12 January 2017

6 essential tips on designing your home office

With the rising trend in remote working, flexi-time, and distributed teams, many entrepreneurs and their team members find the prospect of having a home office exciting.

A home office can offer great comfort and efficiency, but with poor design, your home office might not be conducive to productivity. Here are six essential factors to consider when doing your own home office or study area:


1. Keep your workflow in mind.

Think about the type of work that you do and the nature of your job. Ask yourself these questions:


  • Will I be collaborating with co-founders and colleagues?
  • Will clients, suppliers, and/or vendors visit the office?
  • What type of equipment will I use everyday?
  • What time of the day will you be occupying your home office?
  • Will I be video conferencing to stay connected?


Remember, your home office design should make your work easier. Establish the purpose of the office and how work is done is an integral part of the office design.


2. Install good lighting.

Good lighting is essential in any office. There should be a good balance of natural daylight and task lighting. Generally, it is ideal to let in as much natural daylight as possible. The amount of daylight that can enter into your office space will depend on your geographical location, the orientation of your house, and window placement and size.

If your home office is not optimised for these factors, an architect can help you make adjustments to your space and give you advice on lighting options. Consider using task lighting fixtures that have dimmer switches so that you can control lighting levels when you are not relying on daylight.


3. Stay ergonomic to avoid fatigue.

Do everything to keep your body comfortable while you work. The goal of office ergonomics is to set up your office work space so that it fits you and the job you are doing. Find a good chair and table. Collaborate with a designer on the placement of light, storage spaces, equipment and furniture for a smooth workflow.

Ideally, your office should only have items that you will use everyday. Decide whether you need a compact and portable laptop that you can place anywhere in your office or a powerful desktop computer that will stay in one place.


4. Prioritise your privacy.

Privacy is an important aspect of any workspace. Choose an area that has fewer distractions but less isolated. This is why some home offices and study areas are located near the kitchen or the living room. A small office in the bedroom works too but make sure that you’re facing away from the bed when using it.


5. Go green, be sustainable.

We highly recommend keeping your office space as sustainable as possible, not only to help the planet but also to help you save in the long run on energy bills.

Making use of natural light and good insulation techniques can help make your office and your home more energy-efficient. You may want to use energy-efficient lighting for your office. Also, consider using sustainable building materials for your office and your office furniture.


6. Paint your walls.

Have you considered the psychological effects of colour in a space? White walls are crisp and clean, like a blank slate, but if they’re not ideal in your workplace. Take advantage of colours that improve your mood! We recommend using lighter and softer tints of colours to avoid eyestrain

For workspaces, neutrals and softer, more greyed hues are better for concentration and preventing eye fatigue,’ says Jackie Jordan, Director of Color Marketing for Sherwin-Williams.

In addition, place an item of momentary destressing, whether it is as simple as having a family photo of your desk or as complex as having your windows overlook a view of lush greenery. If you have to work with a professional to achieve your ideal office bliss, go for it. Your productivity and comfort are worth it.


This article was originally published in YSF Magazine. Minor edits were done by Superdraft Pty. Ltd. Read the article here.Find home office designers in our list of Sydney architects and designers.Liked this article? Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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