The results are in! People prefer working from home. According to a recent article in Forbes Magazine, “25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022, and remote opportunities will continue to increase through 2023.” That means we’ve got to get our work-from-home spaces up to snuff!
We went ahead and did the research on the different aspects of a great work-from-home space for you. The trick is to create a space that is practical and functional, yet comfortable and inspiring. Here we’ve broken it all down starting with suggestions on the design of your home office, then some of the nitty-gritty lists of equipment you may find valuable. We hope our research helps you to design the ideal home workspace!
Home Office Design
You’ll want to put together a work-from-home space that encourages focus and creativity. What you might not know is that everything we surround ourselves with, from the color of a wall to the knickknacks and artwork, affects our ability and desire to get to work.
Make sure you find a room or corner that is conducive to your work. It should be quiet, with the ability to have privacy for things like Zoom meetings and brainstorming sessions. There should be excellent natural lighting if possible. If not, try overhead lights and lamps that won’t cause glare on your computer screen. Though the space needs to be comfortable, remember that it shouldn’t be too cozy because that’s when naps happen!
Lighting is so important that we decided to mention it twice. A room with a window for natural light is ideal. It will help keep your melatonin production in check so you have the energy to make the most of your workday. But whatever the situation, ensure you aren’t straining your eyes. Have options: a desk lamp, floor lamp, overhead light, etc.
Did you know the colors you surround yourself with can change your mood and ability to concentrate? Consider coloring your walls a bright color that you love, something to really set the tone of the space. Beige-green or yellow-green are proven to be stress-reducing. Cool blues and deep navy inspire creativity and productivity. Red stimulates attention to detail. Yellow inspires, but it can also cause eye fatigue if too bright, so stick with the softer shades.
Another idea is to start with a neutral base and then build upon it with pops of color. Perhaps you hang a painting that has a lot of orange hues (the color of comfort, so be careful not to go overboard) and then choose other orange touches throughout (a chair, patterned carpet, lampshade, curtains, etc.). And consider using green, the color of imagination, by peppering your space with house plants!
Choosing the right flooring for your office can make a huge difference! Most often, your best bet is to go with carpeting. Carpet will help keep the room comfortable, providing warmth and softness, and it dampens sound. You won’t have that echo effect in your Zoom meetings and your brain will find the quiet of the room soothing. If you’ve got a rolling office chair, opt for looped or low pile carpet and roll away! Consider patterned carpet to make the room look larger, hide stains, and add some personality.
If you want a cleaner look, think about Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). It is a great choice for any office. LVT is versatile, easy to care for, and comes in tons of different finishes and design options. It is even easier on your feet than other alternatives, if you’re going with a standing desk. Just make sure to check the rolling and weight capacities of the product you choose. Chair mats are also a great option if you love your roller chair! They can help save the life of your carpet or LVT from snags, scuffs, and dents.
The quality of sound in your space is more important than you may realize. The muting of noise will allow you to focus on the task at hand and will improve your experience when in a remote meeting. Besides choosing a quiet area of the house and then utilizing carpeting and rugs, you can also use curtains, drapery, or even decorative, sound-dampening fabric panels to minimize intrusive sounds.
Your office decor needs to be comfortable (but not hypnotic!), inspiring, generate focus, and reflect your personality. You need to want to spend time in your office! Try adding:
- Something that uplifts you (a painting, quote, family photo)
- Something that reminds you to concentrate (a goal written down, a picture of a place you’d like to go someday, a focal object)
- Plants to boost your mood and filter the air
- Personal touches that bring joy or remind you of who you are
- Things you are proud of (degrees, awards, accomplishments displayed)
- Something consoling (soft blanket, favorite mug, stress ball)
Every decorative touch can also have a purpose. Remember, your office should be energizing when it needs to be, but also be soothing when things get stressful. However, don’t get so comfortable that you start associating your office with sleep!
Now that you have a sense of your work-from-home space, you’ll need to fill it with the tools of your trade. Here are some suggestions to create the perfect office!
- Desk & Chair: Proper chair height should allow you to put your feet on the floor with your arms resting comfortably on the armrests. Don’t forget to ensure the chair has good back support. A sitting desk should start at 29” and get higher with your height or if you’d like a standing/walking desk.
- Laptop Stand: You want your computer screen at eye level to avoid straining your neck or back.
- Phone/Tablet Stand: Not only will this help visually, but it will keep your desk tidy.
- Whiteboard/Corkboard: Something to display your goals, tasks, and projects clearly.
- Storage: You’ll need enough storage to keep things neat and organized. The key is to avoid distraction. Bookcases, pegboards, floating shelves, filing cabinets, etc.
- Comfy Chair & Ottoman: For a break, when you need to read or write for longer periods, or if you just need a change of scenery. But nothing that could lead to napping!
- Laptop or Desktop: Depending on your occupation laptops are great for mobility.
- Bluetooth Microphone and Speaker: Ensure that your conference video calls are successful and easy.
- Excellent Wifi and Router: At least 10 Mbps per person (we recommend 25 Mbps to be safe) download speed and 1 Mbps per person upload.
- Wireless Keyboard
- Wireless Mouse & Mousepad
- Headphones with Microphone & Noise Cancelling Capabilities
- Charging Cables & Adapters, Multi-Port Hub
- Coffee or Tea Pot
- Water Cooler
- Mini-Fridge (Okay, this may be wishful thinking, but we can dream!)
Are You Excited?
We hope that we’ve given you some great ideas to enhance your work-from-home space or at least generated some excitement to start designing! The three key concepts to remember when vetting any products or ideas for your home office are functionality, comfort, and inspiration. Your space should be one you are excited to spend time in, feeds your creativity and focus, and soothes your body and mind. Now get to making your work-from-home life a rich one!
And We’d Love To Help!
Graham’s Flooring & Design would love to help you choose the perfect carpet, LVT, or other flooring for your work-from-home office space. If you are looking for LVT or carpeting in Fort Collins or Northern Colorado, we are the neighborhood experts for you! Contact us today for your Free Flooring Design Consultation!
For more on Fort Collins carpet, check out our blogs, How to Maintain Your Carpet and Extend Its Life and 4 Types of Carpet Pads. Or check out our many other Loveland & Fort Collins flooring options on our site or in the showroom!