Smart Home Office Layout Builds Creative Work Spaces
The first factor to influence your Home Office layout will be the aim and purpose of your office.
Are you designing a space for a full-time office where you'll be earning your livelihood?
In some professions, like real estate and consulting, people work and produce mostly from home, even though they also have an outside office where they share support staff with colleagues and meet with associates and clients.
If this is close to your job description, then consider your home office a full-time one.
If you'll be working full-time, or close to full-time, at home, look for a dedicated space in your home--an extra bedroom or an unused attic, basement or garden shed that can be converted.
Or is the work space you're looking for going to be more of a part-time office where you pursue a hobby or avocation, share space with family members as a household study and computer station, or simply work on family schedules and finances?
For a part-time home office consider shared space in a corner of a family room or kitchen, in an alcove in the master bedroom, or in a rarely used guest bedroom.
As you plan the layout of your Home Office, think of the Kitchen work triangle as a model for efficiency.
In the sketch on the right, an L-shaped workstation makes the most of a small space. You can build it yourself out of recycled door blanks as my husband did when he started out as a building contractor.
A second desk or work table can become the third point of your "work triangle" and is useful for keeping projects separate, for unfolding larger plans and presentations and as a station for your printer and copier.
As with your Kitchen layout, your office will most likely have an L shaped, U shaped or galley style layout.
Your office work station will, of course, consist of desk space rather than counter space and be more compact.
The idea is the same though: place stations for major office equipment and/or tasks at three separate points so that you can move easily from station to station.
Your home office layout should plan for at least two work areas, one for your computer monitor and keyboard, and another, larger area, for paperwork.
The above sketch is a sample layout for a home office that finds space in a guest bedroom.
If the built-in desk is 26-27 inches (66-69 cm) up from the floor, it will be at the optimal height for working at your keyboard.
Standard height for desks and tables is 29 inches (74 cm). For most of us, our computer keyboards are more comfortable at a height of 26-27 inches (66-69 cm) from the floor.
To figure out the best keyboard position for you, sit comfortably, feet flat on the floor with your arms bent at 90 degrees at your sides...The keyboard surface should be at elbow height.
Make sure your computer monitor isn't too low or too high or, it'll literally be a pain in the neck. The top of the screen should be even with your eyebrows.
A Room of Your Own
If your home office is going to be a base where you will be pursuing a serious vocation or avocation, you'll eventually want a dedicated space, or as Virginia Wolfe put it, a room of your own.
The sketch below shows a home office layout that works well for people who consult often with clients--realtors, counselors or other consultants.
The closets behind the desk provide space for copiers, printers and office supplies. A pull-out work surface in the desk is perfect for a laptop.
Of course, in a dedicated space most storage of supplies, files and reference material can be on open shelving.
If you're using a room where the space will be shared, like a family room or guest bedroom, find ways to conceal storage...Stackable plastic boxes or inexpensive, cardboard "bankers boxes" keep material organized and out of the way in a shared space.
A sofa or low bank of shelves can create a half wall to help delineate different uses of areas in an "open plan", shared space room.
Give yourself a comfortable, upholstered chair for reading and reviewing work.
A pair of occasional chairs and a simple coffee table make a compact conference area or "room within a room". Set it off with an area rug. Bring in a sofa if you have the room. The idea is to create a relaxed yet professional space to meet with clients.
Enjoy working on the layout for your home office.
With most offices in the home your space will be limited, so remember that less is more in a small space. Go for more streamlined, minimalist furnishings rather than heavy desks and chairs in a smaller space.
Contact us if there's some aspect of home office layout or design you'd like us to address. Send us questions about your projects and we'll answer you either directly or through some avenue on the site.
Have fun with your projects.
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