When you’ve decided to work from home, it’s important to assign a room for your business activities. If your kids are at home during the late afternoons or your stay-at-home wife likes to have her girlfriends over for a coffee and a chat, you won’t be disturbed.
Thinking about your home office, you have options for the floor plan, what items to include and how to give it that little extra unexpected something. You never know when you’ll have a prospective client who wants to visit, so it needs to look the part even if you’re sitting in casual shorts, a polo shirt, and a pair of comfy slippers most of the time.
Here are a few thoughts about what to include/exclude in your first home office.
With Office Design, Less Is More
You’ll be tempted to dream up all kinds of furniture, office equipment, and other items to fit into your office. It doesn’t matter whether you’ll be situated in a spare bedroom, a second living area that you’ve co-opted or a basement that you’ve remodeled; in most cases, you’ll be limited to floor space. You might not think so because if the room starts off empty, it’ll look huge once you’ve cleaned out the spare bed, chest of drawers and other items. But believe us when we tell you, this space will shrink quickly.
Consider the floor plan. Even for one room. If the floor plan is too restrictive, you’ll barely have the space to walk in and out. Also, if you’re expecting to have the odd client come over for a visit, then there has to be space for them too. It will quickly feel too cramped to spend many hours there every day.
When bearing this in mind, consider what is essential to include and what you can do without. When you avoid buying something unnecessary like a filing cabinet, then you save money and the room feels larger too. Also, if you can find items that perform multiple functions, that’s a great deal. If you need inspiration, look at some books on Japanese design because they regularly work very successfully with limited floor plans.
A Touch of Class for the Office
When it comes to any office space, they tend to be bland and uninteresting. When dealing with a home office, that’s even more of a problem. One effective way to resolve this decisively is to have several face mounted acrylic prints produced for hanging on the walls.
They’re photographic prints that have acrylic on the front and a metal backing. When light shines on them, the acrylic picks up the light source and shines brightly. The more captivating and evocative the photo, the more impressive it’s going to appear. If you look at the face mounted acrylic prints that are available through companies such as Bumblejax, you’ll see that they often have a borderless design without the need for a frame. Sometimes the print even overlaps around the edges to continue the photo as far as the eye can see. It creates a captivating visual illusion that makes the best use of available light, imbuing photographic art with real vibrancy.
With an acrylic based print hanging on several walls in the office, it will no longer feel as contained or limiting. For visitors, the imagery will be attention-grabbing, shows great taste, and sets the stage for a highly productive meeting.
Face Towards Natural Light
Take advantage of as much natural light as possible.
Position the desk to face outwards toward the best light source. You can still use blinds to restrict how much light is let through at different times of the day to avoid the sun hitting your eyes.
With more natural light – and other light sources – even a small home office won’t feel like a cubby hole. Instead, it will appear brighter, hopeful and empowering.
Avoiding paperwork by being almost completely digital is inexpensive yet practical. When you don’t have papers everywhere, there’s no need for a filing cabinet. A pull-out drawer in the desk that can hold a handful of hanging files is sufficient.
Going digital means you can create digital invoices and email them over to contacts. This saves on the hassle of getting to the Post Office to buy some stamps because you’ve run out. The invoice arrives faster, and you might even get paid sooner too.
Using the cloud makes sense for digital files. There are different cloud services depending on your needs. It’s worth checking whether you already have a cloud service setup because they’re often bundled into other deals. For instance, a subscription to Microsoft’s Office 365 often comes with OneDrive. Sometimes, a new business-oriented smartphone comes with a free subscription for Dropbox or Google Drive too.
You’re far better off embracing simplicity with a home office because you’re usually limited on space. More natural light and attractive photos on the walls also make the office feel more inviting too.