Christie Chirinos

Office Space Design

The Interior Design Essentials For Creating A Great Home Office

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So you’ve landed your first work-from-home job. Or you’ve finally quit your job to start your own business. Maybe you’re just tired of working from the dining room table, and you’ve decided that it’s time to invest in a great home office. I put together this article of the essential considerations for office interior design. These are the 9 broad categories that I think you need to keep in mind as you embark in your quest for a great home office. Remember: it will be a journey. Don’t expect to get it all perfect on the first go; some of it will be trial and error. But with these tips, you can get started with a strong footing to create a space that is both functional and inspiring, maximizing both your satisfaction and your efficiency.

#1 Choose the Right Location

Selecting the ideal spot for your home office is crucial. A lot of articles out there stress having a separate room, but in today’s world, I believe this to be increasingly unrealistic. If you can, use a separate room with a door to create that boundary between work and life. But if you can’t, just choose a quiet area with minimal distractions. Personally, I work in a curated and dedicated space in my living room, and I love it.

One consideration that does matter is natural lighting. Surveys show that 78% of people feel that natural lighting in an office improves their well-being. Above having a separate room, prioritize having natural light. Try setting up your workspace near a window.

#2 Office Interior Design Fundamental: Quality Furniture

Comfortable and ergonomic furniture is essential for maintaining productivity. Eventually, you’ll want to invest in a standing desk and an ergonomic chair that supports your posture and reduces strain when you want to sit.

Standing desks are no longer a fad. Science has found evidence that there is real health benefits to a sit-stand work setup. While you can go very high end with your standing desk, I pair my $4,000 Haworth chair with a $200 standing desk from Amazon. It does the trick.

#3 Office Interior Design Fundamental: Lighting

Something I’ve learned about office interior design lighting in 2024 is that there are two considerations: your task lighting, and your Zoom call lighting. And oftentimes, those two are going to be at odds with each other.

When it comes to your overall lighting, as mentioned above, natural light is best. Position your desk near a window if possible. Facing a window will also give you a natural light on your Zoom calls, so this can be an ideal first place to start.

Supplement natural light with task lighting, such as a desk lamp, to ensure your workspace is well-lit, reducing eye strain and fatigue on cloudy days. Your desk lamp will give you more of an “interrogation room” look on Zoom calls, so consider adding a third light by hanging a ring light of some sort near your webcam for good Zoom call light.

#4 Personalize Your Space

Personalizing your home office can make it a more enjoyable place to spend time. It’s surprising how much having a picture of someone you love on your desk will inspire you to do your best. Pick one or two items that inspire you, such as artwork or photos, and put them up. I consider a personal touch an essential part of a great home office.

#5 Keep it Organized

On the other hand, a cluttered workspace can be distracting and hinder productivity. Invest in storage solutions to keep everything in its place. If you have books, you may want to purchase some bookshelves or floating shelves. You may also want a desk organizer for pens, paperclips, and the like.

#6 Design Your Tech

Setting up your new home office is a great time to think about the technology you’re using. Have you been taking every Zoom call with your laptop’s camera looking up your nose? Consider investing in a good monitor, webcam, and a headset. They will truly elevate your work-from-home experience. Another consideration that seems overlooked in 2024 is a hard-wired internet connection. Depending on the internet service you have, a dedicated workspace ethernet connection might be the key to getting the top speeds that you are paying for.

#7 Office Interior Design Fundamental: Feng Shui Your Layout

When deciding how to arrange furniture, I love considering the principles of feng shui for office interior design. In feng shui, the “command position” is a crucial concept for arranging your home office furniture to promote a sense of control and productivity. This position involves placing your desk in a spot where you can see the door without being directly in line with it. Ideally, your desk should be diagonally across from the door. This arrangement allows you to see who enters and exits the room, symbolizing control and stability in your work life. If at all possible, place your desk in the command position.

However, if the command position conflicts with great natural lighting, I’ll choose the natural light position and perhaps hang a small mirror at my desk to see the door.

Depending on how much room you have for your home office, you may also end up integrating a couch. I’ve designed home offices where the desk wasn’t in the command position, but the couch was. Then, the couch became a great space for thinking, and the desk became a space for executing.

#8 Pay Attention to Ergonomics

Besides a good chair, consider other ergonomic accessories such as monitor raisers, standing pads, and keyboard cushions. These can help reduce strain and improve comfort, making long working hours more manageable.

#9 Control Noise Levels

Office noise, much like lighting, is a two-parter in 2024: your ambient noise and your Zoom noise.

Your Zoom audio will sound best with minimal audio reflection. Consider soundproofing solutions like a nice rug and curtains in your home office. I have seen many acoustic panels installed in home offices, and the dampening of sound from these is usually only necessary if you do podcasting or other professional audio work. For video calls, noise-cancelation technology and soft textiles in your room will do the trick.

If you live in a noisy place, have noisy kids or neighbors, or otherwise need to cancel out your environment’s noise for your own focus, considering noise-canceling headphones. They’re a great investment for your home office, and I have known executives who keep a collection in their offices.

Designing a home office that boosts productivity involves creating a space that is comfortable, functional, and inspiring. By choosing the right location, investing in quality furniture, optimizing lighting, and personalizing your space, you can transform any area of your home into a productive workspace. Rethink your technology, maintain organization, and pay attention to ergonomics to enhance your efficiency and comfort. With these tips, you can create a home office that supports your work habits and boosts your productivity. And if you love my approach to office interior design, I would love to hear from you in the comments.

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