In 1644, English judge Sir Edward Coke was quoted as saying, “For a man’s house is his castle”, and that is true, even today, in so many ways. Our homes should be a place of respite, a place to recharge and enjoy time with family and friends. However, there is a space that we need to design for productivity as well as enjoyment….the home office.
The home office has enjoyed an elevated status in the last few years. New advances in technology now afford us the ability to work remotely like never before. Necessity during the Covid pandemic has forced us to be creative and become accustomed to working, as well as being educated, remotely. Ready to update and refresh your office space to make it the best it can be? Here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Consider the space itself.
Do you have an entire room to set aside as your office? This is ideal, especially if you share your home with others who will be there during your work/school hours. If not, it’s important to find an area that you can shut off from the flow of noise and distraction. This allows you to be more productive and engaged and will help you separate the time at “home” from “work/school”.
2. Set up the space for your work/school needs first. Once those elements are in place you can add furnishings and decor to bring in color and texture to create a beautiful space you enjoy.
Design your work area to ensure the following is ergonomically correct:
-Height of your workspace
-Chair; height of the seat, arm, and hand position
-Height of your computer monitor
3. Lighting is a factor that is often overlooked in a home office.
Natural light is wonderful for so many reasons and if you have natural light in your room, be sure to make the best use of it! Natural light lifts our mood and a bird feeder outside a window can add so much enjoyment as we observe our winged friends throughout the day. Do be aware, however, that a bright window in the wrong location relative to your computer can cause a problem during those important Zoom meetings.
Aside from any natural light you may have, be sure you have adequate lighting from overhead lights and lamps. Additional lights for your online video meetings and classes may be needed as well.
4. Consider how much desk area you need.
Do you need room on your desk for books or other resource material? Room to take notes by hand or on a device other than your computer? If so, be sure your desktop is large enough. If you don’t need that additional space, a smaller desk space can help prevent clutter as it forces you to deal with items rather than stack them on the flat surface.
5. Design the space behind you that is visible in video meetings and classes.
There are virtual options which will create a pleasant background for your video meetings but it’s easy to design your space so that it looks great and provides space you will utilize. One option that is lovely is to have a bookcase behind you that is decorated in such a way as to create a nice background. You can use lower shelves for organization and storage of needed items. In lieu of that, a favorite piece of artwork can be beautiful as a background. A large world map or other similar item that a student needs as a resource works well for an educational space.
6. Add any additional drawer/shelf space or file drawers that you may need for organization of your school or work. Adequate space to keep everything organized is key for ongoing, consistent productivity and enjoyment of your home office.
7. Give your space personality and beauty.
Make your office/school space your own! Some ways to do this include:
-Add a conversation area with an area rug and comfortable chairs
-Bring in art and décor that you love
-Pull a color palette out of a favorite piece of art in the room and use those colors
throughout the room in throw pillows on furniture, décor pieces, or throws
Create a space you love and the time you spend working and learning there will be a joy!!