Freelance designers will probably spend more time in their home office than anywhere else. Having a comfortable office that is conducive to work is essential in order to keep your working hours pleasant and productive.
In this post we’ll look at some things that you can do to make your home office more comfortable and more enjoyable to spend those working hours. Obviously, some home offices come with certain limitations (such as the area of the house or the size of the space), but every situation could be improved in some way by the things in this list.
1. Get a Comfortable Desk Chair
Having a comfortable desk chair really is a necessity since you will be spending so much time in it. If you have an uncomfortable chair, you’re probably not enjoying your work as much as you could be. A good chair can cost a lot more than a cheap chair, but your health and comfort are worth the expense. For some tips, see How to Buy an Ergonomic Desk Chair.
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2. Have a Separate Sitting Area
If the size of your home office allows for it, set up another area where you can sit comfortable away from the desk, such as a small sofa or some other type of comfortable chair. For times when you are not working on the computer this will give you a break from the desk and the small change in environment may help with creativity. I did this a while ago in my home office and I’ve found that for times when I am brainstorming or working away from the computer it is a nice change of pace.
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3. Get Plenty of Light
An office needs to be well lit, and preferably with plenty of natural lighting. Many home offices are in basements or tucked away in corners where there is not much natural lighting, but if possible try to maximize it. It can also help to have multiple options for lighting, like a desk lamp, aside from just overhead lighting. Depending on the time of day and how much natural light is coming in, it may be more comfortable with various types of lighting.
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4. Keep it Clean
Avoid having a desk that is full of crumbs from your lunch or other things that keep it messy. Maintaining a clean office doesn’t require much more than just straightening up at the end of each day.
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5. Get (and stay) Organized
In addition to just keeping it clean, it’s equally important to have an organized office. If your surroundings are unorganized it is likely that you’ll feel like your thoughts are unorganized and more stress can come as a result. Take the time to get organized, and make an effort to keep it that way.
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6. Get Rid of Excess
Once you have organized the office you should be able to identify some things that you really don’t need. Get rid of all of this excess stuff that is cluttering up the office, and give yourself a more peaceful working environment with fewer distractions.
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7. Keep it Single-Purpose
With a home office it can be very tempting to make it a home office/storage space or to use it for some other purpose. If you’re spending a considerable amount of time in the office it is best to use that space only for work. Having a clear separation of work and personal space is helpful for a healthy work-life balance, plus having a dedicated office will allow you to set it up in a way that makes it most comfortable for your working hours.
Photo credit: Josh Bancroft
8. Keep Wires Under Control
Chances are you have a lot of items and gadgets in the office with wires. Try to keep wires together and hidden, as this can help with creating a more peaceful working space. In some cases you may be able to get wireless devices, and in other cases you’ll just have to as hidden and unexposed as possible.
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9. Decorate the Walls
Part of making a home office comfortable involves decorating it in a way that inspires you and encourages creativity. Wall art and decorations are a great way to improve a home office.
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10. Add Some Plants
Having a plant in the office can help to make it feel more natural and inviting. Plants can be bought inexpensively and there are all kinds of plants available for various amounts of natural light.
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11. Keep a Comfortable Temperature
Trying to work in an environment that is too hot or too cold is not a good idea. Being comfortable with the temperature will help you to be able to stay productive for longer periods of time, and it can even help with creativity.
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What is Your Advice?
How do you make your home office comfortable?