Over the past few months, many professionals have grown accustomed to working at least partially from home. Given the uncertainty of the future, now may be the time to ensure you’ve created the optimal office space at your house.
Whether working remotely in Alachua County is temporary or part of your long-term professional plan, having a home office is beneficial in numerous ways. Without leaving your home, you can slip inside a space tailored perfectly for your needs and get done whatever you need to when you need to.
Creating a Custom Home Office
Built-in home offices can be as simple or complex as you desire. Whether you’re creating a home office on a budget or constructing a new, fully outfitted space suitable for accomplishing all your professional responsibilities, the first step is figuring out your goals and designing a plan for your optimal environment (and even private!). Here are several home office ideas to consider in the process:
1. Incorporate a Desk
There are some people who can sit on a couch or their bed and get work done, but that’s hardly conducive to maximizing productivity and focus. If you’re working long hours, it’s also not good for your back and neck. Whether you’re adding a new room to become your office or carving out a corner of space in another room, having a desk or table of some sort with an ergonomic chair is advantageous so you’re not slumped over or craning your neck day-in and day-out. If you're remodeling your home in Gainesville to add a new workspace, consider including personalized, built-in office furniture. You’re going to be spending an abundance of time sitting or standing at your desk, so you might as well conform the structure to your personal tastes and preferences. Think about what supplies and equipment you want to set on the desk or store in the cabinets. Standing desks are also increasing in popularity as people become more aware of the negative health ramifications of sitting for hours at a time.
2. Create Real or Perceived Privacy
It can be challenging to mentally switch between “home mode” and “work mode” when you’re working remotely from your house in Gainesville. Having a physical barrier to separate your workspace from other areas is optimal. Ideally, you should put your home office in a room with a door that shuts and locks. If it will be incorporated into another room—such as your bedroom or a media room—a mobile partition or hanging curtain can give you the semblance of privacy you need to get into the right head space when it’s time to work.
3. Find Optimal Lighting
Exposure to natural light throughout the day positively impacts your mental and physical health. If you’re designing a home office, make sure it includes a window or two, or even a skylight, so you can bring natural light into the room. If natural light sources are limited in the space you’ve designated for your home office, use a desk lamp or other softly glowing light to prevent eye strain and keep you productive while you’re on the clock.
4. Construct a Suitable Background
When designing a custom home workspace, it’s common to focus on what you want to put on your desk and what you want to be looking at. However, since it’s also common for professionals working remotely to use video-conferencing tools for meetings with colleagues and clients, you should also give some thought to what is behind you so it’s not distracting when you’re on video calls. This is especially important if you’re incorporating the workspace into a common area with high traffic. You can put the desk facing out, so callers see a blank wall, bookcase, or other simple yet classy backdrop.
5. Add a Whiteboard
Sometimes you need a large, physical space for writing outlines, developing content, story-boarding, or marking a list of goals. For that purpose, consider including a whiteboard in your custom home office as an additional tool. If there’s not room for something that large in your workspace, you can instead use paint to create a chalkboard on a door, which is equally useful for mapping out ideas and keeping your thoughts organized. Further, it gives you the excuse you need to stand up and stretch your legs while working at the whiteboard or painted chalkboard area you've created.
6. Maximize Charging Capacity
Custom offices at home often incorporate a variety of equipment, including your dual monitor, scanner, copier, router, Amazon echo, and smart accessories, and whatever specialty items are required for your job. Keep this in mind as you’re designing your home office and selecting where to locate power sources and how many to include. Top-notch charging accessories—such as the Anker PowerCore Fusion or a tower wall charger—are also useful for keeping your myriad of devices operating throughout the day.
7. Be Inventive with Space
Not everyone has the capability of constructing a room addition onto their home to serve as a home office. That doesn’t mean you have to forgo the concept entirely. You can reconfigure or retrofit an existing spot in your home to encompass your workstation. A few ideas include setting up a small workstation in your kitchen, living room, attic, bedroom, sun room or utility room. You can even set up shop on a wide stair landing, an unused closet, or the space under your stairs. The only issue with placing your workspace in a common area is you may be subjected to activity or interruptions from other family members, so consider how capable you are of multitasking and invest in quality noise-canceling headphones.
8. Store Your Work Station in Cabinets
Another idea if you’re developing a home office in a common area is to construct simple, modular built-in cabinets where you can place a small desk or table and your other equipment and supplies. When other people are using the room or you’re entertaining guests, you can shut the cabinet doors to keep the workstation out of sight.
9. Decorate with What You Have
If you’re building a new home office on a budget, don’t stress. You can be creative and economical with your furniture and décor choices. Instead of purchasing a new desk, lay a board across two filing cabinets. A multi-level shoe shelf can be used to store papers, books, and other small supplies. When hotels and professional offices renovate, they also are looking to get rid of furniture and supplies, which means discounts for you. If you’re going shopping for a desk, table, cabinets, or other furniture, make sure you first get measurements so you don’t purchase items that won’t fit in the space.
Building a Custom Home Office in Alachua County
Having a home office of some sort is quickly becoming more of a requirement than a luxury in Alachua County. Whether you’re remodeling an existing space to serve as your workspace or constructing a new room addition for that purpose, Robinson Renovation and Custom Homes can guide you through exploring options for built-in furniture and other features to optimize the space. We know the importance of creating a workstation or office that is tailored to your professional needs and preferences and we make that our top priority throughout both design and construction.