Home offices are all the rage, with covid changing the face of the workplace. It’s safe to say that working from home is assured to play a part in the new normal for those of us that once worked in an office – why not make it the ideal space and a place you actually want to spend your days. There are plenty of very simple ways to enhance your new home office space to better your comfort and even your output without breaking the bank in the process.
Pick the space wisely…
Many who start down the road of installing a home office are quick to choose an already freed space within their home. That might include the rarely used spare room or an empty nook in the corner of the living room. These options are great until you have guests come to stay or the school holidays come around. If you have unused or unutilised spaces such as an attic, basement or garage, these can also be made into the perfect office space. Sure, they may take that little bit extra work and could require a little insulation or paver sealer, not to mention the prospect of clearing out the garage can be more than daunting. However, you’ll likely find it was worth it in the long run. Something to remember when designing this space is the amount of time you will be spending there, the level of focus that it will require and how many distractions you risk. If you’re not fortunate enough to have these spaces available, you might find that it is worth prioritising your office space over other uses. Taking the time to ensure you’ve made the optimal choice will go a long way to ensuring comfortability and productivity.
Design before décor
Don’t get so enthusiastic that you overlook the basics. If it isn’t already empty, empty your new office space. Get a proper understanding of the size and possibilities it affords. Play around in your head with where you see bits of furniture going. Perhaps a little research on interior design or feng shui. The simple things can go a long way – pick out a nice colour and throw up a lick of fresh paint. If the carpets need a clean, pull out that steam cleaner. In case the floors are wooden? Go to town with that wooden floor cleaner, polish and tung oil to revive the floor. It may not be a new room to you as part of your home; it is a new office space. You should take the time to really make it yours. Don’t leave those walls bare. Maybe it’s posters or a priceless piece of art – make sure the skeleton of your workplace is pleasing before you start to think of furnishings.
This is also a great time to start the personalisation process. The age-old practice of bringing photos of your family to work for your desktop or pasting the kindergarten pictures your children, nieces or nephews have gifted you might feel a little redundant in your new office space, but the more you can make the space feel like a workplace, the higher your levels of focus are likely to be. Bring that feeling of what you are used to where you can – perhaps go all out with a timber feature wall or dartboard cabinet to add that extra touch of style. You’ll be spending a large chunk of your life here; hence it’s worth that extra time and effort.
Fill it with furniture – less or more?
First things first, start with the obvious. You’re going to need a desk. Perhaps this means a trip to an antique store to invest in a chunky old-school beauty or simply a trip to the local furniture store; whatever fits your style and budget will do the trick. One thing to be careful of is the size of the desk you go for. Much like the three bears in the tale of Goldilocks, you don’t want one too big, and you don’t want one too small; you need one that is just right. Unnecessarily large, and you’ll be wasting valuable space, too small, and you’ll feel cluttered and cramped – you’ll know it when you see it. Next comes your chair. Of all the office chairs Australia has to offer, no one can deny that ergonomic desk chairs are the superior option. It can be a little extra cash – discussing this with your Human Resource department might be beneficial as businesses are increasingly becoming more concerned about supporting the wellbeing of their employees. Please remember – making this investment will go a long way for your comfort on all those long days at your desk.
With the no-brainers out of the way, you have time to bulk it out with some aesthetics or functional extras. Perhaps you require lots of paper documents and time to install a state-of-the-art filing system – you have the space after all. Got books? Installing some built-in bookshelves is a perfect way to save on space without compromising on storage.
With all the design aspects out of the way, it’s time to add your finishing touches. Think about whether you’ll need to install a phone line? Perhaps a second screen? Time to find homes for all your work-related technology. Depending on what kind of room your office winded up being in, you may need to stock up on power boards.
With your gadgets out of the way, it is time to prettify. As you want to make this space, you’ll be spending so much of your time in one that is comfortable and inviting; put down a fluffy rug or pop a nice blanket over the back of your chair. Make the space your own; it is still your home after all. Don’t underestimate the power of placing some lamps around the room – perfect for that extra bit of lighting on darker days (especially if you find yourself in the garage or basement). On that same note, bring a bit of nature to your new office. Nothing quite like a well-placed plant to bring a bit of green and that extra boost of oxygen. Top tip – go for a low-maintenance one that fits the sunlight capabilities of your space; the last thing you need is a dead plant on your hand.
And just like that, you’re done. Slump down in your new chair and admire your handy work!