Home office design

In recent years more and more people are able to work from home. If you are one of the lucky ones who can make rush hour traffic and office politics a thing of the past, then your work area needs to be carefully planned to make it comfortable and functional. Here's how to create an office space that blends in with your home, especially when space is limited.

If your office is in an existing room, such as a living or dining room, the use of a divider of some sort will allow the room to be used for both purposes at the same time. Modular cube units are ideal for this. Mix the cubes so that some face the office and others face the living space. If you prefer something softer, then a screen is a better choice. To save on costs, look for or make a screen using materials that match the decor of the room.

When selecting a desk, look for one that will allow you to close up sections, or the entire desk, without putting anything away. This will allow you to leave your work undisturbed and be able to pick back up the next day. Also, having a desk that has pull out sections will provide more room to work when space is tight, and will provide sufficient storage when needed. Make sure the desk is wide enough to accommodate a monitor if a flat panel monitor is not an option. The monitor should be at eye level for best comfort. If you are thinking of enclosing your PC, be sure there is ample air flow to prevent overheating. Look for a desk that has a low keyboard shelf with a sliding tray that can be pulled out when needed.

Ensure the chair you choose is very comfortable and fully adjustable as you may be spending long hours in it. Do not scrimp on this item, even if you need to economise elsewhere.

One essential aspect to the work area is lighting. The best light to work with is a directional light that can angle to illuminate your work area. The room should also have good natural light or artificial ambient light during the day or evening, so the contrast between the brightness of the computer screen and the rest of the room is never too great. The use of overhead or wall lights will balance the lighting.

If your work area is shared with another area, it is more important to be well organised. If you do not have a desk to store essential items, shelves can be used for books, box files, and magazines that can be fitted with a blind to hide them when you are not working.

Having a home office that blends into an existing room is possible without making dramatic changes. Best of all, you can do it without spending a fortune and enjoy working from home.

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