Forbes Magazine estimates that about 9% of the total US workforce works from home, at least one to two days each month while 8% telecommute three to five days per week. Combine this with the fact that home offices rank as one of the top requested spaces from new home buyers. While still a relatively small percentage, the number of workers telecommuting is growing all the time. So the question begs to be asked, how do you design the ideal home office?
An office needs to reflect the daily needs of doing the job at hand, take into account the comfort of the user and address storage all while seamlessly blending into the overall space. May seem like a tall task, but we’ve rounded up our in-house design experts’ tips for creating a beautiful yet practical work space.
Select the Right Location: It may sound simple but determining the proper location for your office determines whether it is a place you will use or simply use to store your files. If possible, designate a specific location in your home as your office, away from your personal life. If a separate room isn’t an option, choose a location that doesn’t need to do double duty during office hours. Make sure that the location has easy access to electrical plugs and steady WiFi. Identify how you work best – do you need a constant hum of activity around you or do you prefer peace and quiet?
Function Is King: Your furniture and storage must serve your work needs. Consider your workflow and what essentials you need to access regularly. Do you need space to spread out? Does your job require storing large amounts of paperwork? Do you need secure storage? If a separate room is being used as an office, consider a modular desk system that allows you to configure flat surfaces and storage as needed. If your office is in your public space, think about using a double duty piece of furniture like a secretary that can be closed at the end of the day.
Invest In a Great Chair: Any place you may be for more than 4 hours every day is worth the investment. Make sure your chair provides you with proper ergonomic support. If you prefer not to invest in an office chair, think about investing in at least a footrest that will help align your spine for better posture.
Buy Great Accessories: Unless you prefer cubicle chic, choose accessories that coordinate with the rest of your home. Remember that many items can do double duty; a beautiful glass can be a pencil holder and a basket can have new life as a trash can.
Organize Up & Out: Determine what you need access to on a daily basis and purchase organization pieces that address those specific needs. Depending on the available space on your desk, consider an accordion file to store papers you need to attend soon. A fabric wrapped pin board is a great option for items needing immediate attention or that you simply like looking at, and perhaps a few hanging bins can serve as holding spots for transitional items that need filing. Lastly, think about where you want your long-term storage and where it should be located remembering many items can be scanned and saved to the cloud.
Tame The Cord Jungle: While computer monitors and scanners may not be pretty, their cords poses another problem. Incorporating cord management into your office is a must. Check out our Home Organization Pinterest Board for tips on how to wrangle your cords.
Light The Way: Make sure your office has plenty of light to avoid eye strain. Ideally, your desk lamp should focus light on the work surface and be adjustable. The light should be about 15 inches from your desktop. Last, make sure to position your light source away from your monitor to avoid glare.
Share us how you’ve designed your work space at home on Instagram using #MyPotteryBarn for a chance to be featured on our website! More more round-ups and design tips, click here.