Working from home can be great. You save time by not commuting, have a kitchen full of your favorite foods whenever you get snacky, and don't have to dress to the nines daily (goodbye, uncomfortable business shoes!).
Despite these advantages, working from home isn't easy — especially if you have kids, pets, or other household distractions taking away from your focus time. Plus, it can be challenging to separate work and home life, which means you get caught up in home stuff at work and can't stop thinking about work when you're supposed to be relaxing after hours.
A well-designed home office alleviates many of these potential pitfalls. But if you've never worked from home before, you may find yourself wondering:
How do I set up my home office?
Let PAXISgroup help with that. We've designed and built home offices with past clients and know what helps and hinders productivity. Here are our tips!
How Do You Create an Ideal Home Office?
Ideal home office design starts with you. Spend time upfront getting to know your working habits. Are you easily distracted? Or do you prefer to work in a place with lots of stimulation? Figure out the type of environment you work best in, and we'll recreate that experience in your home office.
Pick the Right Place
The where of setting up your home office is just as important as the how. Begin by surveying your home to find suitable options for your work zone. Often, having a room, such as a spare bedroom, wholly dedicated to your home office is most conducive to a happy work-life balance. You can quickly shut the door at the end of the day, leaving any stress or mess behind while you immerse yourself in relaxation and family time. You can also consider an attic or basement home office design for privacy and separation. If you prefer to be in a busier environment (or don't have the space to make an entire room your home office), the dining room table, corner of the living room, or other nooks, crannies, and closets can make suitable solutions.
A home that doesn't fit a home office probably isn't serving your life in other ways too. If you plan to work from home for the foreseeable future and don't have room in your house for a dedicated home office, investing in an addition or moving into a new place may be worthwhile. A custom build allows you to create a house that matches your every need. During the design process, you can explore home office floor plans to find the one that works best for you. A beautiful, new customized home and a personally-designed home office — what more could you want?
Separate Work & Home Life
Keeping work and home life from overlapping is integral to your sanity. If you can't close your office away at the end of the day by shutting the door, consider these separation solutions:
Use a room divider or drapes to cordon off your workspace
Tuck papers, pens, technology, and other worked related items away in an armoire
Invest in a collapsible desk you can break down when you don't need it out
Physical separation is the easy part; you also need to create mental separation. One way to achieve this is by starting and ending work at the same time every day. Eventually, you'll get used to the rhythm, and switching from work-to-home mode will become automatic. It can also be helpful to institute a ritual at the start and end of your work day. Cue the beginning of your productivity time by making coffee or tea to drink while you work, stretching, or setting up your space for the day — whatever works for you. When it's time to wrap up, clean up any mess accumulated throughout the day, take a walk and get out of the house, or listen to your favorite playlist to decompress out of work mode.
Maximize Organization & Minimize Clutter
Though seemingly harmless, those unorganized papers on your desk or pile of half-read books in the corner can majorly detract from your focusing abilities. Keep your space focus-friendly by using organizational tools like:
Stackable desk trays
Mounted wall organizers
File cabinets or portable file boxes
Aid your organizational efforts by minimizing the amount of clutter in your office. Only keep the materials and tools you use daily out on your desk and readily visible; everything can be tucked away in containers or desk drawers. Be sure to monitor your clutter regularly. Without frequent removal or reorganization, chaos can take over even the most well-thought-out setups. We also recommend keeping decor relatively minimal so it doesn't cause distractions.
Being uncomfortable makes it almost impossible to focus. So here's how to make a home office more comfortable:
Find a desk that's the right height and style (an adjustable sitting-standing desk may be appropriate)
Prioritize good lighting by staying away from flickering fluorescents and opting for natural or high-quality light
Keep the room at a comfortable temperature
Locate your main work area away from drafts or vents
Leave one space open, so you have room to stretch
Setting up your layout, so your office doesn't feel cramped is also a good idea. If you have your home office desk in the middle of a room, for example, make sure there is ample space on either side of the desk for you to walk through.
Choose Design that Inspires
Home office design is a delicate balance between providing inspiration and dissuading distraction. Start with a paint color you find charming yet calming. Blues and greens are favorites as they can be energizing or relaxing depending on your mood that day. Then layer decor on top. Remember, the ideal home decor for an office is minimal, so don't go overboard. Choose a few of your favorite art pieces, photographs, or maybe a framed copy of your diploma to hang on the walls and motivate you as you work.
Get Luxury Office Design with a Custom Build
The best way to get a stellar home office is to design around your work habits; that's our specialty at PAXISgroup. Learn more about us and hear from our customers about the PAXISgroup difference. When you work with us, you are working with a team who doesn't just believe in building homes – but building a lifestyle