Home Office Ideas to Help You be More Productive
Working from home comes with a lot of benefits. Aside from the fact that you don’t have to encounter traffic jams on your daily commute to work, working from home allows you to be able to spend more quality time with your loved ones.
But just like with a traditional office setting, you cannot expect good quality of work if your surroundings are chaotic. Therefore, it’s important that you design your home office well. A well-organized and cozy home office is a place that you sure would want to spend the most of your time every day. So here’s a comprehensive article to guide you in creating a charming yet functional home office space, and you don’t even need to do a major remodel.
Are You Dealing With a Small Space?
Just because you live in a condo or an apartment with very small spaces does not mean that you cannot come up with your own office at home. Despite of the limited space, it is definitely possible to create a cozy and comfortable office space. Here are some clever ideas to help you with this.
- Under the Stairs – if you have stairs at home, then take advantage of the space underneath it by converting it into a fully functional office space. Simply add a floating shelf than can serve as your working desk. Hang a corkboard into the wall that you can use to clip important reminders and notes. The front of the shelf can be opened with hinges that can hide the pile of paperwork.
- Corner Office – do not overlook the corners when looking for a suitable space for your home office. Simply add a corner desk on it to effectively hide the workspace. It can also blend well into the room. Otherwise, install a small traditional desk in the space and use it as room feature that will also double as a work desk. You don’t need to spend a lot of money for the desk. Visit a flea market and look for a vintage style corner desk that you can repurpose for a corner work desk.
- Modern and Minimal – using white office furniture is a good idea if you have a limited space for your home office. A white desk that’s paired with a white office chair is a smart strategy. The furniture will not add too much visual that could make the space feel claustrophobic. Furthermore, the clean lines of the white modern desk and chair can help to make your home office feel airy and light.
- Closet Office – if you have an unused closet in your bedroom, convert this into an office area. Simply install elegant wallpaper on the wall to pretty up the small space. Install shelving in the middle that will be used as your desk. If you want to conceal the area when not in use, hang a tension rod with curtains.
Creating the Right Design
If you choose to work from home, then it would be a great idea to create a home office. This should be a separate room in your house that’s intended only for the purpose of working. It should allow you to work comfortably and concentrate on finishing your tasks on time. So here are some tips when it comes to designing your home office space.
- Analyze your requirements – depending on the kind of job that you do, list down the things that you will need for your home office. Perhaps, you need a desktop, fax machine, and other office supplies. Knowing your requirements ahead can help you in easily planning the design and layout of your office space.
- Personalize it – one of the best things about working at home is that you have the freedom to work within your comfort zone. So take advantage of this by customizing your office space depending on your personal preferences. Include a TV and other entertainment devices if you want to. Just make sure that these things will not distract you while working.
- Location matters – you will most likely be spending a lot of time in your office, so make sure you choose a location that you will feel comfortable working. Moreover, consider the traffic flow in the space as well as your ability to withstand distractions. If you will be expecting clients to visit, then consider that as well. You should have an entrance area where your clients can directly access your office without having to get inside your house.
- Invest on a great office chair – remember that you will be spending several hours working in your home office every single day. In fact, you might be working until the wee hours, if needed. Thus, you need a comfortable office chair that will allow you to work longer hours without hurting your back.
- Paint the walls – you should put color in the walls to somehow entice you to finish your tasks. But you do not need to settle with light or neutral colors. A good idea would be to paint it wit bright and cheery colors such as neon orange and lime green. If you want a calming environment, go for ocean blue or botanical green.
IKEA is a well-known furniture company that does a great job at merging practicality with great design. Thus, when it comes to decorating your home office, it would make a lot of sense to choose IKEA for your furniture pieces. The company offers a wide range of home office furniture that will be suitable to your own personality and design preferences. Here are some ideas to consider.
- Stick to a color palette – in order for the space not to look cluttered, stick to a color palette when decorating. For instance, you can focus on the use of black and white colors and include natural elements such as the KALLAX Shelf unit from Ikea that has a walnut texture. This design will result in a classic but well sophisticated look.
- Show off your work history – you don’t need to hide your work away. Go ahead and make it visible in your home office. A great way to work on display is to come up with a backdrop on the wall that’s behind the desk. You can hang pictures in different sizes. You can then stack boxes and books in front of the wall to provide some height and have smaller decorative items sitting above, such as the white FILLSTA table lamp from IKEA.
- Multiple workspaces – you do not really need to sit on the same area whenever you work from home. You can come up with multiple workspaces for different tasks in your home. For instance, you can have a spacious work area on that area beside a wall of storage. You can then allocate the other side for a sitting area where you can hold meetings. If you are short of space, install a compact desk on one corner of the space, such as the MICKE desk from IKEA. You can combine this desk with other Ikea desks and drawers in the MICKE series.
Look what can be done with IKEA
Decorating Your Space
One of the biggest challenges you will face when it comes to decorating your home office is in coming up with the right environment. It’s important that the interiors are cozy and comfortable and the room should be able to serve the purpose that it is mainly intended for. Here are some interesting ideas that can help you in decorating your home office.
- Color schemes – the first thing you need to do when it comes to decorating is to choose the right color for the walls. Home offices usually have small spaces, and thus, it would be best to avoid dark colors so as not to make the space feel suffocating. Go for the brighter shades of lime, lemon and orange. Make sure however that the shade you will be choosing is something that you are comfortable with and will not hurt your eyes in any way.
- Furniture- the furniture should be based on your own personal requirements. Avoid crowding the space with too much furniture. Focus only on what’s necessary such as the desk, comfortable office chair, filing cabinet and perhaps, a bookcase. To allow better mobility, choose the desk that comes with rollers. With this design, you can have your desk placed beside the window and then move it near the fireplace when winter comes.
- Never sacrifice form for functionality – the shelves, desk and storage must serve you well, instead of the other way around. Think of your workflow and consider what items you need right in your fingertips before you start investing for furniture. It’s important that the space will also complement with the other rooms in your house. If your theme is traditional, then go for furniture pieces that exude warmth and comfort. You can also have a love seat placed in one corner or some comfy chairs especially if you will be entertaining some customers and clients. A contemporary designed space can also feature stylish and modern designed furniture pieces.
- Give yourself a good view – position your desk beside a window where you can stare at the scenic views when looking at your computer, instead of a blank space in your wall. This also allows you to enjoy the natural light that your window provides. However, if you are not fortunate enough to have a window in your space, consider hanging a pretty picture on that wall right in front your desk.
Getting the Best Desk
Some people who work at home would rather choose to work at a dining table instead of investing on a reliable desk. This may be fine at the start, but eventually, you will realize that it can get chaotic and uncomfortable to be working in a table that’s actually intended for eating. You should have a reliable desk that’s made specifically for working and here are some ideas to consider.
- Double duty – if you are short of space, consider the use of a hefty storage cabinet that doubles as a desk. A traditional desk will just take up a lot of space in your room. But with a double purpose cabinet, you can use the storage areas underneath for keeping paperwork, important documents, books and other office supplies.
- Desk with a view – set your desk and chair right in front of your window. This way, you can enjoy the stunning view outside while working. Fill the empty corner with a tall bookcase and make sure you keep the rest of the furniture in sync. They should match with the existing furniture pieces. For instance, you can have a white lacquer desk that will blend seamlessly with the neutral colored walls.
- Go bold – if you want to give your space more color, go for a bright colored desk. But make sure that it matches with the color schemes of the room. Keep it fun, cool and invigorating. Another great idea is to keep everything white, while the desk can go bright red or other bold colors.
- Flower power – if the room does not have a window that overlooks a lovely view, then do something on the blank walls. Install floral patterned wallpaper that can help to prettify the space. Then prop your desk against the floral wall along with a slim office chair.
- Great wall – if you are lacking some space in your office, a bare wall can be an asset. Install floating shelves into one area of the wall, and use the bottom shelf as your desk. The shelves above can be used to keep documents and other office supplies. This is a practical way of breaking up the blank space in a bright colored wall.
Making it Appealing to Men
If you’re a guy working at home, you can decorate your home office in various styles and designs, depending on your personal preferences. You can opt for a minimalist, classic and modern theme. Include masculine features such as squared pattern, dark colors, animal skins, leather furniture and many more. Here are more ideas you can take inspiration from.
- Textured wall – one way to give character to your office space is through the walls. You can choose to paint the wall in a fun color then cover it in wood or stone. Decorate the space with posters, artwork and other collectibles. You can focus on earth tones when it comes to the furniture, giving the space a warm and cozy feel.
- Floating shelves – one of the best ways to spruce up your blank wall is to install floating shelves. And what better way to decorate the shelves than displaying your collection of miniature cars? The use of shelves is a simple way to dapper up your blank space and display things that remind you of your favorite hobby. These are things that could make you feel happy and motivate you to work hard even more.
- Animal print rug – you should maintain a perfect blend of personality and professionalism when decorating your office. An animal print rug would look great in your hardwood office floor. If animal prints don’t fancy you, then go for the classic designs. Perhaps, you can have a single toned carpet or a Persian style rug placed right in the middle of the room.
- Art pieces – another way to decorate the wall is to hang your favorite art collections. This will surely liven up the look of your home office. If you are into painting, then hang your favorite artwork right above your office desk or on that wall behind you when you are sitting on your chair. But do not just limit yourself to art pieces and paintings. There are several other decorative pieces that you can hang on the wall, something that exudes your own personality and style.
- Plants – another way to brighten up your office is to decorate some plants. This is also a great way to bring in nature into the space. If you do not have the luxury of time to water the plants, you can opt for succulents and cactus. These plants do not require a lot of maintenance. Plus, they do not produce any colorful blooms, so they are a perfect component to your masculine office.
- Get personal – one of the benefits of working at home is that you can decorate your office with whatever you want. Consider decorating the space with things that say a lot about you. For instance, if you are into golf, then hang some of your trophies on the shelf or use your gears for decorating.
Focusing on the Women
If you are a woman working at home full time or you just want to have an extension of your office at home, decorating your home office should be easy. There are lots of feminine decorative pieces that you can infuse into the space. You just have to make sure that they blend well with each other. So here are some interesting ideas to follow for your own workspaces at home.
- Accent wall – if you don’t fancy the use of patterned wallpaper on your office wall, then consider an accent wall. You can have pink abstract wallpaper installed on that wall behind your desk. Leave the rest of the wall painted in white. The pink wallpaper gives a feminine punch to the plain white modern designed desk. You can then mount an overhead storage cabinet up above the wall to squeeze in some office files.
- Floral wallpaper – if you’re one of those women who love anything floral, then start by decorating the wall of your office with floral patterned wallpaper. You can choose to cover the entire wall with it, or just a portion of the wall. Include floral accents on the room as well. This can be in the form of a floral upholstered couch or perhaps a floral cabinet. Just make sure not to overdo the use of floral patterns as it could make the space look tacky.
- Color story – if you want to give your space lots of colors, decorate it in such a way that it will look colorful. In fact, the use of color is also a great way to differentiate the space. If you are going to work with your significant other side by side, then stay consistent with the style of furniture that you will use for both desks. However, use different colors to define the space and give it some personality. For instance, you can have a bright pink office chair in your side of the space while he can have a powder blue chair of similar design. Do the same thing for the wall, cabinet and the desk.
- Bedtime routine – sometimes, it would be practical to have your office inside your bedroom. Gone are the days when the bedroom is used only for sleeping. Whether you are short of space or you just find it best to have your office in your bedroom, installing a desk and a comfy chair beside your bed is the best way to go. But make sure you blend the furniture with that of your bedding as well. Soothing color palettes, such as a rose-colored chair can go well with your light pink quilt. A dark colored desk can blend with a dark colored side table. Proper color coordination can help to make your work zone feel like an extension of your sleeping area.
Organization the Space
For those who work at home, staying organized may not be one of your priorities. After all, there will not be a boss who could reprimand you for having a disorganized space. But isn’t it more comfortable to be working in a clutter-free and organized environment? In fact, experts believe that people who are more organized are more productive and efficient at their tasks. So here’s your guide to keeping your working space at home fully organized.
- Purge paper – it’s easy for papers to pile up on your desk as time goes by. So get full control of the clutter before it will take over your entire space. Check each and every piece of paper that’s lying on your desk and depending on their importance, you can toss, shred or file them neatly. Arrange all of the important paperwork in a filing system that’s color-coded.
- Use storage containers – keep all of your supplies in a storage container so they will not be visible in your desk. If you don’t have any storage container, you can store them in baskets, bins and drawers. Keeping them out of sight is a great way to give your office a neat and clutter-free look.
- Invest on label makers – invest on a label maker that you can use to label your files, boxes and drawers. This is an easy way to organize your desk. The use of label also helps to make it easier for you to find things when the time comes that you need them urgently.
- Categorize – one of the easiest ways to organize your space is by categorizing things or by grouping similar items together. Doing so can help to make your space become even more efficient and functional. For instance, you can allocate a drawer for all tools and supplies. Another would be for things that will go to the mail and perhaps, use another drawer for extra papers. This will not only lead to a clutter-free environment but it also helps to make your job much easier and faster.
If You’re on a Budget, Read These Tips
Contrary to what some people thought, coming up with your own office space at home does not need to be expensive. Besides, one of the reasons why some people will choose to have their own office at home is to save money. If you are one of them, here are some ideas on how to build an office at home on a budget.
- Keep it simple – a lot of people tend to recreate a corporate atmosphere in their home office by spending a lot of money on furniture and fixtures, accessories and several unnecessary gadgets. You will be amazed at how much you could save on cost if you choose to go simple. This means investing only on things that are necessary.
- Consider rentals – if your office is just temporary, then renting some of your furniture and equipment might be a more practical solution. There are companies that offer short term and long-term rental on chairs, tables and other office furniture. This can surely lead to significant savings.
- Opt for the cheaper brands – unless you are in the business where customers and clients have to visit your home office, you do not really need to invest on the most expensive brands of office furniture. There are lots of cheaper brands in the market that are as stylish and functional as the branded ones. You can also visit flea markets and thrift stores where you can scout for secondhand office equipment and furniture that cost less than half of the brand new ones.
- Choose a nice spot – it’s important that you choose the right location for your home office. In fact, choosing a spot that receives plenty of natural light is a great way to save on electric bills. A spot that’s secluded from the rest of the areas in your home is the perfect place for your home office.
- Plan your purchases – coming up with a detailed list of all the necessary supplies that you need is a great way to save time and money when shopping for your home office’s needs. If possible, consider ordering supplies in bulk. This will surely save you money in the long run.
Getting the Right Furniture
Aside from being stylish, your home office should also be completely functional. Thus, the furniture must be planned well and in accordance to your office decor. Of course, it should be something that reflects your personality and style. To guide you with, here are some ideas to consider when choosing the furniture for your home office.
- Desk with storage – it’s a good idea to choose a desk that comes with several storage spaces. It should feature a flat surface that will serve as your work area and there should be plenty of storage spaces underneath. It should be well comfortable of accommodating your computer, keyboard, CPU and other components. If you need a phone, then the desk should be able to accommodate this as well.
- Built-in storage – if you have a small space, then you can benefit from the use of built-in storage. You can perhaps create a window seat that comes with storage underneath, or perhaps, attach storage cubes and bookshelves on the wall. These storage options will not require any extra space in your office, and thus, it can work well for those with very small spaces.
- Use existing furniture – if you are not permanently settled on your home office location just yet, look for a room that comes with existing furniture that you can reuse for your home office. For instance, if you have an extra room that comes with built-in cabinet and storage, take advantage of these and have your office in that room instead. This will save you both time and money.
- Consider DIY – if you are handy enough and blessed with some creative skills, then you can save money by building your own office furniture. But keep in mind that doing this will require a lot of time from your part, so if you’re a busy entrepreneur, then the DIY route may not be for you.
- Take advantage of the corners – this is another idea that can work well for those with small spaces in their home. In this case, look for corner desks, corner racks and shelving. There are even chairs and office lounges that are designed to fit in the corner. Invest on any of these furniture pieces in order to take advantage of all the available corners in your home office.
Which Colors to Choose
The key to coming up with a perfect home office space is in choosing the right color schemes. Begin by thinking how you are going to use your office every single day and what are the challenges that you could face. Whether your goal is to work with more focus or to come up with a more creative working space, here are some of the best recommendations when it comes to your choice of color.
- Peach – orange is a color that is known to infuse lots of energy into the space. But having a bright orange wall for your office may not be a good idea. Instead, go for the more saturated peach color for your wall. You can then accent the space with peach and orange furniture and fixtures to give it a more stimulating environment without overpowering you.
- Blue – your desire for a calm and serene working environment can be made possible with the use of blue color. And although blue is indeed relaxing, opting for the soothing blue green shade might be a much better option. The combination of blue and green hues can help to keep the energy in the space flowing without losing the sense of comfort and serenity.
- Red – the shades of red is both hot and energetic. Choosing this color for your office can help to boost the perception of heat in your room. However, an all-red office may not be comfortable for the eyesight. Using a fiery red shade as accent might be a much better option. You can combine red with all kinds of wood for your furniture and some white or black accent. Define the space by painting warm neutrals on your wall, floor or ceiling.
- Teal – if you want a creative and stylish office space, go for the less common choice of color, which is teal. You can have the entire wall painted in teal and accessorize the space with printed floral and bright colored fabric. Teal can make for a perfect backdrop for a crisp white desk and can help to make the dark colored fixtures to stand out even more.
- Beige – if you want your space to be simple with less furniture and equipment, then go for the beige color. This is a perfect choice for traveling professionals, where they can use the office as a docking space and with fewer distractions as possible. Peachy beige is ideal for women who want to infuse feminine accents into their space. It also helps to keep the room warm and comfortable and prevents you from getting bored in doing routinely tasks.
Combining it With a Guest Room
Except if you are hosting guests more frequently and have plenty of space in your house to spare, it may be a smart idea to make your home office double as a guest room. This idea can work well for those who only have one extra room in their house and needs a space where they can work and host overnight guests at the same time. When it comes to this, here are some ideas you may find useful.
- Modern daybed – if you want a sleeker version of the usual guest bed, opt for a low profile and modern designed daybed. At daytime, the bed can serve as a lounge chair, which provides more functionality to a home office. When nighttime comes, the desk can be wheeled away and the lounge can be converted into a bed to provide guests a cozy and comfortable space to sleep in.
- Platform storage bed – a custom made platform bed that provides enough storage space on its compartments down below is a perfect furniture for a home office that doubles as guest room. The sturdy base of the bed can be used as a frame for a traditional mattress or Japanese futon. Along with a slender built-in shelf on the other side of the wall, this idea is perfect for those who want to make their narrow room feel even more spacious and serene.
- Over the bed cabinets – in order to allow more storage into your home office guest room without the need to skimp on a real bed, you may want to install wall-to-wall upper cabinet on the space. For instance, you can have a slim desk that provides ample work area under the cabinets on one side of the room. On the other side, install a comfortable and relaxing bed for your overnight guests to sleep in.
- Guest loft – mezzanine levels are a bit tricky to design and furnish, most especially for a sleeping area, since guests would prefer to have some privacy. The best solution when it comes to this is to install floor to ceiling drapes, which you can simply pull shut if guests will be sleeping over. A sleek and narrow shaped sofa bed is a great idea for the sleeping area. It does not take up a lot of space and provides for a comfortable and relaxing place to sit, relax and sleep, while leaving the opposite side of the wall free for the work desk and chair.
Giving it an Executive Feel
An executive home office should be both functional and stylish. Although it is located in your home, it should also exude formality especially if you are expected to entertain clients from time to time. So here are some ideas to successfully create an executive office right at the comfort of your home.
- Allow enough sunlight – there should be enough sunlight into the room. Thus, installing a large window can work best for your office space. But even if you go for a large window, you should still be able to enjoy some privacy in your office. In this case, consider the use of frosted glass panels. Sliding window panels are also a great idea since they will not only provide you with enough privacy, but also creates a dimensional illusion to the space.
- Use the corner of the room for furniture – one way to make the room appear even bigger than it really is would be to take advantage of the corner spaces. Install wooden corner desk to give the room a more elegant look. Furthermore, the heavy lines from the wooden furniture will provide a beautiful contrast to the light window treatment.
- Stylish and functional decors – when decorating your executive office, choose furniture and fixtures that are not only stylish, but decorative as well. There should be enough space in the desk to accommodate a computer and a separate desk that can be used for the printer, scanner and fax machines, if necessary.
- Luxury leather – if you want to give the space a more luxurious feel, then use leather textures. Aside from a leather office chair, you can also have a leather finished bookcase and a matching desk. As for the rest of the decors, stick to the white color to soften up the leather texture.
- Floor to ceiling shelves – shelves must be an integral part of your executive office. Built-in shelves that are floor to ceiling are a great idea. They will not only save space, but will also help to make the room even more functional and stylish. Use column frames made of glass to give your shelves a whole new look. Open shelves can be decorated with flowers, framed photos and other decorative pieces.
Things You Can do DIY
One of the best ways to save money on your home office decorating is to do it yourself. This could mean building your own furniture and fixtures, creating your own layout, and buying your own supplies and resources. If you are artistic enough and you have the luxury of time, then a DIY home office is definitely possible. Here are some great ideas to help you get started.
- Use your wall space – you can make the walls more functional by simply mounting a whiteboard, corkboard and a magnetic surface on it. Use that space to pin work schedules, important notes, to do lists, calendars, memos and even photos. You can do this at that wall right in front of your work desk.
- Use bookcases as desk – you can use bookcases topped with an old door or any wooden panel as a desk. The low bookcases will provide for enough storage that can help to clear clutter off your desk. If you are using a wooden panel, consider painting it in a color that matches with the bookcases underneath.
- Pot lid holder – your work desk might be filled with heaps of paperwork and other important documents. The most practical way to organize them is by using a pot lid holder. You can get an extra holder from your kitchen and place it on top of your desk. Arrange your paperwork in it, along with folders, books and magazines. A wooden pot lid holder can also be painted to match with the rest of the decors in your office space.
- Cereal box as dividers – your desk drawer is probably a mess, thanks to those small office supplies, wires and other items. The best way to organize your drawer is to use cereal boxes that are covered with colorful wrapping paper. You can use the boxes as dividers where you can arrange items by category. For instance, you can use one box to keep all your pins, and another box for staple wires, etc.
- Food tins as penholder – before you decide to throw out those empty tins from cookies, tea and coffee, you may want to consider recycling it for your office desk. You can use these tins in keeping your collections of pens. Place it on top of your desk so it is easier to reach for the pen when you need to write something.
Ensuring You Have Good Lighting
You cannot be productive if you can barely see the things you are working on. Thus, when it comes to decorating your office at home, you should also take utmost consideration on the type of lighting to use. It should be both functional and stylish, and above all, it should be able to illuminate the entire space. Here are some lighting ideas to consider.You cannot be productive if you can barely see the things you are working on. Click To Tweet
- Natural lights – if you want to save money on your electricity, then focus on the use of natural lights for your office space. This is especially true if you will be working mostly during the day. If possible, opt for floor to ceiling windows to allow plenty of light to come in. Use light window treatments to usher in more light in a more controlled fashion.
- Play with angles – sometimes, the best approach to lighting is to play with angles. In fact, a large part on how you use natural light should depend on the task that you are going to do in your home office. For instance, if you are a designer or an architect who will be working on sheets and paper, then fill your space with a flood of natural light. A great idea is to alight the work desk in the south or north directions. That way, the natural light will not create any shadow at any time of the day.
- Right ambient light – if it will not be possible to allow enough natural light to get into your space, then using artificial lights would be absolutely necessary. Overhead lighting is often the most basic aspect of ambient lighting and a lot of times, you may already have some recessed lights in the house that can handle this job. You may also consider installing additional light sources to provide more illumination to the space and add to the ambient lights.
- Task lighting – task lights are an important part of any office space. Regardless of the type of job that you do, the use of task lighting is a great idea. It helps to ensure that you get your work done in the best possible illumination. These days, you will find a wide range of task lighting that is both trendy and functional.