Life as we know it changed in March of 2020. The coronavirus pandemic set the world on its head. Millions lost their jobs, and those who didn’t have learned to adjust to working from home. In the early months, that meant maybe sitting on your couch with a laptop.
But as the months drag on with many people still working from their make-shift home offices, it’s time to make some changes. You don’t know when you’ll be back in the office, so it’s time to make your workspace as luxurious as you deserve. Here are some design ideas to get you started.
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For those working out of their living room or master bedroom, dividing workspace and living space can be a little tricky. While the inclination is to carve out space in a corner, that could leave you spending 8-10 hours a day cramped and staring at a wall. Give your workspace the freedom it deserves, even if it is integrated into another room.
Consider built-in shelving. A collection of work materials and personal items lining the shelves make the office-area separate, but not dull. Plus, they look pretty good as the background in your Zoom meetings!
A modern office needs to be a place of comfort and quiet. The essential pieces are your desk and chair. Desks that used to be a kitchen table just won’t cut it. The anchor of the home office is a bold, authoritative, and sturdy desk. Consider it a statement piece, and don’t shy away from dark or bold colors.
The powerful desk is key to a luxury home office. Having drawers for documents and post-it notes allows you to clear the desk at the end of the day, helping keep work and home life separate.
Did you know that most full-time office employees spend 1,700 hours (or more) sitting in their office chairs? Chairs made for an office environment are better than repurposing a kitchen chair, which can strain your back and legs. You want to go above and beyond the bottom-of-the-line offerings at the nearest superstore.
An office chair can represent luxury and, more importantly, make you feel like a million bucks. Ergonomics should play hand in hand with aesthetics. Adjustable height, arms, tilt, and lumbar support are all factors in how you can ensure maximum comfort.
Home office designs aren’t just what you have in the room, but the layout inside. Use interior design as a motivation to use your home office space in a comforting way. Nothing says luxury like open spaces. Be sure not to cramp a room with nick-knacks, excessive chairs, or too many bright colors.
Home office ideas need to stretch beyond more than just furniture. Installing a ceiling fan is surprisingly inexpensive and a must-have for a home office space in a Texas summer. Blade styles can be traditional or modern or have nautical or oval shapes. A house designed custom fan ensures air circulation with style.
Floor fans can also be made with high-quality materials, brushed metal instead of plastic. If you prefer something smaller, a Dyson-style bladeless desk fan never fails to impress.
In most remote situations, companies will provide a computer for their employees. More often than not, that means a laptop. While laptops offer flexibility, they don’t have the same long-term ease-of-use as a desktop set-up.
For one, studies have shown that a second monitor can increase your productivity by 20% to 50%. A second monitor and a separate keyboard and mouse attachment will also help reinforce the idea of a dedicated workspace.
White walls are more than just boring. According to one study by the University of Texas, white and off-white paint can also negatively impact your productivity. Instead, break out your rollers and explore warm, soft tones that can take an edge off a room and make it a place you want to go and spend your day. Just be careful when it comes to bold colors; they can often get overwhelming and distracting for workers.
Long gone are the days where office wall décor consisted of kittens hanging onto a branch with the words “hang in there” or pictures of a group holding hands with “teamwork” written below. As the one-person facilities team for your home office, you get to choose between abstract, modern, landscape, photographs, massive panels, or a great big canvas. Don’t be afraid to break out of the picture frame and look for three-dimensional pieces or sculptural pieces for wall hanging.
One perk of getting out of traditional office space means the end of overhead, yellow fluorescent lighting. In 2018, a study by Cornell University showed that employees are less likely to suffer from eye strain, headaches, or drowsiness if given access to natural light. Even in a home office, natural light coming through windows or skylights is still ideal.
If you need to supplement your workspace with artificial light, nothing beats a classic desk lamp. Consider purchasing one with a flexible arm to bounce light off a wall for a softer, less direct brightness. You might also want to run an L-E-D strip underneath a desk or shelving to add an air of sophistication and modernity to the office space.
Do you find yourself strangely missing the plants in your office? You’re not alone. Houseplants are a low-cost way to increase productivity and happiness for employees. Three or four-foot-tall office plants that don’t require much space or thought can warm up the room. A potted fig tree or a rubber plant offer height with distinctive decorative large leaves.
And when it comes to your desk or shelves, nothing beats a small succulent. These plants are an art form within themselves because of their unique shapes and coloring. They also require nearly no watering, so it can take years until they need to be replanted.
Transforming an old guest room into an office space with an architecture interior doesn’t need to break the bank. Just remember that an investment in a home office is an investment in your productivity. Start with small incremental changes to ensure the time spent there is spent in luxury, because who knows how long you’ll be working from home.