At the beginning of 2020, we had no idea that a global pandemic would drastically change the way we work. Until March of that year, many of us were still commuting to the office every day, often spending countless hours in the car each week, fighting traffic while trying to entertain ourselves with the latest podcasts or the playlist on our phone.
Now, some 16 months later, many so-called white-collar workers remain at home, content to work from their residences and delighted to be avoiding the pitfalls of commuting to the office every day. And while working from home can sometimes be challenging, it seems the world is moving towards this option more and more. Companies have recognized that they don’t require expensive office space when their employees are just as efficient – if not more – when working from home.
As such, many individuals are thinking about the particulars of designing residential office spaces that fit their needs while also taking into consideration the needs or their spouse or family. Though working from home can be tricky, this transition can indeed be a successful one if the design is carefully considered.
Choose your location thoughtfully
Generally, the first consideration for a home office is where it’ll be located. Some will have the option of an entire room for their office while others might only have a portion of a room or a small space for their desk and other work tools.
When considering a location, you should also think about traffic flow (are the kids constantly running through?) and how much distraction you can withstand during the course of a day. If you can’t have a private office, for example, you might consider a way to section off your space from the rest of the house, such as with some sort of modular wall that can be moved easily, if necessary.
Use your space efficiently
Because home offices are often much smaller than those you’d be using in a commercial building, you need to figure out how to make it work for you. For example, if there’s not a lot of floor space, you may have to consider hanging shelves instead of file cabinets or other similar furniture. Similarly, if you have a sizeable desk, you can use attractive baskets for storing files and other important paperwork. Cube storage, which can be arranged in different configurations, can work well, too.
Be sure you have plenty of light
While it might be tempting to put your office in a closet space or elsewhere where it’s a bit gloomy, remember that good light is essential. If it’s possible to be near a source of natural light, like a window or even a skylight, that’s a great option. If not, be sure to purchase lamps and other fixtures that provide you with the light you need. You don’t want to be straining to see for 8 hours a day!
Keep the space complementary
Since your office space is in your house, it’s a nice idea to choose pieces and colors that complement the rest of your home. So, perhaps you’ll want to select a mid-century modern desk if the rest of your furniture is from that time period. Or maybe you can select a chair or artwork that matches your color theme. If your home is traditional, warm wood tones are ideal, but if your residence is more industrial chic, go for something in metals and other “hard” materials. Have fun with it and make it your own!
Keep it flexible
Working from home is all about adapting. It’s difficult to predict whether you’ll be working from your residence for the next 6 months or the next 6 years! As such, you’ll want to make sure that the changes you make are easy to alter, if necessary. While you’ll want your office to be both comfortable and functional, it’s always necessary to keep in mind that it’s part of your home. With items like modular or architectural walls, you can create an office in even the most unusual space. Furthermore, if a change of location is necessary, you can simply move it.
At Total Vision Interiors, we can offer countless ideas about designing residential office spaces that help you work from home efficiently and comfortably. For more information about designing or renovating a space to make it right for you and your family, speak to one of our experts by calling 604-209-9762.