Having worked from home for the past 5 years, I have created and recreated, what I thought was the perfect home office, in most cases all totally impractical.
To my inexperience eyes I was more inspired by design than practicalities and although my desk looked fantastic sitting in front of the window – the fact that I couldn’t see my computer screen for the light streaming on to it was a bit of a downer – time for another revamp.
I’d hate to count up the number of working hours I’ve lost moving office furniture around in an effort to create the perfect working environment.
Getting the most out of the space available without creating a cluttered mess of cables and filing is no easy task.
One area I did totally neglect were the walls! This is the ideal place for hanging files, put up a few shelves and you’ll have somewhere to put all those essential bits and bobs. Used properly, mirrors are a great way to add the illusion of space, so one or two put up on the walls could add extra light and make a small space look much bigger.
Make sure to take full advantage of the contents of your office. Invest in a filing cabinet, not only will it keep all your paperwork in one place, the top of it (make sure to buy one that’s the right height) can also be used to hold your scanner/printer etc.
Utilizing all the space around you can give extra space for storage that you hadn’t thought about, even a basic computer work station has shelves underneath that can be used to hold extra files.
All being well, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this space so make sure to add some of your own personality to your office, put up some family pictures, get some of your favourite holiday pictures in poster size and hang them on your office walls. Make full use of the storage shelves you put on the walls and add in a few ornaments or your favourite plant.
As you probably do around the rest of your home, choose a basic colour scheme an stick to it, adding in extra colours with some personal finishing touches.
Choosing your office furniture usually always comes down to budget. If you want to minimise your spending and still get the look you’re after take time to surf the internet, don’t forget to take a look at office supply companies, they can supply you with everything you’ll need to set up your home office from paper clips to coffee and everything in between and usually carry a wide range of office furnishings at prices to suit every budget.
When choosing your office furniture, particularly your office chair remember that often what looks amazing may not have adequate support for your back and may not be the correct height for the desk you’ve chosen. The best piece of advice I was given was ‘to be practical’, a small antique style desk would look fantastic but it’s unlikely to have enough desktop space for all your paperwork, team that with a dining room style chair and your on you’re way to a miserable start.
Just remember, what looks amazing in a designer magazine isn’t necessarily the most practical solution for work. It’s likely that you’ll spend many hours sitting at your desk, so if you can, spend a bit more on your chair, ensure it’s comfortable, has an adjustable height (your feet should be able to sit flat on the floor) and that it properly supports your back. After all if it’s not comfortable you’ll not sit on it for long!
When you’re feeling stressed and your day’s got off to a bad start, think about the hours you spent rushing to get the kids off to school before joining the rush hour traffic in an attempt to get to work in time, then STOP, and take a few minutes to yourself and know you’ll work your way through it.
Do you work from home? How do you make the most of the space you have in your office? Comment below and let us know.