Our current working life has seen a change over the past week. Our kitchens have now become our break room, our living rooms are now our conference room, and our webcams have now become our normal way of seeing people. It's a totally new and different routine than what we are used to! Having a home office space set up can help to set you up for success. We have reached out to some designers who excel in home office design for some advice on how to set up your work from home space for productivity, normalcy, and of course comfort. Here is what they had to say.
"Working from home can come with many distractions, but there are steps you can do to minimize them. Tailoring your working space to your needs can help you focus and increase productivity. Having a designated workstation, preferably at a table or counter space (not a bed or couch!) for your laptop and any supplies, will give you a sense of workplace. Ideally, this space should be away from loud distractions like TV and small kiddos. Set up your working space close to a window, and/or with a table lamp, as a well-lit workstation can help you focus (plus, fresh air and sunlight is energizing).
Once you have established where you will work within your home, make sure everything you need is accessible. Have access to a power outlet and gather the chargers you'll need to juice your laptop and cell phone, as well as any other home office devices you're using. Office supplies like a notepad, post-its, pens, and a trash can, should also be within reach. Having these things, along with water/drink, lip balm, hand lotion, and snacks, close by will prevent you from having to interrupt your work to go look for what you need, and potentially becoming distracted along the way. Consider placing some of the smaller items into a few baskets by category, to minimize clutter in a limited space.
After defining your workstation and gathering your essentials, you can add in decorative touches. Select items that fill you with joy, and also inspire and motivate you to be productive. An attractive calendar, books, your favorite quotes, textiles, a framed photo, a candle, plant(s), a throw pillow on your office chair, and maybe a cute kitchen timer or clock to help you stay on top of your tasks, are all nice additions that will enhance your working area. With these tips you can craft a comfortable space that fosters productivity, while using what your already have in your home. Best of luck. :)"
"When I planned my office I had two things in mind. It had to be functional and it had to be a space I would be happy to spend a lot of time in. After all, my business is creating beautiful spaces so my office was a perfect way to practice what I preach to my clients.
With all the supplies and materials we have, storage is a huge concern for designers. One of my struggles when I first designed my office, was finding organizational solutions that were functional and sustainable. I've realized I need to have as much clutter behind doors as possible.
I put tall bookcases in my office that I use to store catalogs, files, and accessories that I don't need to access everyday. This is also a great place to put my marketing materials. I also put adjustable shelves in my closet so it will accommodate job materials and supplies of assorted sizes. Everything is readily accessible and I can close the door so I don't see the clutter. Definitely a win-win.
Keeping client project files and samples organized is probably the key to having an office that functions well. Baskets, file folders or binders, and sturdy plastic pouches with zipper closures are the tools that work best for me. Samples for active projects are kept in the pouches and if the folder/binder is small enough it also goes in the pouch. If it's not, then they’re stored next to each other at all times. These are all kept in a low, wide basket on the floor of my closet. They're easy to reach and everything is in one place.
I’m a list-maker by nature so to take advantage of this, I use fabric covered bulletin boards on my
closet doors to hold my project check lists. Each project has it’s own space so with a quick look, I know what needs to be done next. This is also a convenient place to hold reminders for business tasks or IDS tasks that I need to work on."
"Working from home can be tricky, but it will quickly become a coveted position if you have the perfect space to stretch your brain. When we begin to design a home office, we start with three principals: Determine the clients’ needs, develop a plan of action, and define the space. It is important to hone in on the desires of the person that will be using this space for hours on end so we can perfectly equip their office. The plan of action starts with discovering ways to creatively utilize the space and make working EASIER through design, including sufficient storage. Lastly, defining a space is done by the specific selection of furniture that correlates with the needs of the user, correct task and ambient lighting to set the tone for the space, and making function our number one priority."
We hope these ideas help you work efficiently at home! Let us know in the comments if you have employed any of these tips to set up your new home office space.
The Interior Design Society (IDS) is an independent national organization comprised of more than 2,000 members. One of the country's largest design organizations dedicated to serving the residential interior design industry, IDS embraces four core values including professionalism, community, influence and growth. The IDS National headquarters is located in High Point, NC, the world's home furnishings capital. Founded in 1973 by the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA) to support interior designers based within furniture stores, the Interior Design Society has long since expanded its focus to provide support to professional interior design entrepreneurs nationwide.