How to Create and Organize a Great Home Office
With more employers giving their employees the option to work remotely, there has been an increase in the need for an efficient place to work productively within the home. According to the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics, “teleworking had been on the rise even before the pandemic, it has now increased substantially, with more people working at home whenever possible. A recent article by Erik Brynjolfsson et al. estimates that 31% of workers who were employed in early March had switched to working at home by the first week of April.” It is estimated that 8 million people in the United States are now working from home.
How do you setup and organize the right work environment that best suits your needs?
Consider a Multi Use Space
To have a really special and efficient home office does not necessarily mean that you have to dedicate an entire room in your home for that purpose, especially if one is not readily available. Some folks have gone to the trouble and expense to add an addition or seriously modify existing spaces to accommodate a home office, but that is not a must. You can easily transform an existing room in your home from its current use into a dual-purpose space, incorporating the right design and furniture to make the best use of the space for both purposes. A rarely used guest room, even a “smallish” one, can make a great spare bedroom and office with a Murphy bed as part of the solution. A wall bed is a great space saving option that easily pulls down when you need it, and folds back up into the cabinet when no guests are about. The surrounding cabinetry can be outfitted with a desk complete with drawers and overhead cabinets for storing office supplies, in addition to bedding. This truly exceptional solution provides a fully functional and ergonomically sound office as well as a great space for overnight guests.
Plan Your Home Office Layout
Whatever space you choose for your new home office, the first step is to think carefully about how you will be working, and what equipment, work surface space and storage space you will need. Especially at this initial planning stage, an experienced designer can be of great help by providing detailed information on what kinds of items will best help you achieve your goals. Where should the office be positioned in the room? What sort of desk or work surface is needed? Is additional lightning going to be required? How about a place for a printer, copier, fax, or other office machines? One must carefully consider the necessary storage space for office supplies and other necessities before finalizing any design. A superior design will be functional, ergonomically sound and aesthetically pleasing. Start first with the items that seem simple but may not be. You have the opportunity to make the desk height perfect for you. The same can be said for a comfortable, supportive chair that must function well with the desk. These basic items are important in ensuring maximum productivity. Everything must be positioned according to your specific priorities. If you use your printer constantly it should be placed either on the work surface within easy reach or mounted behind a door on a roll out shelf that makes it easily accessible but invisible when you have guests. Do you need cubbies within easy reach for forms or certain supplies? How about sufficient file space? Legal or letter size files? Wire management has to be considered at the outset so you don’t end up spoiling the look of your office with wires running amok.
Other items to be incorporated based upon your needs and desires, are things like shelf space for books or ledgers, cabinetry to suit your needs, a safe, waste disposal and the necessary amount of work surface to do the job in an organized manner. If you are a minimalist and scan documents digitally, do you have the proper workstation setup to accomplish that quickly and easily? Do you need a place to meet with clients and hold either an in person or virtual meeting? An additional workstation can be included in many cases if you need to share your space with another person.
Organizing your office to create the best possible outcome starts with the planning mentioned above and careful evaluation of your specific needs. A significant source of clutter can be paper. Perhaps you can determine which items you can digitize. Not only scanning them, but recycling. Perhaps signing up for e-delivery could be a good approach. Many companies will even give you a credit for doing just that! It’s also important to create a filing system that is easily accessible, well organized and sufficient for current as well as future needs. Create categories and subcategories to create folders using a labeling system. Once a well-conceived system is in place, you will be able to find needed documents more efficiently while eliminating piles of paper scattered on your desk. A well thought out and executed design will help in developing good habits and routines that will enhance efficiency while limiting clutter.
Keeping your home office organized starts with creating the proper design. During a free design consultation, our professional space optimization specialists can help ensure that your new home office your home office is all it can be to increase throughput, decrease stress and allow you to focus on the matters at hand rather than struggling with clutter and a lack of organization. The goal is to create an efficient workflow that increases productivity while enhancing aesthetics and helps to keep you focused and inspired.