When you work at home, even part time, you discover that a makeshift desk area on a kitchen counter or the dining table isn’t the best setup. Having a dedicated home office, even if it’s compact, makes a big difference in comfort and productivity. Once you’ve chosen a room or area for your home office, here are five must-haves to include in it.
1. Comfortable Chair
If sitting at a desk is a big part of your workday, make sure you have the right chair for the job. This is especially important if you work at a computer. Look for an overall fit that supports your back and encourages good seated posture. Features to look for include adjustable seat, arms and back, as well as legs on rollers and a seat that swivels so you can easily get in and out of the chair and reach for things without straining.
Search for an interior designer near you
While some people prefer a minimalist desk chair, others like one with more padding and heft. No matter which type you choose, be sure to take stretch breaks and move around throughout the day. And if you have room in your office, include a small sofa or club chair for relaxing or reading.
Shop for office chairs on Houzz
2. Work Surface That Fits Your Needs
The size of your desk or work surface will hinge on the size of your office and budget. Consider different desk types and even creative repurposing of other furniture pieces. Think about how you’ll be working and the items you’ll want to have close at hand. To help keep your work surface neat, invest in attractive desk organizers and plan for at least a few shelves or drawers for things you use or reference less frequently.
A built-in desk allows you to tailor your workspace to your needs. This corner desk area efficiently creates two workstations, one for computer use and one for desk work, that can be accessed without getting out of the chair. The desk also has plenty of counter space for spreading out papers or holding a printer or other items.
Find a cabinetmaker in your area
3. A Place for Everything
Most of us haven’t reached the point of having a paperless office, and keeping paper organized is easier with the right mix of drawers, cabinets and shelves. This office has both desk storage and open and concealed wall storage for maximum flexibility.
If you don’t have a lot of papers to file or objects to display, a simple cabinet like this one on wheels might offer enough storage. The movable unit offers a small drawer for office supplies and a larger one for files. A tilted book organizer keeps desk space clear for working.
Browse office storage furniture
4. Good Task Lighting
A standard ceiling light providing overall illumination is just a starting point for a home office. You also want to include task lighting for reading and other close work. A home office might layer in a desk lamp for task lighting, wall sconces for ambient lighting and natural light from windows.
A row of upper cabinets in this home office provides an opportunity for bright undercabinet lighting over the entire desk surface.
Get Turned On to a Lighting Plan
5. Electrical Outlets for Equipment
If you live in an older home, electrical outlets may be limited. Be sure you have enough — and in the right places — for your electrical equipment.
Keeping cords and wiring out of sight is easiest with a built-in desk and storage areas that are flush against the wall. But if you’re planning a floating or freestanding desk, you can use floor outlets and cord covers to keep wiring neat and safe.
Find an electrical contractor
And don’t forget to include something that makes you happy or inspires you, whether it’s a sunny window, a treasured artwork or a furry companion to keep you company.