for natural light, and a door that you can close to shut out noise. If you don’t have a dedicated office space, think how you can convert an unused guest bedroom, or a quiet corner.
Your home office should be a place that you can leave at the end of the day and “go home” to enjoy your private life, preferably out of sight so that you are not tempted to finish something, or check your emails. The worst home offices are bedrooms or kitchens.
CONTROL THE LIGHT
The thing most people crave in an office is natural light and a view of the outdoors. This is by no means arbitrary – studies have shown that natural light increases our performance and significantly improves health and wellness. Augment this with soft general lighting against the ceiling, and a desk lamp to illuminate your hands. Make sure all lights are adjustable and dimmable.
TIP: Position and tilt your monitor to prevent glare from the window and other light points.
GET THE RIGHT FURNITURE
Before you rush out to get one of those instant computer desks, think about how you work and what you need. The desk should be large enough for your computer as well as a notepad and some stationary. Look for a chair that is adjustable and supports your back. Most people find a footrest helpful to keep a good posture.
TIP: Regularly check you posture. Keep your elbows tucked in, your chin parallel to floor, and your monitor at eye level.
Take the time to make you room comfortable and inspiring. Paint one of the walls in a color that makes you happy, and hang some artwork. A colorful rug will brighten up the space, and help with noise reduction. Add a beautiful pot plant – they’re known to reduce stress, help us focus, and keep us healthy.
Hope you found these ideas helpful. Now have a look at your workspace – I’m sure there’s something you can do to make it great.
If you need help make your space more special, let me know.
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