Remote work is the future. Companies are starting to realize how much money they can save by allowing employees to work remotely, and workers are realizing that there are so many advantages to being able to work from home – including avoiding stressful commutes, saving money on transportation, and enjoying more time for other activities.
If you're one of many people who have decided that working remotely is the way for them, it's time to consider creating a dedicated space for your work activities. You'll want somewhere that is comfortable and functional, but also stylish and inviting. This can be a challenge when you're working from home.
I've put together a list of tips that will help you create your dream space. So whether you're looking for tips on how to set up your workspace or just want some inspiration for how to style it—you'll find everything here!
Creating a home office is a big commitment. It's not just about setting up a desk and chair—it's about creating a space where you can feel relaxed and inspired, but also productive and focused on the task at hand.
Ideally, you'll want to create your new workspace in a separate room away from noise and traffic, making privacy and quite easy to come by. But that's not always possible. If you don't have the luxury of a home office, or the space to create one, don’t worry! I've designed workstations in areas you might not think are useful: like unused closets by removing doors, or achieving a work niche in rooms that aren't traditionally used for work. There are plenty of spaces that can convert into an office with a bit of creativity!
If a private office isn’t an option, consider using a room divider shoji screen or even a curtain to cut out the distractions of your home. Ensure that family members respect your private time by using visual cues – like a “Do Not Disturb” sign – especially when participating in audio and video calls.
If you're going to spend time in your home office, it needs to be a place that's both beautiful and inspiring. But before all that, it needs to be functional.
Your home office is a place of power, a place where you do what you love and share your most creative ideas with the world. Therefore, you need to consider your needs and desires, and then create a design that responds to them. What do you need from this space? What can it do for you? How will it help you achieve what matters most?
I suggest that you make a written list of your needs, objectives, and requirements for the space. Then try to fulfill those needs within the limitations of budget and other requirements.
However, don’t go overboard on function. If you're not comfortable in your home office space, then it won't be used as often as it could be—and that defeats the purpose of creating an efficient work area.
Comfort is the key to productivity. When you are in a comfortable environment, you can focus on your work without being distracted by aches and pains. A dining chair can be tempting as a home office chair, but prolonged sitting on a chair without proper back and neck support can lead to posture-related problems. I know it seems like a trivial thing, but your work chair can make or break your day—and your back.
A good chair is a must for anyone who spends a lot of time at the computer. In fact, it's the single most important thing you can do to keep yourself from getting back problems, neck pain, and other posture issues. My advice is to invest in the best ergonomic office chair you can afford. I see some clients buying cheap, low-quality work chairs that are discarded within a few days, wasting their time and money. Remember the saying, “You get what you pay for.” It’s worth every penny to invest in something that will last.
Select a desk that fits your workflow and the available space. You want a desk that contributes to your productivity by helping you to stay comfortable all day long while keeping everything organized and within reach.
If you work long hours and need to be productive, think of your workspace as an investment in your productivity.
To be fully productive, you need to be comfortable, work easily and have functionality. An inviting, well-set-up workstation will be a place that you enjoy.
When your workspace is free of clutter, you can think more clearly and make more productive decisions.
Space is often at a premium in a home office, but there are many vertical storage solutions that can alleviate the problem: bookcases, hutch cabinets, tall decorative boxes or baskets, floating shelves—the list goes on.
I always recommend that my clients purchase a folding table or movable cart for storage—this frees up floor space in their office while providing easy access to supplies as needed throughout the day. These pieces are usually made with durable materials that will last for years. I personally use and love the Tu W-Pull Mobile Pedestal by Herman Miller, which is practical and useful.
Your home office is your sanctuary. It's where you can shut the door on the outside world and get down to business. Whether you love working from home or need a space to focus on your side hustle, it's important to decorate your office in a way that makes you feel relaxed and inspired.
Your office space should reflect not only your personality, taste, and character, but also your profession or activity. The best advice I can give is to be bold and don't overdo it. Keep things simple, but interesting. You want this space to be stylish, but also comfortable so you can focus on getting your work done without feeling overwhelmed by the way everything looks.
To make sure your home office is as functional as possible, make sure all materials are durable and easy to clean. Pay attention to finishes and durability, especially when it comes to work surfaces. You want something that will last through months of coffee spills and late-night deadlines!
Video conferencing is a must in the virtual workplace. Be sure to consider your back wall and how it will reflect your company's image when choosing an office space.
Adding color to your workspace is a fun way to give it more of a personal touch, and it can help make your space feel warmer and more welcoming. When choosing colors for your office, think about what kinds of tasks you'll be doing there. For example:
If you're working on creative projects or brainstorming ideas with others, consider using warm colors like reds and yellows that stimulate brain activity.
If you're going through stacks upon stacks of papers or documents all day long, consider using blues. Scientists have found that the color blue is not only the most calming color but also the most conducive to concentration.
Your home office should be a place that inspires you and helps you feel energized and focused. Good lighting can help make that happen!
When you're looking for a place to set up your home office, it's important to consider how much light you'll have. Natural light is the best kind of light, as it allows you to see colors more accurately and reduces eye strain. You may also want to consider what sort of view you have outside—if it's something beautiful and relaxing, then it can help set the tone for your workday.
If you don't have enough natural light coming in, then you need to invest in a few key pieces of lighting. Begin with overhead lighting or indirect light sources that have lamp shades or diffusers, avoiding glare and making it easier on your eyes. Then select a good task lamp that you can direct and move according to your activities and needs.
I recommend that you install light fixtures with LED technology. These light sources have many advantages, including a long lifespan, low energy consumption, no heat or UV emissions, and the ability to select the light temperature expressed in Kelvin units (softer lights are warmer). I prefer whiter lighting than a yellowish cast since it makes me feel more alert and awake!
In the end, designing a beautiful home office is just like designing any other space. You just have to take into consideration your needs and think about how you can make the room comfortable, functional, and stylish. I hope that this list can point you in the right direction when it comes to tailoring your workspace to your needs. But if you have any questions or comments about setting up your dream workspace, don't hesitate to contact me – I'd love to hear from you!
Santiago Bernal is a Colombian-born designer whose work includes residences and hospitality interiors for clients throughout North and South America, the Caribbean Islands, and Europe. Santiago's design philosophy is to create beautiful spaces with classic elegance that harmonize with their surroundings and tread lightly on the planet.