Whether you’ve suddenly found yourself working from home, or you’ve been doing it for years, gathering new home office ideas and inspiration is always a good idea.
The concept of working from home has gained steam over the last decade. While it may have seemed impossible to the previous working generation, there is now an increasing amount of remote jobs available for job seekers. And with so many offices forced to go remote in 2020, this is one change that may become permanent for thousands of companies.
Although working from home may be convenient, it’s not any easier than working in an office. Traditional offices generally have desks, chairs, and other equipment that make employees feel comfortable, whereas home offices are often put together from whatever’s available.
- Home Office Ideas
- DIY Home Office Ideas
- Home Office Organisation Ideas
- Home Office Design Ideas
- Making the Most of Your Home Office
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Home Office Ideas
The reality is that creating an optimal home office can often fall by the wayside. Sure, you may end up with a functional space but not necessarily one that will inspire genius ideas. In reality, a well-designed home office can have a flow-on effect on your productivity and state of mind – and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
To help you make the most of your workspace, we’ve found the best home office ideas to maximize your output. We’ve discovered changes you can make quickly, through to home office design ideas for those looking to get a bit more intense with their office makeover. Wherever you fall, check out our home office ideas below and start working at your peak today.
DIY Home Office Ideas
We might not all have the time or resources to plan out our ideal office space professionally. But that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve it with only a do it yourself attitude. If you’ve got a room or area in mind that would make the ideal office, here are a few tips that will transform it with only a few easy changes.
1. Create a Bright, Light Vibe
There’s nothing worse than working in a dark, gloomy space – unless it’s working under stark, blinding lights. Yes, getting the lighting in an office right can be hard, but it’s worth it.
First, make sure your overhead lights don’t cause you strain. You could change the bulb if you find the brightness is inadequate. Alternatively, use lamps as well as overhead lights – or in place of them – to help achieve the perfect lighting. If you want some genuinely modern home office ideas, check out smart bulbs. They give you the ability to control precisely how much and what type of light they shine.
To avoid eye strain, your computer or monitor should be a similar brightness level to the room. You should place your screens in an area of the room that avoids glare from windows or lights.
2. Help Your Body Out
Neck and shoulder pain has become a real problem amongst those who spend hours working at computers. And just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you should neglect this.
Whether you’re using a laptop or a monitor, try to elevate your screen so that it’s at eye-level. Doing this means you don’t have to bend your head and put pressure on your neck. The human head is almost 12 pounds, and bending your neck can add around 50 pounds of force on your neck. Not only is this bad news for your joints and muscles, but it can also affect your breathing and mood.
Consider getting a laptop stand and a separate keyboard and mouse if you’re currently using your laptop’s keyboard and mouse. These don’t have to be pricey purchases, but that can be priceless for your health. Alternatively, you could always use a book or box to lift your screens.
Something else that can make a massive difference is the chair you use to work. Sitting on an uncomfortable and unsupportive chair can be a disaster for your spine. Ideally, you should be able to adjust your chair’s height so that your arms sit parallel to the ground, and your feet are flat on the floor or footstool. You should also have a slightly reclined posture, so you’re not sitting at a rigid 90-degree angle.
Home Office Organisation Ideas
Being unorganized in your office space can lead to a scattered mind, which contributes to subpar work. Some of the home office ideas that will help you do your best thinking include figuring out what you have an immediate need for and then deciding where the rest can go.
3. Have Enough Space on Your Desktop
When you sit down at your workstation, you want to be able to work without annoying distractions. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you have enough space for all your necessary equipment at your desk.
You should start by removing any papers or equipment that you don’t use daily. Clutter has a way of adding stress to our lives. The more things we have around us, the less we’re able to focus on a task due to our brains being so busy processing it all.
Make sure you can use your computer without feeling cramped. Remove any items that might be reducing the amount of usable space. This may include containers filled with stationery, photos, and other bits and pieces. You can redistribute these around the room, but keep your immediate workspace clear.
4. Make Use of Shelves, Boxes, and Cupboards
Now that you’ve got a bunch of excess items from your desk, you’re probably wondering how to organize a home office. First, you need to work on finding a place for these excess items to live permanently. If you need them to stay close to your desk, store them so they’ll be easy to find when you need them.
You may have a bookshelf or set of cupboards you can reuse for this purpose, or if not, you could either purchase something new or search online for secondhand items. You could even construct storage using cheap or free materials like pallets, cinder blocks, and planks of wood if you’re feeling crafty.
When storing things, do it in a way that will make it easy to find in the future, and that looks orderly as well. Develop a system, group things that you need to access more frequently, and put things that you only need once or twice a year in a different space.
Home Office Design Ideas
Decorating your office in a way that will spark ideas and encourage hard work is important. After all, a bland workspace is hardly going to inspire. By creating an inviting and pleasant area, you’ll avoid having a home office space that you’ll dread doing work in. Here are some home office ideas related to design and decoration to start on now.
5. Create an “Office” Even if You’re Low on Space
We can’t all be so lucky as to have a whole spare room we can designate as an office, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a small space specifically for working in.
If space is at a premium, but don’t just work on the couch. Doing this will blur the lines between work and leisure, and it’ll be hard to disengage and relax. It’s also terrible for your body long term.
Instead, designate one area in your home as your office. This could be a home office in a living room, a space in the kitchen, a stairway landing, or even the hallway. Wherever it is, make sure it’s an area you can physically get away from – even if it’s only a few feet.
If space is tight, try to create a work area that you can transform at the end of your workday. For example, your kitchen table could double as your home office desk. Then you could make part of your daily routine to put away your computer and equipment so that it’s out of sight until your workday begins again.
6. Make It Feel Alive
If your desk is looking a little bare, a straightforward home office idea that will raise spirits and work output is introducing some plant life.
Bringing a plant into your home office will not only brighten the place up but also help your health and improve the air quality (it’s true, NASA said so). Plus, having another living thing in your office makes the room less sterile, which is the same reason many people who work at home love the company of a pet. If you’re not a plant whisperer, buy a peace lily, spider plant, aloe, or snake plant – these are all low-maintenance and easy to care for.
7. Inject Some Color
If we’re talking about home office design ideas, we can’t forget color. This is a great time to explore color psychology, which is how color can affect us in day-to-day life. You may already be familiar with color psychology from learning about how color can affect your brand, but it applies to so much more than that.
For example, greens and blues are the best colors for focus and efficiency. Yellow is an excellent color for promoting energetic, optimistic vibes. Meanwhile, a University of Texas study found gray, beige, and white workspaces can induce sadness in women, with purple and orange offices doing the same for men.
What works for you might be to choose one color over all others but combine them to create a space that you love. Perhaps having white walls decorated with bright artwork could introduce just enough color to encourage positive work habits and high output. Alternatively, adding colorful furniture or soft furnishings like rugs, wall hangings, or cushions may do the trick.
8. Remember Your Senses
And while we’re on the subject of air purity, why not treat your nose while you work. Much like colors, scents also have an impact on you. Picking up some scented candles or an aroma diffuser could help you work. Cinnamon is good for sharpening your mind, citrus is reinvigorating, and peppermint works well for concentration.
Although not strictly necessary for a home office, investing in accessories like noise-canceling headphones can be a godsend for keeping an office a calm space. Sometimes noise is unavoidable, but too much of it can be incredibly distracting. Noise-canceling headphones – or listening to white noise – can help you block it all out and remain productive.
9. Customize Your Area
When we talk about great home office ideas, it’s easy to think about furniture and decorations, but creating an environment that’s truly you is crucial too. Having space you enjoy being in will put you in the best possible entrepreneurial mindset.
Excellent home office design ideas shouldn’t just be about the aesthetic. They should also include practical elements. For example, If you’ve always got lists of things to do, a notice board or dry erase board near your desk will revolutionize your to-do lists. Many entrepreneurs with home offices also hang motivational sayings and affirmations to inspire them – it may sound corny, but many Redditors on r/Entrepreneur swear by it. And of course, photos of friends and family will remind you of why you’re working hard.
10. Make it Cozy
The best thing about having a home office? It doesn’t need to feel like a standard office; it can feel like whatever you want. If you work best in a cozy atmosphere, keep some comfy cushions or warm blankets nearby.
Bringing in soft furnishings is also an easy way to add a bit of color to your space. Not to mention that it’s great when you need a little extra warmth. This is particularly important for women, with studies finding that cold working spaces could make women less productive.
Making the Most of Your Home Office
There are a bunch of home office ideas in this article that we hope will get you motivated to create your optimal workspace, but sometimes you need a place to start. Here are our top takeaways for setup and design so you can get started today.
How to Set up a Home Office
- Choose a desk that fits everything you need
- Pick an adjustable, supportive, and comfortable chair
- Arrange your office to make the most of light and space
- If possible, have your home office in a quiet area of the house
- Use whiteboards to easily keep track of tasks
- Have a home for everything you might need – tools, files, appliances, etc.
- Only bring in what you need – don’t let clutter take over
With all of these tips and tricks in mind, you’ll transform your home workspace in no time. Your office doesn’t need to have the newest and most expensive equipment, but some small adjustments and purchases can make an entire world of difference.
If you’ve implemented any of the ideas in this article, leave us a comment below and let us know what your home office setup looks like.