With more and more people working from home or taking at least the occasional “work from home” day, the home office has become an essential part of a home plan. Even if you don’t work from home ever, the home office is still a great area to work on creative projects, store important files, or […]
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This office is private and quiet, with blinds you can draw closed or leave open to allow in more sunlight. See more photos of this house plan and others in our Custom Home Gallery
With more and more people working from home or taking at least the occasional “work from home” day, the home office has become an essential part of a home plan. Even if you don’t work from home ever, the home office is still a great area to work on creative projects, store important files, or use as space for kids to have a quiet spot to work on homework after school. The home office is unlike any other room in the home in that it needs to support the unique activities occurring there. Whether remodeling, rethinking a space (often an unused closet can work as an office space) or building a home from scratch, there are a few important elements to consider in designing a home office if you want to increase your productivity and creativity.
Choose a spot easily accessible and quiet. Depending on the function of the office you want to make sure it has enough room for furniture, equipment and any activities you will conduct there (e.g. meeting with clients).
Another important aspect to consider in relation to the furniture, equipment and function of your space. It’s also beneficial to create a more open space as a crowded space can invoke stress. Consider the type of furniture you’ll want to use in the space. You want to have enough space to move comfortably around it, yet you want the space to fit all of the furniture and office equipment you plan to utilize – extra chairs for clients, a large printing station, or a book case if you like to read a lot, for examples.
As much natural light as possible is most effective for increasing productivity and overall quality of life. For more on that read this article from Psychology Today
. It also saves money and energy to incorporate natural light. Besides natural light you’ll want varying types of lighting, including lamps and lights on dimmers. The goal is to have enough light to reduce eye strain and to brighten up areas for certain tasks, but you don’t want the lighting to ever feel overwhelmingly bright.
While sometimes we choose to use very neutral colors throughout our homes, colors inevitably affect our productivity and creativity. Blues and greens are proven to have a calming effect
and increase productivity. These colors can be incorporated through paint color choices, adding plants (they also act as natural air filters) and artwork. When addressing ambiance issues also consider noise concerns and the temperature of the room. Soundproof the room if you live in a noisy neighborhood. A colder room will leave you more tired; the optimum temperature for productivity
is around 70 degrees F.
An organized office=lots of various storage options. Think built-ins, custom cabinetry. Depending on the use of the space you may need more or less of this type of space, but anyone housing files, paperwork and equipment can benefit from lots of places to store it all. Additionally include various workstations into the plan. You may want a printing workstation with an open desk area to work on preparing documents. And you’ll want to move from sitting to standing throughout the day so you might want to have a few desk options, or at least an adjustable desk so you can switch back and forth from sitting and standing.
Along with the idea of workstations and the stand up desk options, address ergonomics in your plan. Workday activities can leave you with a lot of aches and pains at the end of the day. Invest some time and money in ensuring your ergonomics are up to par.
Install outlets everywhere in the room you think you could possibly need them. It’s always better to have more than you think you might need. And your electrical needs will likely change as technology changes.
To add to the idea of including as many electrical outlets as possible, plan for any technologies you think you could possibly need. Will you ever have the need for a projector or a TV on the wall or any other technology? Plan for it where you’ll put it and what you’ll need in the space to store it and operate it.
Planning your home office thoroughly during the design phase will ensure it’s an efficient, enjoyable space where you can be your most productive and creative self.