It’s estimated 50% of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and approximately 20-25% of the workforce teleworks at some frequency.
It’s not always a perfect vision of effortless success – there can be pitfalls such as glitchy conference calls, lack of storage, cramped work space, and domestic distractions.
As tax day approaches, you may realize the loom of deadlines and other distractions has caused your home office not to be as you’d like it to be.
With these changes come design changes as well. The home office can be what ever it is you need it to be.
I start by taking inventory with my clients. What tools do they use in their daily work? What are their filing needs? Do they use a visual board/white board? Do they use large printers or plotters? Do they need guest seating? How many screens do they use? You get the idea.
I also inquire whether the space needs to be multi-functional. For example, they might like to work at the kitchen island in the morning.
Multi-functional spaces require more discrete storage options. This applies to our electronic items such as cable management in addition to our paper materials.
Due to the value of our devices you want to protect them. I prefer to use surge protectors whenever possible. Always add one to your electrical panel as a first line of defense.
If a client uses the dining room table for work then creating file storage that looks like a sideboard might be ideal.
To help you stay organized you might want to divide your “work space” in to zones by task. This will help minimize your work flow and keep your space efficient and organized.
As the tend to “right-size” our homes continues or if you are limited on space, there is often a need to integrate the work space into the living space. An item that is often overlooked within these settings is lighting. Make sure your work space has enough task lighting so you can see comfortably to avoid eye strain and stiffness from leaning forward too much.
Another idea for when your office space is tight on space is to think vertically. Floating shelves and hanging file systems can keep your most used items accessible and tidy.
Using white board paint or creating a cork wall for creating your mood boards, brain storming or doodles is a better look than hanging a small cheap board from the office supply house.
Designing a home office is an evolving discipline. It’s a combination of ergonomics, technology and aesthetics. I believe the best design should be adaptable because technology seems to reinvent itself every 6 months and because where you work best today might not work for you in a year or two.