Work at someone else’s place, and you have little choice on how your work environment looks or functions. But work at home, and you have complete freedom to create a space that is as motivating, comfortable and style-rich as you wish. Here are eight guidelines from Fresh Home magazine for creating the best home work space.
• Oversize your desk. Nothing is more annoying than trying to spread your work out on a tiny surface, so do what the bigwigs do: get a big desk! It doesn’t matter if you use a flat table, a sheet of plywood on blocks, or something more formal; the bigger the desk, the bigger the space to spread things out, create neat piles, and keep a coffee mug without fear of spilling.
• Escape the wall. If you have the luxury of space, act like a CEO and move your desk about 4 feet in front of the back wall, with your seat and work area facing the door. You’ll feel far less cramped.
• Park it in a comfortable chair. Be kind to your back and your bum, and invest around $250 in a truly comfortable, ergonomic chair that is right for your body type. Remember: If you work at home, you spend as much time in your office chair as your bed.
• Use task lighting. Place lamps or spots to focus strong light where your hands are working. Then use softer ambient or natural light to fill the rest of the room. Avoid harsh, uniform overhead light.
• Look beyond your desk. Your desk may be your home office’s centerpiece, but what else do you need? Have lots of filing? Think cabinets. Lots of reference materials? Get some great looking book shelves. Let function dictate what extra furniture you add to the room. If space is at a premium, use the walls around your desk to hang storage cubes.
• Hide the wires. Between your computer, its peripherals, your phone, and all your handheld gadgets, your desk can easily become a wiry tangle. First, get everything off your desk that doesn’t need to be there, like routers, chargers and printers. Then hide the wires: drill a hole in the back of the desk and feed the wires from your essential accessories so they’re no longer visible.
• Choose colors that inspire. Want a space that’s soothing and contemplative? Go with cool colors, like blue or light green. For motivation and energy, go with warmer colors like yellow or orange.
• Make it personal! If you love to laugh, there should be funny things in your space. If Picasso inspires you, there should be Picasso prints on the wall. Make this a space you love to be in.