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The BBC has reported as many as 1.5 million people across the world work from home normally and with recent times changing, this has shot up dramatically. Not everyone has a designated workspace and those that have a desk might not have optimised the space for a semi- or permanent home office.

Whether you are temporarily working from home or staying there for the foreseeable future, having a legitimate and designated working space is paramount. 

Your home office should inspire you creatively, allow you to focus, and give you privacy when needed. It should support your physical, mental and professional needs, albeit these will be different for everyone.

Many homeowners choose to repurpose the space under their stairs or a corner of a room into a small home office. However, a more popular choice is to convert a spare bedroom or box room if you have one.

Sharps have written a brief guide on how to optimise the design of your home office, wherever it may be in your house.

This article aims to give you some inspiration on how to make the best of the space you have, and how to maximise performance in your home office environment.

Tips for Optimising your Home Office

1. Plan your storage

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Efficient home office storage is essential to ensure that you are making the most of your available home office space. Whether this comes in the form of pigeon-hole shelving, cupboards, under-desk storage drawers or full-on fitted cabinets. 

 

If you don’t have sufficient storage, possessions and paperwork will end up on the floor, on a chair, or even worse, around your desk. Make sure you have as much free floor space as possible to give you physical and mental space to reflect.

2. Keep it organised

Understairs Office

Installing storage units in your home office is a good step towards organising your workspace. We all know about having an organised mess, but in reality, that pile of paperwork in that cupboard you keep meaning to sort out is a weight on your conscience and a distraction from your real work.

 

Spending time organising will pay you back when you don’t even have to think about where you left that folder.

3. Keep it professional

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Even if you’re not going to meet clients in your home office, or have the occasional webcam meeting, it’s important for your mental and emotional wellbeing to be able to separate work from play. So, get dressed, take pride in your office, avoid having too many distractions.

 

Working from home tip! - Plan your day including breaks to ensure that your motivation gets a regular refresh and you’re working in a positive environment. 

4. ... And make it personal

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Yes, make sure your office is tidy, organised and well structured. However, it’s also important to make it a disarming space and so, even if you’re working from a home office desk under your stairs, add a family photo, your favourite plants or artwork that you love. A feature wall is also lovely especially if you can’t face a window. 

 

Inspiration can come from anywhere and sometimes it helps to have a reminder of why you’re working so hard.

5. Keep your home office clean

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This comes a lot easier when you keep your office organised.

 

Schedule a weekly or biweekly deep-clean as a transitional activity at the end of your week to signal to your brain that you’re tidying that area of your mind away for the weekend.

 

Ensuring your storage is optimised is key for this, as it’s difficult to keep a space clean that is covered in post-it notes and ‘out of sight out of mind’ areas.

6. Clear your desk of distractions

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There is such a thing as a useful distraction and it is up to you as to what constitutes helpful and what encourages procrastination. Toys such as ‘fidget widgets’ can help to unlock and calm your mind as you try to write an email or you’re coming up with a new marketing proposal. Contrastingly, having a games console or the TV on in the background is probably very distracting and doesn’t encourage focus.

 

If you have your phone on your desk, schedule specific breaks for checking personal messages or social media, or better yet, if you don’t need your phone for work, don’t even bring it into the office.

7. Make sure the space works for you - not the other way around!

Cosmo Desktop

There are thousands of freestanding desks, shelving units, storage cabinets and office desk chairs to choose from, however, they all have different features and you have specific needs.

 

Some home office desks and most chairs are adjustable so you can customise your workspace to suit your body. 

 

Custom made fitted desks are also a great option as you can specify the height needed, the material used, even the colour. Also, you can custom build to your storage and working needs.

 

Take a look at Sharps Home Office Collections to see what your bespoke envy-worthy home office could look like.

8. Get natural light if possible

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In a home office, the most important factor is your health and wellbeing, as you are likely sitting in that desk chair for a long time. 

 

Whenever possible, working with natural light has numerous advantages to artificial lighting. An article by Healthline lists these as boosting Vitamin D, improving sleep, reducing the risk of depression and reduced eye strain when compared to fluorescent light. All of these factors are important to the quality of your health and your working environment.

If you can’t sit opposite a window, there are many lamps that can replicate natural light.

 

It’s important to have a secondary source of good quality lighting for gloomier days, early mornings or late evenings, so it’s best to invest in a decent desk lamp (or floor lamp) regardless. Or talk to your fitted home office specialist about integrating lighting into your design during a free home design visit.

 

Working from home tip! - Working in front of a window allows you to have screen breaks with a lovely view (or better than a wall at the very least) and enables you to get some fresh air during the workday too.

9. Keep your cables tidy (or go wireless)

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We can sometimes get a bit excited about working from home and you set up all the gadgets you need, stand back and then realise the whole vision is diluted by masses of tangled wires. 

 

You can get standard cable tidies for this, desks with built-in plugs, desks that can be built specifically to hide your cables, or you could just get as much wireless technology as possible. Keeping your office as clean and tidy as possible will contribute to your concentration and your general wellbeing when you’re in your workspace.

10. Make it suit your style. We want to spend time where we feel good!

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Good home office design is comfortable, aesthetically pleasing and functional. To ensure your workspace is all of these things, it is worth considering a fitted home office furniture supplier such as Sharps who can create bespoke home office designs based on your needs and likes.

 

Factors such as turning space, purpose-built storage, awkward shaped walls and high ceilings are all easily conquered by a fitted home office service, like Sharps.

 

To make your office more visually appealing, you could also install elements like a gallery wall, feature wall, or beautiful curtains or blinds. Try having a look in our Inspiration section or on Pinterest for more home office ideas ahead of your free home design visit.

What happens at your home design visit?

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A Sharps Design Consultant will come to you, bringing samples of drawers, handles and fabrics. They’ll look at your room to see how to best maximise space; create a personal, hand drawn illustration; help you choose the best interior storage options for you; and give you an accurate quote – with no pressure to buy.

Book a free design visit