Since the pandemic, more people than ever are working from home. Many companies realized they were spending far too much money on office space when they could coordinate everything just as easily with remote software. To that point, we are seeing more and more people incorporate a custom home office into the design of their new home.
The Home Office
Due to this shift to allow more remote workers, home offices have taken a big step up. This is no longer a corner of the living room to knock out a quick report for the boss, but instead a dedicated and functional space that has all the bells and whistles of an office you would expect to see at work. Even so, space will be limited, so there are a few tricks we have up our sleeve to help you design the ultimate home office.
Virtually every job has training manuals and materials you will need for research or reference. When designing a home office, rather than rely on bulky bookshelves that take up floor space, have the shelving built right into the walls during construction. This is a huge space saver, keeps your workspace clutter-free, and it will save you significant floor space.
If you are like me, you work all hours of the night. So you need to keep that in mind when setting up the lighting for the office. For instance, in addition to the “normal” lighting, I also have light directly over my desk that is on its own switch so I do not have to light up the entire office when I am working off hours. You also need to consider natural lighting when creating your floor plan to ensure sunlight is not hitting your monitor, making it more difficult to see.
Wi-Fi and Electrical Outlets
I am old school and like to have my computer plugged directly into the internet, so I prefer to have more Wi-Fi connections than usual in my office designs. You should also consider adding extra outlets around the room so you never run out. You will be surprised how quickly outlets get eaten up once you start plugging in all that equipment.
The ‘Unplug’ Zone
This is the section of the office when you just need to get off the computer for a few minutes and relax. It can also serve as a spot to take a quick nap in the middle of the day without having to leave the office. I would recommend a sitting table, a comfortable chair and ottoman, or a recliner, so you will have no problem relaxing in this space. You can also use this space to enjoy your lunch every day.
Create a View
You cannot sit there and stare at walls all day, so create a view if you do not have a natural one. I am lucky enough to have my home office windows overlooking a preserve, and my desk faces out that way to allow a mental break when I need it. If your office does not have a view, create one.
You can do this with a painting, or, my favorite, a nice fish tank that you can watch and relax for a few minutes every day.
Before they start cutting out water lines, make sure you have a small sink area set up in the office as well as adding space for a small fridge, preferably one that can be added under the bookshelves with a cubby cut out in the wall so it is not taking up floor space. Leaving the office offers time for distraction, so you should be able to make a cup of coffee or grab a cold drink without having to stroll through the house and risk getting distracted by someone. Adding a microwave or toaster oven/air fryer to the room is also a good idea so you can warm up your lunch.
I look at it this way, in order to be successful working from home, you need to treat your workday just like you would if you had to go into the office. By setting up your office in this manner, you would be well ahead of the curve for those that think any little space will do when working from home.
Struggling to create the ideal floor plan for your custom home? Better Build Now can help by working with you as a residential construction project manager or consultant. Give us a call at 888-402-4180 for more information.