When most people think of an office, they think of what a standard office looks like in an office building: a desk, a computer, and uncomfortable computer chair, a filing cabinet, and maybe a generic bookshelf with no known purpose.
So, when those same people set out to make a home office, it often has the same generic layout as an office in an office building. But when you have an office at home, you can lay it out however you want. You can make your home office work for you! Here are some tips.
Make It Inviting
Business offices are created to be generic so that personnel can be moved from office to office without a lot of hassle. As a result, they often feel cold and sterile. Eight hours of staring at a white-washed brick wall all day is enough to make anyone burn out. But you don’t need to fall prey to that in your home office.
Your home office can be as warm and inviting as you want it to be. If you’re going to spend a lot of time in there, you want it to be someplace you’re comfortable. Warm it up with a paint job that inspires you, and feel free to decorate it. Because this is your home office, you’re not limited just to a picture of your kids on your desk. Hang some family portraits on the walls, buy an area rug that you like, and get some plants to keep it lively.
Buy Things that Make Sense for You
If you don’t spend time reading in your office, there’s no need for you to buy a bookshelf just to give it an office-y vibe. Maybe, for you, it makes more sense to have two desks-one to have your laptop on and one to do your artwork or planning on. Or maybe you want a coffee station in your office so that you don’t have to head to the kitchen every time you want a refill.
The point is, your office doesn’t need to look like generic office. Think outside the box and fill it with the things that you need to be your most productive self. And if you don’t need something for productivity? Don’t put it in your office.
Consider Having Relaxing Objects
Have you ever worked hard on a project, only to finish and realize that your back and neck hurt from tensing up? In a home office, you have the option of keeping things nearby that will help you relax. Free Your Spine articles include ideas on the types of things that can help you release tension in your back and spine. You can even set up a yoga station in your office and enjoy some stretching between tasks.
Putting focus on staying relaxed at work can help you reduce stress and enjoy your days better. Since we spend more time working than we do with family and friends, it’s important that any time we spend working is also time spent enjoying ourselves and growing in some way.
Double Up Your Office Space
Sometimes, it’s great to have an office that is separated from the rest of the house. Other times, your office space needs to be a little more open than that. Consider the plight of the work-at-home parent, for example. Sure, they need to get work done, but they also need to keep an eye on their kids. In an office that’s closed off from the rest of the house, this wouldn’t be possible.
But when you have a home office, you can be a bit more flexible. For example, you could have one room in your house that’s half office, half playroom, with the desk facing the space the kids will be hanging out. While this wouldn’t be a great option for everyone, for work-at-home parents with kids too young to be left alone, it might be an ideal fix.
There are lots of doubled-up office space ideas that could be equally beneficial for your lifestyle. Maybe you don’t want your office doubled with your playroom, but maybe you struggle to decide whether the spare bedroom in your house should be an office or a guest bedroom. Why not both? Keeping your mind open to the possibility of doubling your office space with something else in your home can help you maximize your home’s potential.
The great thing about a home office is that, like so many other aspects of your home, you can individualize it to your tastes. By freeing yourself by the expectations of what an office should be, you can create an office that actually works for you.