How to Create a Functional Office
At the height of the pandemic, from May through December 2020, over 1/3 of Americans were working from home! And while many of us are back in the office right now, the future is remote. By 2025, a predicted 36.2 million Americans (22% of the workforce) will be permanently working remote. If your job has already gone at least partially remote or you are planning to work remotely in the upcoming months, having a functional home office space is critical. But what does it take to make a great office?
First, think about your needs and how you work best. How professional is your business’s culture? Will you have clients stopping by your home office? Do you need a space that is closed-off and distraction-free or do you like things going on around you while you work? Will you be working alone, sharing your office space with your spouse, or keeping an eye on your kids while you work? Does your position require focus and organization or do you need to stimulate your creativity?
Choosing Your Space
If your home does not have a designated office space, choosing the right room can be the most important part of designing your home office. Sacrificing a rarely used guest room to make a home office can offer you the most space and flexibility with designing your office. If you will be having clients stop by, you will want a space large enough for a comfortable seating area. If you don’t have an entire room to make into a designated office space, consider a quiet corner of a larger room, a large empty closet, or an unused space under a staircase. If you often have video meetings, you should also take into consideration what will be to your back in the area you choose. You might have a quaint corner of your bedroom that would make for a nice office space, but your unmade bed is not the most professional background. We highly recommend investing in room dividing partitions or curtains to separate your work area from your living space. And be mindful of your internet connection and access to outlets when you are choosing your space.
Styling Your Space
The most professional and classy offices are executive-style offices. Brown paint paired with rich wood and leather furnishings evokes feelings of strength and power. However, too much brown can leave your office feeling dark and depressing. A touch of light/pastel yellow paint or light-colored seating for clients can help brighten your office and stimulate creativity. Luxury carpeting can also make the room feel more welcoming. Assuming you work long hours, an ergonomic office chair offering a 360-degree swivel base, adjustable height, backrest, armrest, and seat depth, and built-in lumbar support will not only help you stay comfortable but will help you avoid future spinal disorders. Ample storage is a must for an executive office. Shelves and cabinets built into one wall can help you maximize your storage space without cutting into too much of your floor space. You should also choose a large desk with filing drawers that will help you keep your office clean and organized. Since many aspects of an executive office must be custom-built to fit your space, building this style of office can easily cost you over $10,000.
A traditional office style is the best choice for employees, especially those in financial services, who require quiet, private space to focus on their work. A traditional office space is the most affordable option, costing around $3,000 because it is easy to work with whatever space you have and the furnishings are generally simple. A sleek desk, ergonomic chair, and some floating shelves should be all you need. If you would like more storage, an open-back bookcase and a rolling filing cabinet are good options to keep the room looking clean and simplistic. The color pallet of a traditional office can be the most important part of the design. An off-white paint will give your room a warm yet clean appearance. While hues of the blue are ideal for staying focused and productive in repetitive industries like accounting. Green is another great option for financial positions as it evokes feelings of balance, calmness, and reassurance. To design the most productive office space, try picking shades of white, blue, and green for your paint, furniture, shelves, and decor. You should also try to get as much natural light as possible to boost your mood and productivity.
If you’re in a creative industry, you will want an office that helps stimulate your creativity. Creative offices are typically open spaces so finding a more central area of your home might be a good fit. Yellow or orange accents along with neutral shades can help set an innovative and energetic atmosphere. Creative offices are meant to encourage and enhance teamwork and collaboration, so a dry-erase or chalkboard wall, as well as lounge chairs, can be fun and useful touches. Most creative professional positions don’t require many office supplies other than a computer, so extra storage is not a necessity. But, a few floating shelves displaying things that inspire you can help give the room character. Plenty of lighting, ideally natural light, is a must for a creative office. Light wooden floors can help keep the space bright by reflecting light upwards. And a standing desk can help improve mood and energy levels while also offering many physical health benefits. Depending on where in your home you choose to have your creative office, designing this space will usually fall around $5,000.
If you will be sharing your office space with someone else in your household, but not collaborating your work with them, you will want a coworking office. It is important to find an area where you each will have enough space to work and move. Assuming your job responsibilities differ, you will want a neutral design that benefits both of you. Off-whites and blue-grays can make the space feel bright, clean, and professional. You should work together to pick and choose from aspects of an executive, traditional, or creative office style to plan your design and budget.
If you need help planning your home office we can refer you to a professional consultant at CE Lee in South Bend, IN. When you are ready to start remodeling contact Clayton Hoover & Sons. You can visit claytonhoover.com/remodeling to start your free estimate and schedule a time to meet with our contractors.