Making your office a welcome, efficient and productive place to work is the key to a successful office.
A distinction has to be made regarding the boundaries of your working space. Design of the space is the most important way to achieve this.
Questions to ask yourself before you begin:
• What will the space be used for? What is your business?
• Will clients be visiting the space? Sitting or work area
• Will colleagues visit for collaborative work? Chairs
• What types of materials will be referenced and/or stored? Storage solutions should be discussed
• What type of equipment is required?
• Will you be making conference calls or listening to webinars?
• When will you be doing most of your work? Lighting
• What will you use for storage? File cabinets, shelves, decorative boxes, book cases
Keeping all of your work in the designated office space will insure efficiency with finding and retrieving things. Try to keep the non-office space in your home free of work items, to give you a healthy balance which will allow you to relax at home when you are not working. Good storage and organization will help with keeping it there.
Establish set hours for your work at home. The loss of distinction between work life and home life is one of the biggest challenges. I find it hard to shut the door and walk away from my office but it is very important to do.
Important things to consider when setting up a home office:
1. Invest in fast and efficient equipment. Consider a wireless hub giving you flexibility to use your laptop anywhere.
2. Good lighting is essential. Natural daylight is ideal along with task lighting for nights, dark areas and cloudy days. Overhead lights can cause a shadow on your keyboard so a lamp on your desk is a good idea. A 60 year old typically needs 7 times more light than a 20 year old.
3. A room designated for your office only is best. If not, choose an area that is private and free of noise interruptions. Screens and bookcases can be used to provide you with storage and room division.
4. Good layout of space to give you an efficient work area with storage solutions close by you. An L-shaped desk works well for ease of moving around and keeping things close by. An interior designer can assist you with space planning.
5. Ergonomics are important. Your health, safety and welfare are critical. Make your work area comfortable for your body.
6. Incorporate art or things that you will be comfortable looking at. I’m currently working with a client and helping him select are in his office. He wanted it to be pictures of somewhere he would like to be vacationing so it took us a while to get it right but he loves what we ended up with.
7. Choosing the right colors for your office are important. An interior designer can also assist you with that. I will talk more about that in a little while.
Take advantage of the “green” mind-set by:
• Keeping office equipment turned off when not using it
• Being sure to recycle old equipment and supplies
• Using recycled materials for constructing counters and floors
• Covering your windows with good window coverings to conserve on energy
• Reusing copy paper for documents that will be scraped
• Repurposing existing furniture and have it refinished or reupholstered
• Refinishing old picture frames and mirrors or any other accessories you have packed away
What are the best colors for an office?
There is something to be said for the psychology of color. Color is the most emotional element in the design mix and is the number one way to create good feelings.
Colors do relieve stress – the human brain cannot function well with a lack of stimulus.
Color can make a space feel large or small. Color can break up or define a space or area.
Green is one of the most restful colors to the human eye. It can foster concentration. Green has great healing power. It can soothe pain. People that work in green environments have fewer stomach aches. Using green in an office area will enhance its balance.
Green is color that will not grow tiresome to people because there is so much green in nature.
Blue colors evoke feelings of peace and relaxation. Blue can make a room feel cooler and can put occupants to sleep. Best if used in a bedroom. If you do use blue, use it with green undertones.
Yellows that are bright, can be overpowering and could cause a degree of anxiety. Light yellows convey intelligence, cleanliness, goodness & clarity. Very good used in a kitchen.
Red is energetic and stirring. If used in a home office, it is best used as an accent color.
White, ivory, gray and tan are neutrals and can be used with overtones of colors you feel most comfortable with. These colors to not distract and can be combined with accent for vitality and energy.
Accents and shades of purple have been proven to stimulate imagination. Purple is also favorable when focus and concentration are required.
Color is the most important element in interior design. It creates interest without clutter and enables you to manipulate your visual.
Things to remember are to make the space your own and let the space reflect your personality so that you enjoy being there.
Your office should be a place to connect to yourself and being productive. It should be a place to focus rather than be distracted. It should positively influence you in the space and enhance the work you do there. Are there any questions?