Home Office Ideas to Master Work from Home
Remote working essentially means we could work on the moon, but on the flip-side, everyone partaking in this desires a comfortable and productive workspace. With these tips and tricks, we hope to unlock this possibility, regardless of your set-up.
Our focus at Bubbles is enhancing the remote working environment, and following the inevitable digital revolution and the global change in work dynamics that was forced upon us in 2020, the concept of working from home (WFH) swiftly evolved from a possibility to a reality around the world.
The rise of remote work has been wild since then, and as I say, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a report by Global Workplace Analytics that claims 25-30% of the workforce as we know it is expected to work from home at least multiple days a week by the end of 2024.
The key is that we believe this shift is not a temporary thing, and not just a response to global crisis. It can, and will be a fundamental change in how and where we work everyday. So, this underscores the need for effective home office setups, that not only closely mirror (or try to) the functionality of traditional offices but also provide comfort and inspiration.
Achieving this effective home office setup can go a long way to creating an ideal WFH environment and workspace, which is paramount to keeping to productivity levels high, but also keeping things comfortable to set us up in the best way to foster creativity. With that in mind, we should move on to answering some key questions you might have regarding this home office space, with the aim of ensuring it is a place where efficiency meets comfort.
Can You Make an Office in a Home?
Absolutely. A home office can be established in almost any living scenario. I think the word office is often still correlated with the traditional office layout, but in reality, and office can be whatever you want it to be! As I write this, from a corner of my kitchen table, I too lack the most perfect home office setup, but what I do have is flexibility to implement these home office designs and make it the best workspace for me personally.
Something critical, is to identify a space that can be dedicated to work, minimizing distractions. This could be a separate room, a section of a room, or even a converted closet. As I say, my 'office layout' right now might not be deemed as perfect, but I know this space will be quiet, and that I will focus here, at least at this time. The essence of a home office is the ability to provide a focused work environment that is physically and psychologically separate from the home's leisure areas.
Where Should the Home Office Be Placed in a Home?
Of course, the placement of a home office depends largely on the layout and the size of your home and your work needs. Ideally though, it should be in a quiet area with minimal foot traffic from the other members of the house. For those in smaller spaces, even a corner of a living room or bedroom can suffice, but likely only where the worker understands the need to recognize this area differently in terms of work-life balance.
Natural light is a bonus, and often already present in these areas. Natural light can really boost mood and energy levels throughout the day, and help workers in colder, darker environments to avoid SAD in the winter months. A task light or lamp is great too, but does not quite have the same impact. It’s also clearly important to consider the availability of power outlets and the strength of the Wi-Fi in the chosen area, and to some extent, the office layout should be formed around this.
How to Decorate a Small Home Office?
Decorating a small office space requires a lot of creativity. Try to use vertical space for storage with shelves and wall-mounted cabinets - doing so maximizes space usage, but also provides extra canvases (somewhat), for creative home office design that can be drawn, or stuck on these blank canvases. Fun home office decor is something that can, and should be done in any space.
On this note too, opt for multi-functional furniture like a desk with built-in drawers or a foldable work table, to make sure you utilize every nook and cranny of your space. Lighting is crucial - a combination of natural light and quality desk lamps can make a small space feel larger, as well as helping with avoiding health issues, as mentioned. Use light colors for walls and furniture to create an illusion of space. Brightening up your small home office can be inspiring, and can subconsciously help to lift your mood in those tough days. Also, personal touches like plants, art, or motivational quotes can brighten the room while enhancing otherwise wasted space.
How to Make the Office Look Fun?
Injecting fun into your office can be done in many ways, and as I just touched upon, colorful décor, quirky accessories, or personal items can bring joy and provide a smile. One good office design idea is to use vibrant colors for walls (here and there) or furniture, alongside the odd poster, painting, or unique desk ornament.
Adding elements and little touches that reflect your hobbies or interests outside of work, can also bring a sense of playfulness to the workspace, while also acting as that little reminder atop your home office desk. This can be a reminder of what there is to look forward to on the darker, more dreary days that we are all susceptible to, or just a reminder of what you care about.
How to Make Your Home Office Inspirational?
The modern home office should of course be set-up for productivity, but should also aid you in doing so by inadvertently inspiring success. To create this inspirational home office then, you should try to surround yourself with little things that motivate and uplift you. This isn't to say that every wall of the office should turn into a gallery wall of inspirational paintings, but this might include the odd quote from someone you are inspired by, or some artwork that resonates with your goals.
Also, any achievements or awards from your (I hope) high-flying career, can be dotted around to inspire future success. Keeping the space organized and clutter-free is needed, however, and we should try to maintain that sweet-spot between inspiration and mental clarity or motivation.
How Do You Make Office Space Interesting?
In my experience (I do not always work from the kitchen table), making an office space interesting involves adding personal flair, including interesting items and furniture, to ensure it doesn’t feel too sterile. Try to use a mix of textures and materials - wood, metal, and fabric, etc - to add depth. Obviously it depends on your preference, interior design wise, but something like a vintage, comfortable office chair, or an old wood desk, can spice things up.
Houseplants, as mentioned earlier, can bring life and freshness, and a bit of greenery to the space. Experiment with the lighting that has been stressed as so critical; apart from functional desk lighting, use ambient lighting in the lesser used areas of the home office to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for you, and any visitors or family/friends bringing you that morning coffee.
How Do You Build a Luxury Home Office?
Again, depending on your style, you might see luxury in different lights, which is more than ok - this is your office! Generally, though, building a luxury home office involves investing in and choosing some high-quality furniture, state-of-the-art technology, which is usually pretty beneficial to any remote worker, and elegant decor. Choose an ergonomic desk chair to make sure you aren't damaging your body with your home office decor, and a spacious desk as the centerpiece.
On a similar note, and if it is required for your profession, try to get your hands on some high-quality audio-visual equipment for virtual meetings, or for recording your Bubbles! Smart storage solutions (both in looks, and utility), and custom lighting can elevate the space significantly and give it that air of experienced professional. Art pieces, premium stationery, and luxurious rugs can also add to the opulence, but are by no means essential - we are just nitpicking here.
Avoiding Burnout in Your New Home Office
On the other hand, in a less nit-picky way, I have to stress that all of this is wasted if your working environment, aside from physical layout, does not set you up for success. One might wish that this was all about decorating and selecting a location, but in reality, while this is fun, there is a much bigger picture that all of this contributes to. It all revolves around workplace efficiency and avoiding burnout, something that we feel we are experts on.
Imagine that from this ideal new set-up, you could go on to reduce wasted meeting time by 38%, or never take a meeting note again. Not only would you have plenty of time to be finicky about the placement of your favourite new home office plant, but you would more importantly, elevate your remote working experience from the comfort of your own home.
Efficiency is key to becoming happy at work, and I therefore strongly advocate grabbing any chance that can boost your output even slightly. The aforementioned reduction in meeting time and note-taking is something that you can achieve right now by using Bubbles, so, my final piece of advice is to bring Bubbles into your home office as your next sparkly asynchronous addition.
Similarly, it is important to note that the benefits of Bubbles are not merely technological, and instead transcend most aspects of WFH. You can experience a newfound freedom by not being bogged down by meetings and late hours, instead working when it makes sense for you, regardless of whether you are a parent with kids and errands to run throughout the 'normal' working hours, a morning person, or a night-owl. We believe that freedom and flexibility bring creativity and productivity, so as you embark on your journey of home office optimization, we encourage you to consider this and see the impact of these values for yourself.
In conclusion, there are countless opportunities for you to elevate your modern home office, and even committing to a few of them can help your workspace transform into a space that is not just functional and productive, but also personalised and thus, inspirational. Whether you have settled down in that small nook of your bedroom, or have the luxury of a dedicated room for your home office, you have the opportunity to make it right for you. The key is really to make the office space an area that resonates fully with your personal style and preference, as well as your work needs. Considering that, and with these ideas established, I hope you can come away from this feeling inspired to go and create a home office that not only complements your home and decor, but also elevates your WFH experience.