What does your dream office look like? Does it have floor-to-ceiling windows to let the natural light in? Will it include a table facing an amazing view outside? Does your dream office feature comfortable chairs, walls lined with bookshelves, and beautiful plants everywhere?
If you want to be productive at work, you have to give your workplace a lot of thought. According to a study published on the Harvard Business Review site, employees just want the basics like proper lighting and great air quality. But they also want “the ability to personalize their workspace.” Now that you work from home, you can do exactly that!
A dreamy work-from-home office is critical to productivity. After all, work is hard enough already. If you can make your home office appealing enough that it would make you want to work wouldn’t that be worth the effort? So take your time to think about the layout and design of your home office let’s start!
(Just to be clear, this article will focus on having a posh home office. That means we’ll recommend based on quality, not price. Quality home office furniture is hard to come by on a budget – unless you’re visiting Facebook Marketplaces (what we do.) If you have a limited budget, we also have some tips for that here. But if your work is providing a budget for you to get work from home swag, on the company dime, here’s some posh tips and recommended purchases you won’t regret!)
How To Set Up a Functional Work At Home Office:
Having a posh home office involves two simple phases, the setting up and the styling. The setting up is the first phase of making your dream home office into a reality. It is mostly about the location and layout of the office. This is laying down the core things that will make your home office functional.
Find the best location
Walk around your house and find the perfect spot for you to work. If you have a spare room that you can use, that would be perfect. It will allow you to have the privacy that you need to work from home. It would be the best location to set up your posh home office.
But if not, what are your other options? Think about where you can be most productive and less distracted. Is it in the living room? If you live with other people, this might be a problem. But if you really like the tall windows in your living room, then compromise. Come up with a design that will give you privacy even while there are people there.
If you don’t mind the narrow space, you can set up your home office in a hallway. You’re lucky if it has a window at the end. Other options include under the stairs or an unused closet. If you don’t mind working in the basement or the garage that you don’t use, you can use that as well. Here are some recommendations on making best of your location:
Consider the layout
Now that you have the location, how will you layout your home office?
The first thing that you need to position is your table and chair. Everything else will revolve around these two. Do you want your table to face the window? Or do you want your back towards it? Having a view is great but it can also be distracting. Especially if your view is very busy with traffic.
If you have a separate room for your home office, the decision is easy. But if you are using a shared space, like the living room or hallway, there are a couple of things that you need to consider first.
One is the fact that your table can serve as a division between your office and the rest of the room. That means when you go around the table, you are in your office. But when you are on the other side, you are home.
While that will be good for your work-life balance, it might be distracting because you are facing everyone. If you find it distracting, you can face the wall or window. Just place another divider – like a cabinet or a curtain.
Think about storage
Not everyone is blessed with a lot of space. So make sure the layout of your home office considers storage space. In fact, even if you have a big space, you need to think about storage. Plan where you will place your files and other work-related supplies. You don’t want it exposed. Will you buy a cabinet for storage? Do you have enough shelves for it?
If you don’t have enough space for a cabinet, you can probably use a vertical file folder to place on your desk. This is where you should store the files that you need regular access to. For those that you don’t need, install hanging shelves over your table. Place more supplies there. Just make sure these are secure and will not fall over your head.
Organizing your home office is just as important as the layout. According to a study done by UCLA, women are more prone to be distracted if there is a lot of clutter. So make sure everything has its own place. This also includes your cables and the small stuff that is usually cluttered on your table like pens and paper, etc.
Make it bright
Light is very important in the workplace. Ideally, you want to enjoy having some natural light shining in your home office. But make sure you also have overhead lights and a table lamp. That way, you can still work even at night.
A dark office will make you feel sleepy and depressed. But if you have sufficient light, especially if it’s natural light, you will feel motivated to work.
A study done by the Kellogg School of Management revealed how light can impact our mental state. In fact, their study showed that consumers spent more money if the place is well-lit.
But apart from that, having sufficient light will keep you from getting a headache or eye strain. In case you cannot put your table near a window, invest in a beautiful yet functional lamp.
Styling your posh work-from-home office:
Once you have set up your home office, it‘s now time to move on to the next phase. You now get to style your posh home office. This is when you choose what you will use in the office and buy the furniture and other things that will make it look like your dream office. So how do you start?
Know your personality
Have a theme for your office that reflects your personality. Surround yourself with things that you like. It will help motivate you.
Start with the color. What is your favorite color? You can opt to use that as the theme of your office. If you love a specific character, you can use that as well.
Keep your personality in mind because it will make your other decisions easier. It will give your home office a coordinated look and it will definitely make you feel at home.
Choose the right color
Colors are very powerful when it comes to setting the right mood for your office. In case you don’t have a favorite color, focus on what will bring out the qualities or mood that you need.
For instance, green can make you feel relaxed and inspired. But if you know that you need to stay alert, use red. You don’t have to use just one color. Mix colors a bit. Use the color red for the table in front of you. Then the other walls can have a more subdued shade.
You can also go neutral. It is best to finalize the color of your walls first. That way, you can use it as a guide when you buy your furniture.
Buy solid quality furniture (from reputable companies)
Now that you have the color in place, it’s time to buy your furniture. The most important will be your chair and table. Invest in those, start with Wayfair or even Crate & Barrel if your budget allows.
The table should provide you with enough workspace after you have placed your laptop, phone, and lamp. You should also consider installing a high table that will allow you to stand while working.
When it comes to the chair, use one that provides ergonomic seating. According to a Forbes article, ergonomic seating is one of the things that workers want from their company – together with healthy lunch, fitness benefits, etc.
Aside from the chair that you will sit on, do you want to have another chair in your home office? That will give your office some character. And it will give you another place to sit on when you want to move around.
Next, choose the cabinets and storage that compliments your table and chair. There are stores that sell this as a package. Of course, you can also mix and match. If you have the budget, buy brand new furniture. Or you can research a design that you want and have someone build it for you. At least, the size will be custom-fit for your home office.
While visual appeal is very important, you should also make sure that you do not sacrifice functionality. Match your furniture but make sure it will serve its purpose.
Add luxurious touches
There are many pieces that you can add to your home office to make it look posh. Use silk cushions for the extra chair that you will set up. You can also place fluffy rugs on the floor for a softer look. Choose the textiles that you are comfortable using. Of course, it also has to complement your furniture.
You can also add pieces that will bring your office to life. Like a lamp accessory on top of the other cabinets.
Hang a painting on a blank wall. Setup a small round table beside your extra chair and place a vase on top. These small things will add life and character to your home office.
Place greenery & plants in the office
Did you know that plants can reduce your stress levels? This is according to the research published by Washington State University. Not only that, but plants can also clean the air in any room. So make sure you put as many plants as possible in your home office.
If your table is big enough, place a small living plant there. For corners, place the bigger plants there. You will notice that you will feel more alive with plants in your vicinity. These green potted plants can also calm you if you stare at them in the middle of a tough workday.
Finalize with personal accessories
Feel free to add photos of your family on the wall and on your desk. If you have a bookshelf, you can also insert picture frames there.
If you have decorative items gifted by family and friends, feel free to use these. Adding these personal touches will really personalize your home office. It will solidify the place as your own.
It’s nice to look around your office in the middle of a task and see things that will remind you of why you are working hard in the first place.