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Creating the ideal home office

You may have had work space in your previous home but want to give yourself a better home office in your new home. Alternatively, you might be about to have your first home office and want to ensure that it’s functional for every member of the family. A home office can be a great asset if you’re running your own business, need to complete admin tasks, are regularly working from home or have a child who needs a quiet place to study.

To help you create your ideal workspace, we’ve created this guide.

Where should your home office be situated?

If you’ve got an unused bedroom or a room that’s already been earmarked as a study, this may be an easy question to answer. You could be thinking big and considering converting your garage or having a home office or summer house in your garden. However, if you don’t have the luxury of a whole room and your budget won’t stretch to a conversion, you may be looking at turning an unused area of your property into a home office.

The good news is that you can create a great home office even with the tiniest of space if you think smart and position it in a quiet area of your home. For instance, you could convert the corner of a room, perhaps the dining room or lounge, into a small area to study or work in. However, having your office right next door to a children’s playroom is a big no-no, unless you’re planning on working while your children are at school or asleep.

Your desk and chair

Arguably the most important pieces of furniture in your home office, you should ensure that they meet your needs. Your chair must be comfortable, offer the right level of support and ideally should be adjustable. An ergonomically designed chair that looks good is what you should strive for.

If you don’t and instead opt for a dining chair, for instance, you could find sitting in it for hours at a time very uncomfortable. This could not only leave you with back ache but impact on how much work you can do as you’re likely to be distracted.

As for your desk, you can choose a desk in any design or style that suits but it needs to be at a suitable height for your size. You should measure your home office room/area to check that the desk you buy is in the right dimensions. If it’s too large, you won’t have space for a bookcase and/or filing cabinet.

Do you want your desk to have drawers?Do they need to be lockable? Do you want it to be glass topped or would you find this a pain to clean? If you want a large desk with plenty of surface space, a corner desk can be a good option. If you’d like to be able to work sitting down or standing, you could opt for a height adjustable desk, but they do tend to be expensive.

Think about lighting

Consider having a desk lamp to boost your home office’s lighting levels. Otherwise you could risk straining your eyes and increase your chances of having headaches if you just rely on the room’s main light.

Ideally, you should position your desk by the side of a window but if you’d rather face it, position it further back in the room to prevent glare. Natural lighting is great but you’ll still require adjustable spotlights or wall lights for dull days or when you’re working at night. Fluorescent lightening is too harsh and should be avoided at all costs.

Storage solutions

Your work area needs to be kept clean and tidy, free from clutter which can be distracting and affect your productivity levels. Minimalistic home offices have virtually everything hidden from view, so if this is a look you like, why not opt for built-in storage? Having plenty of storage cupboards and drawers at your disposal can help you stay organised. If your home office is used by other members of the family, give them their own drawers or cupboards to use.

If you like having things on display, consider having a shelving unit or shelves, but perhaps have storage boxes and folders for your paperwork. They can match the colour scheme of your room, and tie everything together.

Inject some fun

A notice board, clock and calendar are must-haves for most home offices as they help you stay on track and manage your time. However, they don’t need to be boring. You’re not in the corporate world, you’re at home, so let your personality shine.

You can pin notes to your notice board, share invites, photographs and inspirational quotes to give your office the personal touch. Hang artwork on the walls that excites you, have a dog bed in the corner if you have a four-legged friend who likes to visit and if you’re stuck for inspiration, take a look at Instagram or Houzz to see what other people are doing.

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