While you are free to design and decorate the perfect home office to your exact specifications, there are some things to keep in mind:
- Choose the location carefully
When it comes to selecting the right space inside your home, consider noise and traffic factors. If you plan to work in your office when the rest of the family is at home, choose a room that’s not too close to the kitchen, bathroom, or great room since common areas bring with them a lot of activity. If you’re charged with monitoring a child or children, however, your choice of location should take that into consideration.
- Design a space that inspires
Once you find the right space for your telecommuting, it’s time to concentrate on what motivates you, soothes your senses, and brightens your day. No matter how ascetically pleasing your home office is, if it’s not strategically organized, the space could end up being counterproductive. Paint the walls a soothing, light color to elevate your mood and productivity. Add a living plant to your workspace to help reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being
- Determine Your Design Theme
A design theme should inspire you to get that last bit of work done while allowing you to enjoy your surroundings. From modern and sleek to cozy and chic, the ideal home office theme speaks to your personal aesthetics. Add furniture pieces that are functional but not heavy or excessive to facilitate the use and flow of space.
- Blend in
When decorating, consider how the room will blend in with adjacent areas. The style choice and colors should be complementary, not clashing. Pay close attention to creating a proper work surface. This critical element in any home office can mimic the style of the rest of your home or add a complementary element.
- Get organized
The best way to get organized in a home office is by going paperless. By digitizing your address book and calendar, your network will literally be at your fingertips wherever you go. Digitizing also allows you to scan and shred documents, preventing the further use of paper and saving the planet. If you can’t go paperless, at least avoid clutter by having a place to store all those important documents. In addition, be sure to cut or hide any cords. Wireless printers and scanners are one way to keep those ugly wires out of view and reduce the chances of tripping over them. If you are holding meetings in your home office, then you will need space for at least one extra chair.
- Keep it light
Smart lighting is essential in any room, and vital in your home office. The character and quality of the lighting can increase your productivity while allowing you to think and create. Poor office lighting can reduce energy, dampen your mood, and cause eye strain and headaches. Illuminate your workspace with artificial lighting through overhead or recessed lights, with well-defined light sources for computer work, paperwork, and other focus-intensive tasks. Whenever possible, use natural light.
- Go green
Telecommuting from home is better than being in a stuffy office building, but you’re still indoors. However, greenery can help you bring the outdoors inside. Adding green touches is easy on the eyes and helps us feel more connected to nature.
- Zoom background
Make sure you have the proper lighting and backdrop for any of those important Zoom meetings. Many people have their bookshelf in the background, but a blank wall works too. A curated photo collage is a perfect option if you want to get a little personal. Showing off your whole bedroom is only for those who manage to keep their rooms immaculate. Bring nature into any call by spotlighting an outdoor area. You can also select a virtual background.
- Set your own hours
Studies show that those who keep regular working hours are the most productive working at home. That’s not surprising since no one’s watching you from your home office. That’s why experts suggest you dive into your to-do list as soon as possible after you wake up.
- Act as if you are going to the office
Set your alarm, keep regular working hours, structure your day as you would at the office, and stay focused. If you have an online calendar, create personal events and reminders that tell you when to shift gears and start on new tasks. Google Calendar makes this easy.
- Don’t mess around on social media during working hours
We all know how easy it is to waste hours on social media. Don’t do it! Consider working primarily in a private or “incognito” browser window. Instead, use technology to stay connected with team members.
- Pick a definitive finishing time each day
You might be under the impression that working from home establishes more work-life balance but be careful with that assumption. Don’t get so caught up working in a relaxing environment that you lose track of time and spend more hours than necessary behind your desk.
- Add inspiration
Experts say homeowners should make space in their home office for personal items. That’s because displaying some of your favorite things can be inspirational. Whatever you add, make sure it speaks to you. That way, you’ll not only be comfortable, but you’ll also be more creative and productive.
I enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to my work environment. I have a lovely office in my Montecito home, but I also have access to personal space at the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices office on Coast Village Road in Montecito. I love having a flexible schedule and find it has helped me be named one of the “Top 100 Influential Real Estate Agents in Southern California” by Real Estate Executive magazine.
If you’re looking for a new home where you can work in your pajamas, have a look at my public and private featured listings. Most of those distinctive properties either have an existing home office or provide plenty of space to create one. After you peruse my listings, call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com. We’ll arrange a tour of those that catch your eye. I’ll even help you set up your own home office and make sure it’s the perfect space for telecommuting.