Home Office

Designing a home office for full time working hours

  • Nearly 50% of US adults spend at least some time working from home. Which means that coffee shops and even the kitchen table can work as temporary 'office spaces'. However, when you work from home full time, slumping on a sofa or anywhere you can perch a laptop on your lap is not a long-term solution. There are lots of reasons that you need a specific space to do work in, including:

    • Needing a quiet space where children and pets can't feature on conference calls.
    • Needing ergonomic furniture that won't cause you long-term injury and pain.
    • Creating a space you can focus on work, and then leave it behind at the end of the day.
    • Avoiding filling other areas of the house with office clutter like paperwork and office gadgets.
    • Having a space with guaranteed internet connection.
    • Being able to culture a place of creativity and productivity for working alone.

    With full time working from home, you need a dedicated space for all the above reasons and more. If you have found yourself in a position where you are creating a home office for full-time remote working, these tips will help you turn your dedicated working space into the ideal area for a career based at home:

    Where To Put Your Office

    You need a dedicated office space before you can do anything else. This needs to be enough space for a desk, seat, computer and a little room to move. With full-time home offices, a little space is often needed so that you don't feel you're in a claustrophobic space all day. You have to want to spend time in this area. A spare room or garage is ideal, and even a garden office if you can afford to create one. Garden offices are great because they are physically separate from the house so psychologically you will disconnect from work when you are in the main house. Studies have also shown seeing nature is beneficial to feeling better when you work, a study has even demonstrated that just seeing nature out of a window can reduce stress at work. At the very least choose a space with some natural light which is beneficial to any working environment.

    Having The Right Connections

    When you are working from a laptop for an afternoon working from home, you can afford to move around looking for an Internet signal. However, when you work from home full time you need good internet connections and the right set up with your laptop and PC. Prioritise the technology you use to do your job and get in touch with a professional company like FloridaPro if you own a Mac device to get the best possible setup for your career.

    Having An Ergonomic Setup

    Having the wrong setup in an office can result in all kinds of injuries such as repetitive strain injury, back pain, eye strain, headaches and even low moods. Office ergonomics applies to all areas of your office including:

    • Your workstation (desk, chair and computer)
    • The lighting in your office
    • The noise in your office
    • The breathing quality in your office

    It can even apply to things you have to lift or move around, or even how you use the phone! From your perspective, only you are liable for your safety in your office, so try and make safe choices when you choose your office furniture. This article is a great place to get guidance on ergonomic office furniture. Alternatively, this Mayo Clinic YouTube video provides excellent visual references for ergonomic workstation design.

    Having A Beautiful Office

    The way your office looks is important because you should enjoy working in this space. Think about all the offices you have worked in before and what you liked and disliked about them and that should help you get some inspiration for your working space. Consider the following decor options for your office:

    • A colour scheme - which colours inspire you and make you feel refreshed and awake.
    • Sound - do you work well with surround sound whale song or coffee shop chatter?
    • Lighting - screen glare is really bad for your eyes so let in as much natural light as possible and avoid artificial lights directly above you or facing your computer screen.
    • Comfort - you should feel comfortable in your office, enough to enable you to work well, without getting backache or aches in your leg.
    • Life - the addition of plants in an office promotes air flow and brings the outdoors in.
    • Inspiration - inspirational art pieces and quotes could adorn your walls and help personalise your space.

    This is your office space, so it is totally your choice what it looks like, so why not be a little creative and create your own Google-style office instead of the usual soulless working spaces?

    Ground Rules

    An important but often ignored aspect of having a home office is ground rules for yourself and the rest of the family. For yourself, it might be worth having a rule that once you leave the office, you forget about work for the day. Obviously, this won't always be the case, but it is so easy to fall into the trap of sitting in the office 24/7 because you're using the computer for watching TV or chatting on social media. You have to have a psychological rest from the space in order to let your brain have time to refresh. The rest of the family also needs to know this is not a play area and not to disturb you when you are in there. Perhaps you want a lock on the door, or a do not disturb sign. You are working in that space and should be unavailable as you would be if you were out at work and the ground rules around the office should reflect that.

    Working from home is a privilege and something many people dream of being able to do. However, it can quickly become undesirable if the boundaries between where you work and where you relax are blurred. Create the perfect home office for working full-time, and you'll find it does become a real pleasure to avoid that horrible commute, to have lunch and breaks in your own garden, and have lots more time for yourself and your family.