The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled an increasing number of individuals to work from home. If you count yourself among them, the stress of trying to work productively in the middle of a bustling household may have tempted you to add a new space to your home, one dedicated solely to office work.
Whether you aim to build an office onto your home or you’d rather remodel an existing room, you’ll want to make sure you’ve spent that time, money, and energy on the creation of a space that will promote mental focus, productivity, efficiency, and workplace wellness. Start with these three key considerations.
1. Sound Dampening
You can’t get the full benefits of a dedicated home office if that office permits every little household sound to invade your concentration. Fortunately, you can remodel your existing office or design your new addition with materials and equipment that dampen sound effectively.
Much of the noise you seek to block out comes to you through your office door. Modern homes commonly feature hollow-core doors as a cost-saving measure. Install a solid wood door instead, and the extra density of that material will deflect more sound away from your private space. Add weather stripping to seal gaps around the door.
2. Lighting Choices
Don’t assume that you should equip your home office with bright overhead fluorescent lights simply because your previous workplace featured this lighting arrangement. In reality, the glare from this setup can promote digital eye strain, reducing your efficiency as you struggle with dry, tired eyes and blurred vision.
Indirect lighting can provide all the ambient light you need while sparing your eyes and producing a softer, more soothing atmosphere. For the most vision-friendly results, consider mounting light fixtures so that they produce gentle lighting just behind your computer monitor. This touch can reduce the perceived glare from the screen.
A window in a home office can add cheer and provide you with natural ambient light during daytime hours. However, that same window can cause problems for your home office setup if it casts glare onto your monitor. If you build a dedicated computer nook into your home office, position it perpendicular to any windows you plan to include.
When you design and equip your home office, you must consider its ergonomics, or the way the arrangement of the space enhances or hinders your ability to work comfortably. Awkward placement of file cabinets, desks, chairs, and other items can force you to work certain parts of your body too hard, resulting in repetitive strain injuries.
When building or remodeling a home office, make sure each wall gets at least one electrical outlet. This convenience will allow you to set up different pieces of electronic gear wherever they might prove easiest for you to use, freeing you from the need to move across the room or bend your body uncomfortably.
Don’t design a home office dedicated entirely to work. You’ll want to rest periodically without necessarily having to retreat to another part of the house. Instead, plan for a space in the office that can accommodate a comfortable recliner, a couch, or even a foldout bed. Those little rest breaks can help you stay relaxed and focused.
If you run your own business from a home office, you may want to hold confidential meetings with clients or other business people from time to time. Consider adding a small nook for a conference table, some chairs, and perhaps even a coffee service area.
DESIGNfirst Builders has the solutions you need to turn part of your home into a specialized work center. Contact us today to discuss your needs, plans, and goals with us.