The home office has become an essential work environment for many. It can also feel like a minefield of rules and regulations, as well as a veritable jungle of furnishings, decorations, and miscellaneous items that keep things from feeling tidy. With that in mind, we thought it might help to clarify some common questions around the office layout, equipment and furnishings that you’ll need to own in order to create a productive space.
Here are our top tips on how to transform your home office to a phone booth office and make the most of your space:
Get an Office Desk
The first step is getting a desk. This is where you’ll set up your computer and store your work-related materials, as well as your phone, documents, and other items. It’s also where you’ll spend most of your time, so make it comfortable. You’ll want an office desk that’s large enough to accommodate your computer, monitor, keyboard, and other necessary equipment.
You’ll also want a desk that’s sturdy enough to hold all its components, but compact enough to not take up too much space. A corner desk is a good option, as is a desk with a pull-out shelf so you can put away your items. A pair of lamps on either side of your desk will help you see everything you have and find what you need more easily.
Be wary of freebies
There is a lot of free office space out there, which can make it tempting to start off with a small space, just to get your feet wet. This is a great way to end up with a very cramped space, or in a situation where you’re continually running out of room for your essentials.
Make sure you don’t go for the smallest office space you can find, as you’ll be regretting it later on. Find out what the average office space is for your industry, and make sure you don’t go much smaller than that.
Choose the right equipment
Home office equipment is different from standard office equipment. In terms of types of equipment, you’ll want to make sure you have a computer and a phone system. You also might want a printer and a scanner, depending on your needs. This is the equipment that you’ll use daily, so make sure it’s compatible with your computer and has enough space to store all the files you need.
If you’re planning on running a business from the office, it may be a good idea to go a step further and install a network so you can access your computer remotely, as well as let others access theirs. Home office networking is relatively inexpensive and can come in handy, particularly if you and others in your family have remote jobs that require access to a computer.
Plan your space layout
This is extremely important, as it will determine how your office will look and feel. You’ll want to map out the layout of your office space, so you know where everything will go. This doesn’t have to be done immediately, but it’s a good idea to get it all lined up in your head before you start buying any items.
You’ll want to make sure you have enough room for each piece of equipment, but also that nothing takes up too much space. The ideal layout will accommodate two people at once, but if you’re planning on staying home alone, you may want to reconsider the layout of the office. You’ll also want to consider whether you need the space for work-related items only, or if you want to keep things like food and toiletries there, too.
Stay organised with colour-coding
There are a ton of home office organising products out there, and they all have their own gimmicky ways of keeping your space neat and tidy. While these certainly help, they’re almost more effective when used in conjunction with other methods.
One of the best ways to stay organized is to colour-code your items so you know at a glance where everything is. You can do this by using different coloured pens, Post-it notes, or organising trays. You can also colour-code the drawers of your filing cabinet and file away important documents such as invoices and tax forms.
Sample a Screens layout for a multi-screen setup
There are tons of different screen layouts that you can try to find the best one for your home office. One of the best ways to see what works for your space is to take a screen layout, and then place it in other spaces. You can do this by using a laptop, or by borrowing a friend’s laptop.
This will give you a good idea of what works in terms of location and size, as well as what’s readily available in terms of furniture and decorations. It will also give you an idea of how much room you need to work with, which can be helpful when you’re starting to look at home office layout options.
The home office has become an essential part of modern life, but it’s also a space that can feel restrictive and busy. These tips will help you create a space that’s both functional and comfortable.
They don’t have to be expensive, but you should make sure you have the right equipment to get the job done. Now that you’ve read our tips, be sure to take our home office quiz to see where you stand and get specific advice on how to get started. The more you know about your space, the better equipped you’ll be for creating a space that works for you.