Setting up or refining your home office is about ensuring you are as comfortable and productive as possible. There are myriad uses for a home office - you may use the space to pay bills, it could be a quiet area for children to do homework or it may be your daily place of work. Regardless of its use, you need to ensure you have everything in its place and within reach to ensure you and its users remain productive.
And if it is your full-time office, time is money; so if your chosen space is not conducive to work then you may need to rethink your office layout or accessories.
1. A number one priority in the home office is storage. Ensure you have plenty of desk space so you have enough room for a computer or laptop, phone, diary and an area to write or review paperwork. Bookshelves are a necessity for decor items and folders, which are great to hold bills and important documents, magazine holders and, of course, reference books. Rather than shelves, drawers provide another easy-to-access solution for filing documents and office supplies. Overhead cupboards also ensure popular items are within easy reach. Howards Storage World (HSW) has a great range of storage boxes and shelving ideas. Storage solution guru Cathy Player says an organised space is key to maximising work flow, no matter the room in the house. Keep pens and other wayward items in place with a colourful and functional pencil holder. A favourite mug or small vase could do the trick or peruse stores such as Officeworks for some stylish and affordable options.
2. A comfortable desk chair will help make your home office as comfortable as possible, making sure you get any job done, when needed. Consider a desk that suits your personality - do you want one with drawers, timber or a glass top? What about a white, stained timber or shiny chrome finish? Perhaps you like the minimalism and casual style of a trestle-table or a built-in may be more to your liking? Ensure the chair and desk are at the right height for you.
3. Nothing beats natural light, so if you have a window in your home office then you will also enjoy bringing a cooling breeze in to the space after a warm afternoon. Position the desk near a window so natural light falls on to the desk - you don’t want to be working in your own shadow or squinting from glare bouncing on and off your computer screen. A desk lamp positioned at the opposite side of your dominant hand will add extra brightness for task lighting and ensure the space can be utilised around the clock, eliminate shadows when writing or reading and minimise eye strain. For room lighting, choose a light shade that will distribute light evenly throughout the room and choose a globe that is right for the space. Philips’ desk lamps feature energy-saving light bulbs from eco halogen to the latest LED technology to provide warm white light that's easy on the eyes.
4. With technology such a part of the every work day, you will need to ensure your home office has enough power points to charge laptops, computers, printers, phones and ipads - not to mention supply power for lighting and music. Bundle power cords together, if you can, and loop them over a hook to keep them safe and tidy, off the floor and desk. As for office technology, ensuring each piece is compatible will make lighter work of office tasks. You can minimise IT issues by choosing printers, computers, audio systems, mobile phones, tablets and internet connections that work together seamlessly. Fuji Xerox suggests a WI-FI network to eliminate cables and the need for a PC as you can print from your mobile device.
5. Add some personality to your home office with beautiful imagery for the walls, perhaps a pop of colour on the walls will help stimulate your senses? Flowers or a small plant can also brighten the space. A throw rug is handy to place over the knees to ward off a chill that may come when sitting at the computer for a while. And on the floor a rug can help define the room and ensure it is more inviting and cosy. An occasional chair in a vibrant pattern and colour is inviting for visitors or for when you want to relax with a good book out of office hours. Jimmy Possum managing director Margot Spalding suggests choosing a chair with ample seating to ensure maximum comfort. A footstool is an added decadent touch!
With everything in its place, it's time to get to work.