Working from home isn’t the easy ride that jealous friends might joke about, especially if your dedicated workspace isn’t quite up to snuff. You need to create the perfect setting that accounts for productivity, professionalism and comfort, but how do you go about it? Let’s find out how you can transform your home office into a haven of career progression.
Take it back to the old school
Home offices of old worked, had a certain stature about them, and were geared towards no nonsense and getting the job done. Plus, some of that vintage furniture was amazing, so if you like it old school, this could be a good opportunity to add some flair to your office. Think leather-upholstered captain’s chairs, bureau desks and even a globe-shaped minibar for those all-important after-work drinks.
The desk is the showpiece
Your desk is the central element to any home office, so it’s worth spending time choosing the right one. If you’re really on trend, you should consider the type of wood your desk is made from, for maximum style appeal. Then take time to browse a few online – retailers such as VidaXL.ie let you filter by price, color and material. And don’t forget the extras, too – Forbes has created a list of must-have items that your office shouldn’t be without.
Make it bright
This won’t be for everyone, but if you’re the kind of professional who likes to keep things light-hearted and upbeat, some serious color won’t go amiss in your home office. If you’re the only person who will be using it, you can style it however you like, but try to remember that this is a room in your wider home setting, so if you ever plan to sell, you might need to tone down the palette a little.
Add some leafy friends
Need to focus more while you work? Perhaps the air quality in your space needs improving! The most cost-effective way to do that is by adding some plants, which also happen to look great and make your office look much more put together. Having to water them is also a good way to ensure that you get out of your chair once in a while and keep your circulation flowing.
Make it adaptable
Plenty of industries call for a flexible workspace and an easy way to make sure you are never tied to one layout is to have your main pieces of furniture on wheels. Let’s say, for example, you’re a photographer and you need to be able to shoot product images at short notice. You can wheel your desk in front of a window and take advantage of that special golden-hour light in an instant, without makeshift surfaces and lighting rigs. You can also prevent office boredom, as switching up where everything is will be so much easier.
Look at color therapy
If you’re not into bright colors without purpose but do want to create the right ambience for your productivity, take a look at color therapy theories, which claim that certain hues conjure very different vibes. Apparently, blue feeds intellectual thought, while red gives courage, yellow increases creativity and green offers balance. You might be surprised to learn that grey can inhibit confidence – so is it time to repaint?
Standing desks, treadmill desks, wireless connectivity; it’s all happening in offices around the world and could be added to your home workspace if you want to get in on the latest gadgets that claim to improve productivity. Remember to think about your IT system as well, though, as there’s nothing worse than a fancy desk but dial-up internet.
Keep it personal latest
Try not to lose sight of the fact that your home office is exactly that – part of your home. It should be a faithful representation of you, your interests and experiences, so don’t be afraid to decorate with some meaningful memorabilia. You might even find that if clients visit you at home, mementos start a conversation that leads to a more lucrative business relationship.
Even if your home office is actually just a laptop on your kitchen table, make it work for you. Try getting creative with the space you have on offer by doubling the functionality of a dressing table in your bedroom, for example. Move it away from the bed if you can and separate the home and work elements of your life and if all else fails, fake it until you make it. For Zoom calls, position your computer somewhere that looks like a dedicated home office and project the levels of professionalism that you want to.
Your home office doesn’t need to be a space that’s all work and no play. With the right colors, accessories and furniture in place, you can turn it into the most stylish room in the house, as well as the most coveted.