- Location is key
Home offices come in many different shapes and sizes. It can be in a separate room, a quiet corner or even in your kitchen. The key to selecting the right place for your home office, is to think about where and when you do your work. If you are a busy mom, a kitchen desk area may be the ideal place for your central command post. However, if you’re a professional, you’ll want to select a space that’s away from the daily flow and distractions of your household.
- Allow enough space
Make sure you allow enough space to work comfortably. Ask yourself if you will be able to move easily from side to side, stand up and sit back from your desk. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s easy to underestimate how much space you need. To avoid this, use the same rule of thumb professional designers use to lay out a workstation – allow at least 60” (150cm) in width and 84” (210cm) in depth.
- Selecting a desk and chair
Choosing the right desk and chair for your home office is essential. Select a desk that is wide enough for your computer and anything else necessary to do your work. This could be an in-tray, reference materials, or space to take notes. Ideally, your desk should 48” (120cm) wide minimum.
However, if all you ever need is a laptop you can get away with less. Most people find 60” (150cm) wide or larger to be the most comfortable. While an adjustable-height desk is ideal it’s not always practical in a home office setting. Choose a desk that is not too high – 28”-30” (70-75cm) high is an acceptable range. Invest in a good quality chair that is comfortable and adjustable if possible. Your neck and back will thank you.
Three home office designs created with RoomSketcher
These three home office designs illustrate different ways to use these tips
- Storage and Shelving
Storage is often overlooked when designing a home office and can really affect your productivity. Make sure to include enough shelving, filing cabinets or cupboards for your storage needs. Consider your workflow – what comes in, where will it stay while being worked on, and where does it go when complete? Place your inbox on or next to your desk. Keep your current work within arm’s reach. Locate your filing system nearby. Don’t forget reference materials – if you use manuals, catalogs or reference books, locate a shelf near your desk to keep them close at hand.
- A Place to Meet
Will you have clients or customers visit during the day? If you have room to have a small meeting area, that is ideal. If not, plan for some additional seating in your home office design to allow for sit-down meetings. This can be as simple as 1-2 comfortable chairs, which are easy to pull up to your desk.