Working from home is an ideal situation, but in order to be productive you need a space that fosters efficiency. Consider these design points when building or creating an at-home office:
Are you building an at-home office in an existing space or starting from scratch? If remodeling an existing space, you will have pre-determined dimensions, which may limit your furniture and storage choices. An attic, a finished basement, spare bedroom, oversized closet, or a garage all can be repurposed into an at-home office. Building an addition or a separate structure is also a popular option for homeowners, but may be more expensive, as you have not only the cost of interior elements but the actual structure as well.
Once you have identified where your home office will be built or redesigned, assess the elements needed in your future office space. Here are some must-haves:
Desk: Choose from a variety of shapes and sizes. A computer desk, which is designed specifically for computer work features in-line, U-shaped, or L-shaped shapes is a popular option, while traditional desks (30” d. x 60”) or work tables also provide ample room for organizing and spreading out your work. Also built-in desks, which are made-to-order desk spaces, are great options for irregular shaped rooms, and provide seamless integration in a space.
Computer Chair: Select an office chair that is both comfortable and supportive. Your options range from executive chairs, which are high-backed, leather-clad armchairs used in an office, rolling computer chairs, or ergonomically correct exercise balls or kneeling chairs.
Storage: To keep an uncluttered workspace, the proper storage systems are essential. Typical storage includes: bookshelves, rolling drawers, wall-mounted shelves, file cabinets, bulletin boards, and boxes. Look for a desk that includes shelving, so you can put away supplies and papers.
Flooring: The sky is the limit with your flooring choices in a home office. Unlike home gyms or kitchens, you do not need to worry as much about spills or overuse. Choose from carpet, hardwood floors, laminate, cork, ceramic tile, or bamboo. Keep in mind that if your office chair is on wheels, then make sure to protect your flooring with a plastic floor protector around your desk. Your flooring can guide the overall design aesthetic of a room - so make sure you do your research ahead of time!
Lighting: House and Home Magazine suggests to have good lighting in a workspace to prevent eyestrain and headaches. Multiple light sources are the best bet in a home office.