The latest advice is to work at home where possible, so we look at how you can create a space that’s both beautiful and functional, helping you to concentrate and become as productive as possible during this time. What’s more, if you are thinking of selling your home this could be a key selling point for potential buyers.
Whether your office is part of an existing room due to space restrictions – or you’re lucky enough to have a separate study – your set up needs to take into account demands that differ from when designing a bathroom, bedroom or kitchen. It needs to have a balance of being separate from the home whilst still in keeping with your taste and décor.
To design an office layout, first consider the desk position. Whether it’s against the wall or freestanding, makes sure you have enough room to push the chair back and stand up freely. If possible, put the desk near to a natural light source.
Ensure you have the right size desk to accommodate your desktop computer or laptop in terms of width – it will need to fit your computer plus the items you need alongside it within easy reach, such as a notebook reference books.
Whether your workspace is in a room of its own or you’re using an area of a kitchen, living room or bathroom, you need to consider the proportions of the space as well as orientation, light and architectural features. First assess the space available. Is it possible to work whilst able to see a view from a window? This can enhance your working space and reduce stress. If space allows, choose a comfortable desk and office chair so that you can avoid putting any strain on your back or arms. Thanks to cloud storage and slimline laptops and screens, you should be able to avoid stacks of clutter.
Make sure the area is well-lit so consider a strong desk lamp, wall light or tall floor lamp. It’s important to balance the natural and artificial light so look at adjustable task lighting to provide focused light or a desk-mounted lamp for localized light.
The layout of your home office could depend on how much furniture you need – depending on your profession you may only need a chair or desk, or you could require extra desktop space for equipment such as books, second screen or paperwork. If you require a printer – does this need to be right next to the desk? With wireless technology this could go somewhere else if space is limited.
If your home office setup is part of another room, the office furniture could be situated in the corner of the room, or an alcove. In a bedroom, consider using a screen to section off that part of the room.
If you are planning an office in a different room of a flat, you may want to choose to use carpet as this will offer sound proofing from neighbours, but if you have a chair with wheels, you might prefer a hard floor.
When choosing a desk there is a wide range of choice. If you are in a different part of a room, consider a space saving desk or one that is attached to the wall so that during non-working hours you can fold it away. You could use shelving in place of drawers to keep the floor space clear and retain a sense of space. Your chair is an important investment if you will be working from home for several days a week or full time. There are many options available other than a black or grey office chair.