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The Home Office: How to Set Yourself Up for Success

By Matthew Ferraro

Just because you have to work from home, doesn’t mean that you can’t do it in style. A well-designed home office has the power to transform both your work and home life all in one.

While a good home office can make a big difference to the way you go about engaging with your work life, there are definitely things to avoid when putting one together. A thoughtful home office can greatly improve your at-home productivity. A poor one can cause the opposite to happen.

Tina Nettlefold is an interior designer and philanthropist who runs T.House – a non-for-profit design company that donates 100% of its profits to charity. According to Ms Nettlefold, the ideal home office is an “area where you can actually focus and be able to complete the task at hand. It needs to be an area that can divide your work zone from your personal life zone.”

Make Space for Your Work Life

Location, location, location. When establishing your home office, you don’t want it to be in a space that clashes too much with your personal life. These two things need to be kept as separate as possible, or else you run the risk of having the two of them cross-over in ways that can be disruptive to your daily flow.

“It has to be a designated area. If you’re building or buying a house these days, you need to create a space in a room or a zone that is the designated space for working,” says Ms Nettlefold.

Whether you carve out an entire room or a specific zone within your house, it’s important to designate a location that will only serve the purpose of being your home office. A kitchen table may be alright for some homework, but won’t cut it as a workspace for 8 hours every day.

Brighten Up Your Work Day

When discussing specific styling tips for your home office, you can’t go wrong with adding some light to the mix. Good lighting in your home space helps keep you awake, improves your productivity, and better protects your eyes from looking at screens all day.

“If you don’t have good natural light, then at least create strong artificial light,” says Ms Nettlefold. “I really do think it’s important to have a lamp or the right lighting for your computer. And that’s because it keeps your eyes from not having to refocus.”

Strong lighting in your home office goes a long way to fighting off drowsiness and keeping you focused on the task in front of you.

Keep Away the Clutter 

Because your home office is… well… at home, it can be easy for the rest of your life to spill on over to your working space.

“Pens, papers, files, all that sort of stuff, put it all in a drawer to keep your space really clean so that you won’t have a cluttered mind. It allows you to focus a little better and work more efficiently,” says Ms Nettlefold.

Decluttering your home office will help you stay engaged by blocking out some of the outside noise.

Creating the Ideal Home Office

Your ideal home office will likely look different from everyone else’s. But by following these design tips, you will be setting up your working-from-home life for success. So, find a good space, set up your working desk, and make it your own.

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