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Never before has the need for a home office been so high. With plenty of us having been forced to work remotely, and the ability to have a hybrid role now more common than ever, the home office has become a huge part of our lives as we work out a new way of working.
That being said, many people give little thought into their setup, especially when it comes to a comfortable chair and a desk setup that doesn’t put too much strain on any part of the body - think sore backs and hunched shoulders!
If you’re unsure where to start when thinking of creating or redesigning your home office then no need to fret - we’ve got you. Below we will take you through all things you’ll need to consider, with ideas on how to maximise space, choose the right location, lighting needs and much more.
Assess Your Work Needs
First things first is understanding how you are going to use a home office. If it is something that you are going to be using 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, then you may have a lot more consideration than someone looking to have a space to work on their Sci-Fi novel of an evening once the kids have gone to bed.
Also you will want to consider what kinds of work you will do and the setup required for this. If you need multiple screens, then you will need to make sure that you choose a desk big enough to fit a couple of monitors and maybe your laptop as well. You will also want to consider how much space you will need for things like a keyboard, mouse, notepad, glass and mug to ensure you can fit everything you need to get into some deep work. If you work in a field like engineering or architecture and require large spaces for drawings, you may need to consider a second desk space specifically for this.
Choose the Right Location
You may only have one suitable area for a home office so choice could be limited, though it’s important to know what would make the right location so that you can potentially try to mimic as much of it as possible with the space you have.
Working from home has many benefits, but it also comes with a large amount of distractions that you may not get in the office environment; Doorbell deliveries, screaming kids, building work in the bathroom or noisy neighbours. So when thinking of which room is most suitable you should have a think about one that is less likely to be prone to distractions. Find somewhere away from the main living spaces, on a side of the home with the least through traffic and ideally near a toilet that isn’t the main toilet or where you don’t need to walk past busy areas. This will mean you can get more done with less distractions.
This deserves its own section because there are so many different factors into the lighting, especially as the seasons change and also as there is the potential for working early morning or into the night when projects and deadlines pile up.
Having a well lit room with plenty of natural light will mean that you enjoy the workspace a lot more without putting any strain on your eyes throughout the day. Plus, I don’t know about you, but I always seem to lose motivation when it’s a bit dreary in a room so having lots of sun really helps (but watch out for glare!).
That being said, we do have pretty miserable winters here in the UK, and with it getting dark often before finishing for the day throughout November - January, it is a good idea to think of the lighting options that you have for when natural light just doesn’t cut it. You’re going to want something more subtle than the main room light so think of the potential for a desk lamp (if there is space) or perhaps a lamp that can go in the corner of the room. Remember, if you’re on a video call, having light behind you will make it difficult for people to see you, so ideally a lamp that can light up your face is great!
So you’ve worked out what you need the space for, where it is going to be and how to make sure the lighting is correct, now you will need to get to the nitty gritty - how to make it a fully functional workspace.
The desk is the first piece you should get, and you can decide on one with built in storage such as the Lancaster Study Desk, or opt for something a bit more minimalist check out the Hoxton Desk. Once you’ve decided on that you will need to think about seating, a computer or gaming chair gives much more comfort, though if you aren’t at your desk for hours on end, perhaps a comfortable dining chair would do the trick.
Desk, check, chair, check. Now you want to think about anything else that you may need in the office space to make sure it’s a place where you can get meaningful work done. These include things such as desk organisers for all your stationery requirements, a cable tidy so you aren’t tripping over wires and even a letter tray if you’re dealing with things that need to be printed or perhaps sent to clients or colleagues physically.
Nature and Greenery
Last, but definitely not least, is some nature and greenery. Now this of course isn’t essential, and looking after plants isn’t what everyone wants to be doing, but you can get some plants that need very little care and there are multiple studies that show having plants and greenery around us improve our mood and make us feel happier.
It may be that the room you're choosing for your home office already has some nature, though if you need to add some, think about if you can get it somewhere that you can see it when working - on your desk, or perhaps a shelf on the wall nearby. Also you may want to consider what your background looks like for those online meetings every Monday morning with the team, it can definitely spruce up the place.
Also, as plants are a natural converter of carbon dioxide back into oxygen, in the months where your windows are kept shut to keep out the cold, they make sure that there is plenty of quality air around bringing a fresh ambience to your space.
Designing the ultimate home office isn’t a one size fits all approach, it really depends on what you are using the office for, how long you intend to spend in there and what space you have spare to create an office.One thing is for certain though, you should always think about starting by choosing a desk that is best suited to your needs and then sculpting everything else around this, that is because you may be limited on the desk size that can fit in your space, and you may need to make sure that the desk is the right size for everything you need to fit on it.
For inspiration on the perfect desk for your home office, check out our range of home office desks today, along with any other furniture needs that you may have to make it the home office of your dreams that you never knew you needed.