The idea of setting up and designing a home office inspires enthusiasm among people who’ve run out of patience with tiring home-to-office commutes and inflexible working hours. In fact, it is expected that 50% of the UK workforce will become remote workers by the end of 2020.
Wonder how to set up a home office? In need of some home office design ideas?
This beginner’s guide will provide many home office ideas and tips to create your ideal work space within your own four walls.
1. Do the homework first
The key to setting up a home office is clarity of thought. You need to be absolutely clear on your work profile and its requirements.
It is very important to identify your needs before you jump into creating your dream workplace. Ask yourself questions like:
- Why do I need this home office?
- How will I be using the remote workplace in the future?
- Do I plan to employ people soon?
- How will I conduct meetings or conference calls?
- What kind of work environment is conducive to me for better productivity?
- What is my budget for setting up a home office? How much money do I have to set-up the home office?
2. Give the location a deep thought
It’s ironic but the location of your home office is very important to get the work environment and productivity quotient correct. Here are some pointers to help you decide on the location of your home office:
- Consider a room or space that is either close to your main door or can be accessed from outside without disturbing the other members of your home.
- If you have kids or infants at home, you may want to consider a room away from the nursery. This ensures that you are not disturbed by unwanted chatter during important calls and meetings. And you may use a mobile-cam to monitor them and ensure their safety.
- Try to plan your remote office away from the kitchen to avoid the urge to snack or eat when not needed
- Go for a room that offers good natural lighting with big windows.
3. Pay the extra penny for business communication systems
A home office or virtual desktop requires its own phone line, internet connection, and communication devices like router, and broadband cabling. It may seem unnecessary during the initial days but as your business picks up you are sure to need a different phone line and internet connection for your work.
4. Furniture is more than just a table and chairs
A lot of people try to save money by buying cheap furniture or worse still using their dining table and chair for their work. Don’t fall for this trap!
Invest in good quality office furniture to improve your productivity as well as protecting yourself from posture-related problems like chronic backache, text-neck syndrome, or even diseases like spondylosis. It’s also advisable to choose eco-friendly home office furniture and gadgets to save energy, money and eventually this planet.
5. Think beyond the desk
A professional office is much more than just a fancy office desk and a swirling chair. Here are some office essentials that you need for your home office when working online:
- Stationary—pens, pencils, folders, staplers, binders.
- Modular cabinets—invest in some good quality folder drawers or modular cabinets to keep clutter organized and out of sight.
- Coffee machine – get a little coffee maker for your workplace. After all, great ideas start with coffee.
- Little refrigerator—a little refrigerator for cold water, healthy juices, cans of cola, and chocolate milk.
6. Pay attention to the décor
The décor of your home office really does matter. Give special importance to the background walls and lighting especially if you have frequent video conferences taking place. Personalise your background with your business logo, tag line, or business details for a smarter way to market your business even while you are doing calls. It also helps to have motivational posters, pictures or slogans up to keep your mindset positive.
7. Plan for contingencies
Business contingencies can occur even if you are working from home. Think in terms of creating a conference space for unexpected clients or an overnighter with team members for an unanticipated deadline, or a child falling sick before an important presentation! Keep space and resources handy for managing such stressful situations better.
8. Security features
While most people think about the safety of their home and loved ones, they may not invest in special safety features for their office space. Don’t rely on home security for your remote work safety.
Work security is different from home safety. Call an expert to install CCTV cameras, a doorbell camera, sensors, money safe, and other safety features in your home office.
Also ensure that your office systems are adequately equipped with security features like—antivirus systems, firewalls, high-quality encryption, VPNs (virtual private network), and corporate filters for attachments and emails. And that confidential files and documents can’t be accessed easily.
9. The right gadgets matter
Any office whether from home or in a commercial building needs sophisticated gadgets. Technology is the backbone of productivity and profitability. Don’t think of technological devices as an expense when you are setting up your home office. They are your investments that will reap big returns!
Go for the bigger screen, better Bluetooth speaker, faster internet service provider, state-of-the-art printer, and superior laptop or desktop system.
10. Some me-time space
One of the greatest benefits of a home office is that it gives you the opportunity to plan a me-time space. Calming exercises like Yoga and meditation help boost your creativity, motivation, and productivity.
How about a calming corner in your home office to do away with stress? A little cozy couch, or beanbag, or rocking chair to read a book or enjoy a cup of coffee before you head back to work. It’s important to still separate work and privacy within your own four walls.
11. Plan for the future
Home offices are conventionally smaller spaces for freelancers and beginners. But let’s not forget that your business is sure to grow. With growth, you need to plan for expansions until you are able to afford a commercial space. Have an expansion plan in mind while you are setting up your remote office to facilitate an easy expansion without disturbing your current setup.
A flexible workplace set up is very essential especially if you are unsure about your work requirements. You may consider easy to use modular furniture, folding furniture, stackable devices to help you better utilise limited space and plan for co-working requirements, as well as portability in the future.
13. Use smart technology
Smart technology is the way to work smarter. Connect your home office with smart technology and enable the features on your mobile phone. Imagine the convenience of starting your heater from your phone when you are returning to your office after picking up your toddler from school! It’s a small price to pay for making your work life better and easier. If you have a team to manage, ensure they all have access to a virtual desktop from anywhere they work for best efficiency.
14. Personalise to match your personality
A home office offers you the luxury to personalise your space, the liberty to design your home office in your own unique style. Try to create your home office decor that is a true reflection of your unique personality!
Be creative! Use your souvenirs, photos, art, coffee-table books, and other memorabilia to spice up your work space. Save money and add a personal touch.
15. Take The Help Of Motivation-Boosters
Research shows that plants and colour therapy are an important part of workplace productivity. They are inexpensive albeit tried and tested ways of ensuring that your creative juices keep flowing.
Add indoor plants to give your home office a living and lively vibe. If you are looking for colour choices, here are some pointers to keep in mind while choosing the right colour for your décor:
- Blue: represents intellect, logic, productivity, and concentration.
- Red: represents excitement, vibrancy, and spontaneity.
- Green: represents nature, tranquility, and harmony.
- Yellow: represents confidence, positivity, and emotions.
- Grey: represents neutrality and objectivity.
- Orange: represents warmth, coziness, and comfort.
- Purple: represents royalty, luxury, and spirituality.
Remember your home office is all about you and your work. Give it your personal touch and enjoy your work life to the fullest.