It’s already 2019 and we have slowly redefined the way we live and work. These two are no longer distinct and separate but rather as part of a bigger whole. This is why we have seen the rise of side jobs and freelancing in one’s free time, especially among young professionals.
When work spills over from the usual 9 to 5 schedule, creating a small home office is a must for those who hustle. This has transformed condo rentals from merely being a residential space into one that serves as a workspace, too.
The workspace does not have to be similar to your lifeless cubicle at the office. You can play around with home office design and see what will work best for you. To kickstart, here are 10 design tips to amp up your home office to achieve a better work-life balance.
#1: Choose the best location
The first thing you need to really think about your home office design layout is location, location, location. You would need to take a good look at your condo space and ask yourself: Where will I be able to work best?
Your home office design needs to be comfortable, spacious, and definitely quiet to really bring you into the zone. This means squeezing into a tiny corner with a tiny work desk won’t suffice. Why not convert that bare space in your living room into your own office space? Since you are just repurposing an existing space, this going to be a cheap home office setup. This is surely a plus for those on a budget.
#2: Divide then conquer
Okay. You have settled with a key part of any home office design layout — the location of your workspace. What comes next is really establishing that that location is meant for work. This means isolating the space so that it really feels like a home office. For this, you can use dividers or just properly place the furniture you will be using for your home office away from your other furniture.
Separating your workspace removes you from the usual clutter of your residential space and the noise produced by family. Your home office design should inspire you to work and a separate working environment will definitely help you achieve that.
#3: Make sure you have ample light
A bright idea that will keep you working: getting ample light into your workspace. Use natural light from nearby windows but not so much that it interferes with your workflow, particularly the screen glare it causes with desktops and laptops. There are many ways to reduce screen glare but if you have chosen a location that gives just the right amount of natural light in, you are good to go.
#4: Play with color
Did you know that different colors have different effects on how we feel? Blue is linked to calmness, red is linked to excitement, and purple is linked to wealth and wisdom.
When creating a small home office, choosing the right color tone for the furniture, paint, and accessories sets the emotion of your workspace. Darker colors may look more stylish but spark less creativity. Conversely, brighter colors give off more energy but can also foster nervousness. Choose the color that will help you get into a working mood.
#5: Invest in efficient furniture
You’ll be spending a lot of time in your home office sitting down and that’s why getting a good ergonomic chair is an investment you have to make. Studies have shown that poor sitting posture leads to problems such as lower back pain, excessive sitting increases your chances of getting diabetes, and developing cardiovascular diseases.
Hence, every now and then, you should also be working while standing up as this helps you energize and focus. Make sure that your home office design also accommodates work being done while standing.
#6: Choose both form and function
Most articles about home office design share one thing: they all tell you to choose function over form. But if your workspace is functional in how it looks and feels, what makes it any different from the soulless cubicles found in the corporate world?
In creating a small home office, it is important that you find the balance between a space that is an extension of work and a space that is a complement to your home. To do this, you need to establish your workflow, the materials or equipment you will need, and how all of these will jive together with your studio’s aesthetic.
#7: Bring in the accessories
Staying true to creating a home office, your workspace should have accessories that mirror your own style. If you are the type who wants a hipster cafe feel, you can add mason jars and even unused mugs to add as organizers. If you are the scrambling, mad genius type then a small blackboard or whiteboard beside your desk is perfect during those times where a lot of ideas come in.
Your workspace should not just be organized or clean, it should have it’s own distinct identity so that it turns into a comfortable environment that helps you achieve a better work-life balance.
#8: Maximize your space
Creating a small home office is definitely a challenge because you would probably want to put a lot of things you view as necessary but within such a limited space. In order to maximize your condo space for your home office, majority of the furniture you should be using should be multi-functional.
Organizing vertically is also one good way you can make the most out of your office space. You can put in hanging racks and shelves so that you have more book space on your desk. The rule is to keep your main workspace as free as possible by using the available peripheral space.
#9: Keep the homey feel
Home offices are amazing because of one thing we all love: home. For a home office design to be truly on point, the “home” part of it should not be neglected. This means putting more comfortable throw pillows, placing artistic figurines, and even small potted plants that lend life and color to your workplace.
#10: Spice things up
Since it is your home office, you can make the rules. Spice up the home office design, shake things up a little, and add some personal zing to your workspace.
If you would like to add a pop of color through a painting, then do it. If you’d like to add a magnetic board instead of a whiteboard for brainstorming, add it. The more you make your office space your own, the better you can work. Going with the design you think works even if others may not feel strongly about it lends you that motivation and inspiration to keep working.
Achieving better work-life balance can start with choosing a condo closer to work or transforming your condo into the perfect working environment. The more you find your work-life groove, the more successful you will be!