With more than half the country working from home these days, it’s no surprise that a home office is high on the list of priorities for many homeowners.  Over the years, we have incorporated home offices into many renovation and house addition projects.  And we expect the demand for this type of space will increase.

 

Here are 10 things to consider when planning, designing and building a home office space.

 

1.  Visual Privacy

Ensuring that the home office has visual privacy from the remainder of the house is very important.  A physical separation limits distractions and promotes focus for the users of the space.  It also fosters wellness as it divides the area of work from the areas of rest and leisure.

 

2.  Acoustic Privacy

Limiting the travel of sound between the workspace and the rest of the home is essential.  Acoustic privacy creates a quiet workspace and limits distractions for office users.  For those who need to maintain confidentiality for the work they do, acoustic privacy is mandatory.  Creating physical barriers and selecting sound-dampening materials will address this issue.  Features such as solid core doors and sound insulated partitions can be added to further increase acoustic privacy.

 

3.  Lighting

Adequate lighting is vital in a home office space.  These spaces should be designed to include various types of lighting.  Ambient lighting should be used to brighten the overall space and task lighting should be used to illuminate work surfaces.  Natural light from windows or skylights is also very beneficial to the overall character of the space.  Furniture should be carefully placed in relation to natural light sources to limit glare on computer screens.

 

4.  Air Quality

Ensuring that the air quality in the workspace is optimum is very important for the health and comfort of the users.  A home office space with a suitable HVAC system will allow adequate air flow and temperature control.  Operable windows could further increase wellness by letting fresh air filter through the space.

 

5.  Storage

Adequate and appropriate storage allows users to work with ease.  Being able to organize and readily access stored items enables efficiency and limits stress.  Varied types of storage such as filing cabinets, bookcases and closed cabinets should be incorporated into the design based on the type of work being done in the space.  Proper storage solutions also reduce visible clutter, which adds to the comfort of the space.

 

6.  Furniture

The selection and position of ergonomically correct furniture is crucial to the home office.  Workers should have a supportive chair, a large enough work surface, and required technology arranged comfortably to reduce physical strain.  Adjustable chairs and desks and ergonomic accessories like foot rests and laptop holders are also good considerations.

 

7.  View

Designing the home office around a view is ideal.  Whether it is a window, artwork, or even a place to display past awards; a view for users to focus on will be a source of tranquility and inspiration.  This can aid to combat stress and encourage motivation.

 

8.  Natural Elements

Incorporating natural elements in the home office can positively impact the mental and physical health of individuals.  Environmentally sensitive materials, features reminiscent of nature, and direct connections to the outdoors can enhance enthusiasm and concentration among workers as well as indoor air quality.

 

9.  Personalization

Home offices must be personalized based on the user.  Not only should the finishes and decorations be aesthetically appealing to the individual, but the space planning and fixed elements of the space must also be conducive to the specific work being done in the space.  For example, some users may often handle large format documents and require a larger than average work surface.  Others may participate in frequent video calls and need a large monitor to be incorporated into the design.

 

10.  Technology

As most individuals require various technologies to carry out their work, it is a major consideration in the design of a home office space.  Ensuring that phone and internet jacks, electrical outlets, and charging ports are ample and appropriately located is essential for promoting productivity.  Managing cables also decreases clutter and tripping hazards.

 

Want to discuss incorporating a home office into your home or your next renovation project?  Give us a call, we’d be happy to talk to you.