Making The Most of a Home Office

Since the world shut down in 2020, more and more people work from home. Originally many people just found a space and didn’t really plan for long term use. Whether you are planning to add a home office or redo your current work space, inspiring photos and ideas for the future are always helpful. There are a few essentials you will want to consider to create a productive workspace at home.

I. Location Is Key

The perfect location of your office depends on how you will use it. A busy mom who only uses the computer a few hours a day might find a small corner of the kitchen perfect. For a busy professional who may be at the desk for most of the day, the work space should be removed from the busiest rooms that are filled with distractions. Make sure it has enough room to work comfortably. You need to move easily from side to side, stand up and sit back from your desk. Professional designers allow at least 60” (150cm) in width and 84” (210cm) in depth to lay out a work space.

Photo Wayfair

II. Choose a Desk & Chair

Choosing the right desk involves more than your favorite color or cost. Vintage desks or quaint chairs may not be ergonomically correct and usually do not support your back when you spend hours sitting.  Remember an office must be efficient first and beautiful second. The top of your computer screen should be at eye level or a little below. Position your keyboard so your forearms are parallel to the floor. And adjust your chair so your feet rest firmly on something–the floor, or a footrest if you’re short. Sit in the chair before buying. Swivel in it and try various positions. You should LOVE to sit in the chair if you will be in it for hours. Select a desk that is wide enough for your computer and anything else necessary to do your work. Ideally, your desk should 48” (120cm) wide to 60″ wide (150cm). If you only use your laptop, you might be able to use a shelf for the laptop. If you need to keep files in easy reach, opt for a desk with at least 1 drawer. Be sure your desk is not too high and look for 28”-30” (70-75cm) in height.

Photo Pandriva

University of Pittsburg has an excellent article How to Choose an Ergonomic Chair. If you aren’t familiar with the concept, do a little research and then sit in chairs before buying.

III. Organize Your Desk

Take a hard look at your desk and storage. Make sure you have containers for the organization and storage of papers, pens, books, files, etc. You could use favorite mugs, Mason jars, or decorated cans.

I love Better Homes & Garden’s article, 23 Ways to Organize Your Desk. The first step is tidy your desk daily. That’s very important. Establishing a system for dealing with clutter is essential to maintaining an orderly environment. Regularly clean out your desk, filing cabinets, and work areas to eliminate unnecessary items and keep paper piles under control.

IV. Invest in Storage Solutions

Investing in proper storage solutions can help contain clutter and make it easier to maintain a neat workspace. Consider investing in some open shelving or cabinets that allow you to store items off the ground, neatly organized out of sight. If there is not enough room on the floor for additional furniture, consider wall-mounted units or even hanging baskets instead.

V. Plan For Meetings

Will clients be coming to your office to meet? If you know you may have a client meeting, include extra seating in your design. This can be as simple as 1 or 2 chairs that are easy to bring up to the desk.

VI. Good Lighting

Good lighting is essential for a working space. Hopefully you have some natural light as well as strategic light fixtures. Facing the natural light source prevents the glare on screens when the light is behind you. If you have a view, that’s even better. I’m not suggesting you stare out the window all day, but I find having a view of my back yard relaxes me and makes me more productive. Strategic lighting includes a good over head light fixture as well as task specific lights. If you do have glare, translucent window shades or blinds can help reduce any glare without darkening your room. You can enhance natural light by including a mirror and by keeping most of your walls a light color.

VII. Personalize

The great part about working from home is that you can decide how you want your home office to look. The goal is a comfortable space that reflects who you are and how you want to feel. You can match your home office with the design and style of your home or make it different. If most of your home makes you feel relaxed and you need more energy in the work space, choose colors and decor that invigorate you. Add what you love and need.

I’m wishing a happy journey as you transform your work environment to one that is comfortable, welcoming, and productive.

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

21 thoughts to “Making The Most of a Home Office”

  1. At this point in the game, the main thing that’s keeping me from my office is getting it cleaned up enough to be able to enjoy being in there! So much to do here and that room gets short shrift since I moved the computer elsewhere. It needs a complete purging! But then, so does the rest of the house, so one day at a time!

  2. So many great ideas here. I really need to look at getting a better chair for my converted garage/home office. At the moment I am using a very nice but not a very suitable chair. While I don’t work from home and I move around a lot working at preschool. I do spend a lot of time blogging on the computer and my neck gets really sore.

  3. All of these ideas are great but for me at 73 years old, all I have is a computer & printer and that’s it. It’s to bad that I’m not younger and not in the good old days when I would need one of these.
    Have a good day Carol.

    Cruisin Paul

    1. I used to have a nice home office but in the last few years I took it apart and it’s just a bedroom now. I do everything on my laptop and no longer have a printer. I go to Office Deport if I need to print something. Happy Wednesday Paul!

      1. I have my office/desk in my bedroom. But I need to get a smaller chair as my husband keeps walking into it when he needs the bathroom in the night

  4. These are great ideas for a home office. I work from home since 2013 and I have a small space for my stuff. It is convenient when there is a dedicated space at home for office work and even for blogging. Thanks for these tips…

  5. I’m dying to redo our home office; it used to be part office/part playroom and the kids pretty much ended up taking it over completely but they aren’t using it nearly as much anymore and I have a lot of ideas percolating on how to make it a more useable and airy space. These are great ideas!

    1. That’s one of the fun things about blogging – sharing beautiful views I find in my on-line travels. I figure if I enjoy seeing it, someone else might too. I’m glad you do.

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