Working from home certainly has its challenges, especially for those who are new to the virtual game. This is why home office layout and style is so important; your workspace needs to be one that will motivate you to complete the work without distractions or external stresses. At an even more fundamental level, your workspace needs to be healthy and provide a positive environment – one of the most difficult parts of working from home is keeping work and home life separate, so the workspace should be a distinctive part of your house.
Obviously it is not always possible to convert a spare room into an office, though naturally that would be ideal. But if you need to have your office space included within your regular living space, there are some strategies you can employ to make the area still feel separate. The importance of this cannot be understated – without a clear distinction, it is very likely that your work will bleed into your personal life and drain away your recreational time.
When planning the design of a home office, it is always important to define the space. Measuring out a specific area will help with furniture choices and should give you an idea of the sort of office you will be able to create. Smaller offices lend well to bright colours and minimal decoration, while larger offices have excellent opportunity for organized storage units and more individualized décor.
Australian home offices have yet to develop a distinct style, but a typical Australian home office will be fairly minimalist in decoration with neutral surrounding colours. These office ideas for homes are fairly foolproof ways to minimize distraction and encourage productivity in a home working environment.
Work from home: 5 home office design ideas
One of the most recommended design philosophies for a modern workspace is minimalism. This is because there are many distractions while working from home – whether it’s needy family members, roommates, pets, or even just the internet itself. Having a clean, sparse workspace will help to quiet the background noise and keep stress to a minimum. It is also a professional and distinct style that will most likely contrast the rest of your home décor, helping to conceptually separate the office space from your regular life. Minimalism will allow you to focus entirely on the work in front of you, freeing your mind as well as your space from clutter. It is also – unsurprisingly – one of the most affordable styles!
Minimalism, of course, will not work for everyone. You need to pick the home office ideas that will work best for you, your attention patterns, and your work needs. For some people, an empty workspace only stifles their creativity. Picking decorations that have particular significance to you is an excellent way to personalize your workspace and encourage your future self to keep plugging on.
Things like personal photographs or an artwork that you particularly enjoy are the small touches which might help to inspire your work day. Another great idea for a home office setup is to decorate the place with plants.
Plants are cute and uplifting décor options which will keep you company throughout the long day. A touch of nature indoors is always good to remind you that there are things outside waiting for you once you’ve finished, and seeing real plants thrive under your care is always motivating.
Colour can be an incredibly important factor in workplace productivity. This has been proven time and again in scientific studies, with white being unquestionably the worst colour for a work setting. Even the higher performing subjects struggled to work in an all-white environment, finding the lack of colour clinical and restrictive. How people respond to colours is different for each individual, but the majority of people found a blue or blue-green environment was the most conductive to their productivity. See the images below to get a sense of which colour might be the best for you.
Specifically for creative types, blue or aqua was the prime choice. It is calming and encourages inspiration by soothing the mind in preparation for new ideas.
The colour red has been shown to improve performance in detail-oriented tasks, because it is a bold and stimulating colour.
Green was a popular choice for creative tasks as it encourages inspirtation and harmony.
Yellow showed similar results, stimulating creativity, and is often linked to happiness.
However, yellow – like red – is a powerful colour which can easily become overwhelming. If you are interested in employing this theory in your working space but unsure whether or not the colour will be distracting, a simple solution might be to have a feature wall in the desired colour or accent your space with coloured decorations.
Internal wall paint can be found online in almost every colour imaginable at Bunnings, so you are sure to find a shade that will best suit your personal needs.
A bad office setup can have long-lasting health ramifications. In particular, choosing the right desk chair is crucial to ensuring that you are comfortable throughout the day and there is minimal strain on your back. You will need to be conscious of the height and level of support, and tailor this to your physical needs. Office chairs will vary in the height of support, ranging from low to extra high.
For lower back support, a medium high back is recommended while an extra high back is better for shoulder issues. You should also note that while office chairs are usually adjustable, they may not always fit as they are expected to; the best thing to do is to see if you can test out chairs in person at a furniture store. This will give you a proper sense of which chairs feel the most comfortable for you, as well as how they fit.
Professional office chairs are rarely attractive. Styling a traditional black office chair with your home office may be difficult, and many people opt for a less ergonomic, fashionable chair instead. However, some offices work really well with black chairs by matching the décor or even adding a feature wall.
Your choice of chair will depend entirely on what motivates you the most; if you find physical comfort the most conduit to productivity, then a proper office chair is probably the way to go. If you are a very visual person and need aesthetic appeal to maintain your motivation, perhaps you will want to try a more stylish chair.
Researching the types of chairs available will be critical for those who have a more specific colour scheme in mind, and if you are taking an atypical office decoration route you should still try to find a chair with the most back support possible, like this one.
A desk can be one of the most difficult things to style a home office with. Because it is often such a bulky piece of furniture, it will draw the eye immediately and set the tone of your home office space. A desk or an office table should also be the appropriate height for you. When you are seated – with your feet flat on the ground – your desk should be at the same height as your elbow in a 90 degree angle.
This may be tricky to follow, because for some reason the standard desk height is 73.5cm (which is the ideal size for a 6 foot tall person). Because of this, it is entirely likely that you have been working in the past on an incorrectly sized desk. This will place undue stress on your back and shoulders, and can even lead to permanent back/disc damage.
Comfort should be your number one priority and once you have measured out the ideal desk height (likely after purchasing your chair) you can begin to search for desks that fit the bill and matches the style of your home office space.
Keep in mind the principles of minimalism and motivation, as well as colour theory when making your choice. Some desks can add texture to the room, making it a more stimulating work environment.
More plain desks will work in the opposite direction and can be useful for the easily-distracted worker.
Small desks will help to regulate the space and keep the workspace feeling organized / separate the home and office.
A large desk is grandiose and may motivate the worker to work harder.
The right desk for your space will depend on your height, personal preferences, style of the room, and your approach to the work. There are a range of unique and beautiful office desks available here at Temple & Webster or Rove Concepts. The right desk will usually cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.