With a sudden surge in the number of self-employed people (in the UK it has risen from 3.8 million in 2008 to over 4.6 million in 2017) and affordable office spaces to rent becoming scarce, more and more of us are deciding to work from home.
A home office can be both practical and much cheaper than renting an office space and paying another lot of utility bills. As home offices can come in all shapes and sizes, some have wondered how to create their own perfect workspace at home that is both comfortable but practical. Below are some home office design ideas to help you create your perfect home working environment.
The best way to start is to think of a theme or look you want to achieve in your home office. Do you want it to be retro or cool and contemporary? Bright and cheerful or calm and relaxed? Once you have an idea in mind it will make finding pieces for your office easier.
Here are some things that no home office should be without:
- Office desk
- Good lighting
- Office chair
- Filing system
Aside from the obvious reasons for having a desk e.g. somewhere to put your computer, sitting at a desk can help you maintain good posture throughout the day whilst working on your computer, and it may also help productivity as some have suggested that simply by sitting at a desk rather than a sofa, it makes them more focused on their work and more likely to take their work seriously.
This one deserves some serious consideration. You will need to think about the type of things you want out of your computer. Do you need it to be portable so you can take to meetings with clients etc? If so, would a netbook be sufficient or do you prefer a bigger screen and more functionality that you get with a laptop? Do you need to be able to draw great designs on your computer or will it mainly be for checking/sending emails, Word documents, internet browsing etc.? Below are some of the best depending on what type of computer would be best for your business.
With its light and compact design, the Asus Chromebook is perfect if you need something that’s easily portable.
This Mac is also easily portable and is built to do everything at lightning speed, whether it’s editing photos or browsing the internet.
Perfect for printing off important proposals, research and invoices, a good printer is a definite must have. The Canon SELPHY CP1000 Photo Printer is worth a look.
A good telephone is essential, but can also be used as a statement piece for your office. If you will be using a telephone a lot throughout the day, you may want to invest in a good hands-free headset to save you from getting a crick in the neck or a hot ear. Check out the Wild Wood 746 French Telephone – Blue
as seen below. If you are making your business number widely known on your website, marketing materials etc. you may also wish to list the number on the Corporate TPS register to stop unwanted cold calls. You can do so here: http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/whatiscorporatetps.html
This is so important. Not only to help you see what you’re doing better, but good lighting has been shown to also help mood and reduce the effects of computer eye strain. When choosing which room to use as your office, try using one that has plenty of windows. If this is not an option, however, invest in good quality lighting to really lighten up your office.
A good office chair is a must, regardless of how long you’re expecting to be sat at your desk each day. It’s important to make sure that your chair is the right height for your desk to ensure good posture is maintained. It is recommended that the height of your chair should be adjusted so that your feet are flat on the floor and if you choose a reclining office chair, that this should be reclined at a 100-110 degree angle. If you know you will be sitting for long periods of the day, then a chair with an adjustable or good lumber support is essential.
More and more companies nowadays know the importance of making your desk your own personal space, which only makes sense given that employees typically spend around nine hours per day, five days a week sat at one. So why not do the same for your home office? This could be in the forms of artwork above or on your desk, photographs, plants etc. anything that makes you feel happier or more comfortable whilst you’re sat there.
No office would be complete without somewhere to store all of your important documents, invoices etc so now may be the time you want to establish a good filing system so nothing goes awry.
Need more inspiration?
Then have a look at some real examples of home offices…