We all need a space to sit down, sort bills, and check e-mail. But some of us do much more in our home offices. Here are some things to think about as you customize your home office to fit your work style and floor plan.
Find your space
Setting up a dedicated space for your office can help you feel more productive and organized, whether you work from home or just need a somewhere to perch to pay bills. If you have a spare room, great news, but you might need to carve out an area within a shared space.
Are you the organized type who prefers to keep everything in its place? Or perhaps you like to spread things out to get the big picture. A full desk and a return will give you a broad L-shaped work surface as well as plenty of drawer space. Just need room for a laptop? Then you might do well with a small writing desk or a sofa table desk – the shallow depth makes it easy to fit in more locations. Stow your laptop in a drawer, and the tabletop is free for other uses.
What equipment do you use in your home office? Is your computer a laptop or a tower? Do you have a printer? A wide-screen monitor? Take inventory and measure your equipment before you go shopping so that you can find the furniture to house it all.
Good office furniture designs incorporate cord management and easy access to power strips, outlets, or charging stations. If any of your electronics will be kept in cubbies or behind doors, be sure they have adequate ventilation so they don’t overheat.
It’s important that your furniture fits your body as well as your décor. Invest in a good supportive chair, and make sure your seat height, eyeline, and wrists are all in correct ergonomic alignment. Task lighting is essential too. It will help reduce eye strain, and a desk lamp can add a stylish personal touch to your workspace.
Storage & organization
Keeping things sorted but close at hand is the key to efficiency. A tall bookshelf beside your desk or some wall-mounted shelves will hold your binders, books, and storage baskets. Many desks have file drawers built in, or you could choose a lateral file cabinet, which looks more like a small chest of drawers than a traditional file. To take advantage of vertical space, check out hutch options – open shelves and cabinets that sit on top of your desk. Just make sure they’re sturdy and properly secured.