If you work from home, you certainly face a tall order: As time goes by, you realize that your workspace is getting smaller and smaller due to your growing personal necessities.
Although you might be willing to sacrifice your comfort as an entrepreneur if conditions demand it, narrow, dark, and poorly ventilated spaces can negatively affect your business performance, not to mention your mental capabilities.
Founders of tech startups are renowned for investing large sums in state-of-the-art offices. While it may seem like a waste of money, many studies support that well-appointed work environments can improve productivity and mood; and satisfied employees are more productive; the return on investment is obvious.
Investing in yourself by optimizing the layout of your work environment is like investing in your business. In this article, you will discover excellent home office design ideas for all budgets.
Do it yourself or hire a designer?
Should you manage this t â che yourself, or hire an interior designer? Weigh your options:
- Are you resourceful and creative? If not, will your rookie mistakes cost you more time in the long run?
- Can you free up time despite a busy schedule?
- Does your budget allow you to hire a professional?
- Will it be a simple redesign (aesthetic finishes, rearrangement of furniture), or a complete transformation to be managed by a renovation contractor?
For complex projects, interior designers are the experts you need; they can save you money by negotiating better prices for materials and labor contracts. Find professionals near you on Houzz.
Alternatively, there are a lot of do-it-yourself ideas that don’t require a lot of skill and don’t require a large budget. On Pinterest and YouTube, you will find in-depth tutorials and lots of ideas for a home office layout in abundance.
Plan the space
Location, Location, Location
Select a room in your home that can accommodate your business’s demands, so you have your work tools and accessories close at hand.
Professional designers generally require minimum dimensions of the order of 150 cm x 210 cm for the arrangement of a workspace. If the location you have chosen is not large enough, you should think about some questions to see if you will be able to move around comfortably in the space; Is there enough room for an ergonomic office chair and will you be able to sit in and get up easily? Will you be able to accomplish your daily tasks feeling comfortable?
If you make your products yourself, and your home office doubles as a manufacturing space, you will definitely need more space. Consider other spaces in and around the house: garden shed, heated garage, furnished cellar, attic, etc. If your home has a guest bedroom, convert it into a versatile work environment.
It is also possible to set up a home office even in very small living spaces; think cupboards, multipurpose rooms, or even smartly designed folding furniture.
When choosing a location within your home, you will need to consider whether space will also be used for hosting meetings or hosting clients. Prefer a place near the entrance.
Finally, eliminate the distractions. The kitchen is an often busy center of activity and parents working from home might find the location convenient, but the environment can also be distracting. Set up a dedicated space to establish a clear separation between personal and professional life and avoid letting family activities interfere with your working hours.
An interior designer can help you design a layout to meet your needs. If you’re going to go it alone, many online tools and apps can help you design your space:
- 3D plans: roOomy (iOS) can convert a 2D photo into a 3D interior scene. Other options: Room Sketcher (computer), Home Design 3D (Android).
- 2D floor plans: Stanley Floor Plan (iOS), AutoCAD 360
Within your space, you should reserve a different area for each task if possible in order to improve concentration and avoid clutter; thinking, meetings, working, packing orders, manufacturing, etc.
If Feng Shui – the ancient Chinese system that studies the influence of energy in space on people – is important to you, use the main concepts of this art to choose a location, design. space, and arranging objects and furniture. According to the Feng Shui philosophy, the proper arrangement of space can contribute to the achievement of success, happiness and wealth.
Before you take out the paint rollers to deal with the aesthetic aspects, devote some time to the technological aspects.
- Examine the outlets: are there enough? Can you easily plug in your equipment from where you placed your furniture? Will you require power bars or extension cords?
- Is Your Home Internet Service Right For Your Business Needs? Can you get the wifi well?
- Consider all the alternatives intended to increase productivity; from home automation solutions and smart bulbs to silent printers and noise-reducing headphones.
Having studied fine arts in college – and although painting pictures has not helped me get any job since – I regularly use principles of composition and color psychology at the time of writing. design my living and working spaces. How do you want to feel in your surroundings?
Choosing the colors for your home office shouldn’t be based solely on your personal preferences. Colors affect productivity and energy levels (blue and green are good choices, respectively).
If your job is tiring or requires a lot of physical effort, colors like orange and red can be energizing. Yellow is suitable for all types of design and stimulates creativity. Also, be aware of the negative attributes of each color – yellow, for example, can strain the eyes.
Smart organization and storage solutions
Storage solutions are important, especially in compact spaces and shared or manufacturing spaces. Unless you run your business on your own by dropshipping, you will inevitably require more space to store product and packaging materials. There are several ways to approach the situation:
- Use vertical storage solutions.
- Shop for smartly designed furniture and accessories that also serve as storage solutions.
- If you are selling from home, incorporate your products into the design of the space.
- Choose a closet or other dedicated area for separate storage.
- Rent storage space outside your home.
Even if you certainly organize your workdays using applications, there are several ways to do the same in a tactile way, in order to keep priority tasks in mind while staying motivated:
- Transfer your digital task lists to a personal kanban board, and reduce the number of tabs open in your browser.
- Try to use a large, physical calendar to mark major events like sales, your goals, or product launches.
- Design a clear sorting system to organize mail, paper invoices, etc.
- If your office doubles as a manufacturing space, intelligently arrange your tools and materials so they are close at hand, and give each item its own place.
Your space reflects your inner state of mind according to the Feng Shui philosophy, and research indicates that poor working conditions can negatively impact health.
If you spend most of your day sitting, invest in an ergonomic office chair. Adopt a correct sitting position – back straight, feet flat on the floor, elbows at 90 degrees – to avoid muscle problems.
Regardless of the ergonomics of your office chair, prolonged sitting can cause health problems; exhaustion, stiff backs, reduced heart efficiency, etc. Alternatively, consider an adjustable desk or desk intended for working while standing, keeping in mind getting up and moving frequently.
Choose paints and construction materials without adverse health effects, and make sure the space has adequate ventilation. “Green conditions” can improve cognitive performance and positively influence data use and strategy, according to a Harvard study.
A study by NASA has shown that common houseplants can remove harmful toxins from the air; the study researchers recommend one plant for every 9 square meters of space. However, not all plants are created equal; the study researchers looked at 18 plants to assess their ability to clean the air.
Expose yourself to the light of day! A study from Northwestern University showed that exposure to daylight in the office affects sleep, activity levels and quality of life. In the study, people working in spaces with windows slept an average of 46 minutes more per night than people working in closed spaces. If your workspace doesn’t have windows, be sure to supplement your diet with vitamin D.
Finally, design your office with the elements that inspire you. What motivates you? Your favorite quote, your loved ones, or maybe the journey to your goal? Visually represent the items in question in your space.
BONUS: The cost of improvements to your home office is a legitimate business expense and therefore tax-deductible!
“Business improvements and expenses should be closely related to running your home office, so be sure to keep copies of invoices for all purchases. As tempting as it is, avoids passing the cost of renovating a kitchen or installing a swimming pool as a business expense – fees that are too high will arouse the curiosity of your country’s tax authorities. »Will Hillock, Tax Expert, Shopify
In my office, the ceiling rises very high, natural light enters through industrial windows, and my colleagues are passionately indulging in a game of table football. Extravagance is not our style. We are building spaces where people enjoy spending time, and where we work to continually optimize the Shopify platform for our merchants.
As an entrepreneur, you probably spend more time in your office than I do, and you’ve worked hard to get your business started. Treat yourself to the luxury of an optimized work environment that inspires the best in you.