8 Tips to Create an Efficient Home Office
Whether your home office is designated space for running a business, the occasional telecommute, or simply a nook for paying bills and organizing your schedule, you deserve more than a metal desk and extra chair stuffed into a spare corner. Here are 8 tips for creating a charming, practical work space.
You'll likely spend many hours in your home office, so don't stiff yourself on space. Also consider traffic flow and your ability to withstand distractions. Do you work best in the thick of activity, or should your office be tucked away in a quiet space?
2. Don't sacrifice form for function.
Your desk, shelves, and storage should serve you, not the other way around. Consider your workflow and what items you need at your fingertips before investing in furniture, and then look for pieces that are both beautiful and functional.
3. Invest in a great chair.
You spend hours parked in your office chair; a beautiful, ergonomically-correct, comfortable seat is worth every dime
4. Paint the walls a color you love.
Forget "office beige": you need a color that gets your work motor humming. For some people, that's a bright, cheery color like orange or lime green. Others need a calming shade like botanical green or sea foam blue to perform.
5. Give yourself a view.
Position the desk where you can stare at something more interesting than a blank wall (even if you do love the color) when you glance up from the computer.
6. Choose homey accessories.
Unless you're going for a contemporary look, choose extras that enhance the comfy feeling of your home office, like a pretty mug for a pencil holder, trendy notepads and sticky notes, and a decorative waste basket.
7. Organize vertically and horizontally.
Many home offices aren't swimming in square footage, so using space efficiently is imperative. Hang floating shelves on the walls to get papers and office equipment off the desk, and use vertical file folders on the desk to keep important papers within arm's reach. Are you a stacker or a filer? If you tend to make piles, get a nice basket to tame your mail, notes, and papers. If you prefer a clean desktop, designate one drawer for your "to-do" papers.
8. Let there be light.
Here's a bright idea: make sure your office has plenty of light to cut down on eye strain and headaches. Position the computer monitor so there's no glare from a window or overhead light, and put a small lamp on the desk for task lighting.